Interview | 9 questions for Kurt Smith, Seasoned Treasury Expert

21-11-2022 | treasuryXL | Kurt Smith | LinkedIn |

 

Meet our newest expert for the treasuryXL community, Kurt Smith.

Kurt is a Director of Marengo Capital, a corporate advisory company specialising in treasury, financial markets, corporate finance and private equity. Marengo Capital has a track record of, and passion for, creating and managing for long term enterprise value by aligning corporate strategy, finance and risk.

Kurt is also the Vice President and Technical Director of the Australian Corporate Treasury Association, a member of the Australian Payments Network Stakeholder Advisory Council, and a member of FX Markets Asia Advisory Board.  His career includes senior positions across fund management, bank derivative trading, Fintech, private equity and corporate treasury.  He has a Ph.D in Finance and is a graduate of the University of Cambridge.

Kurt is an engaging and compelling public speaker with substantial experience in presenting, being a panellist and master of ceremonies, for intimate and large audiences in Australia, Asia, Europe, and the United States.  He is well known for providing unique insights into new and well-worn issues, balancing contrarian thinking with informed judgment, and communicating highly technical issues to non-technical audiences.

 

We asked Kurt 9 questions, let’s go!

INTERVIEW

 


 

1. How did your treasury journey start?

I started in financial markets, firstly as a portfolio manager with a macro fund, and secondly as an FX option trader and Head of Derivative Trading for a commercial bank.  While I enjoyed the excitement, spontaneity, and commercial pressure of each day, I wanted something more fulfilling.

 

I became a Director in two FinTech companies commercialising option valuation and risk management technologies, one for the interbank exotic option market and the other for retail investors.  Sourcing capital for product development was a constant challenge but also very rewarding.  By this stage I was hooked on corporate treasury.  Treasury allowed me to direct my passion for financial markets to create, operate and scale businesses by funding growth and making them financially sustainable.

 

I then moved to a $10B+ corporate to run their treasury, corporate finance and insurance businesses.  My main responsibility was developing and implementing capital management and financial risk management strategies to ensure that the company target credit rating was achieved, while obtaining funding, allocating capital to investments, and hedging market exposures to reduce earnings volatility.

 

I am now a Director of Marengo Capital which specialises in creating and managing for value in corporate treasury and corporate finance.  I am still involved in FinTech as the Group CFO of a cash flow securitization company; and I am also the Vice President and Technical Director of the Australian Corporate Treasury Association, which is engaging with and improving the treasury community in Australia.

 

2. What do you like about working in Treasury?

 

I like that the success of the company is in your hands.  The company can formulate exciting corporate strategies and business plans, but those strategies and plans will not be delivered unless capital is sourced, structured and allocated properly, and financial risks are hedged to provide corporate resilience to business cycle downturns and adverse economic conditions.

When you think about it, it is a massive responsibility.  However, I prefer to think of it as a fantastic opportunity to make an impactful contribution.

 

3. What is your Treasury Expertise and what expertise gives you a boost of energy?

 

My specialist expertise is in creating and managing for long term enterprise value.  Increasing value is critical to increasing the capital funding capacity of the company and delivering into the main goals of Executives and the Board.  Most treasurers consider treasury a cost centre and do not have ambition to add value.  To me, that makes treasury a tax on the business, an overhead to be recovered by everyone else.  I believe that there are a large number of ways that treasury can add substantial value, by increasing cash flow not just forecasting it, managing the capital structure to reduce the cost of capital, and evaluating the allocation of capital to investments to ensure value accretive and efficient returns.

 

While I get a kick out of applying commercial acumen to improve businesses, I really get a kick out of convincing others to do the same, from decision-makers to operational teams.  I get very enthusiastic – but I truly believe that value is the key to financial sustainability, which is necessary for companies to do more of what they want to do.

 

4. What has been your best experience in your treasury career until today?

 

I built a very high-functioning treasury and got team members to work on several projects simultaneously in small multi-disciplinary teams.  Team leadership was based on expertise not the hierarchy, and it not only provided all team members with rapidly growing CVs to support their careers, it also provided opportunities for, and the most satisfying discovery of, junior employees with real talent fast tracking into leadership succession planning.  This way of working was new to all of us, and we created a lot of value and had a lot of fun doing it!

 

5. What has been your biggest challenge in treasury?

 

I worked for a capital-intensive company that had rapidly growing capital expenditure to be funded predominantly by debt, during an expected aggressive interest rate tightening cycle.  The rates market had already factored five sequential monetary policy tightenings into the yield curve, such that fixed rates for term debt were very high.  Our analysis showed that in most foreseeable scenarios floating rates would outperform fixed rates, even during sharp tightening cycles.  We went with the maximum allocation to floating rates, and over the next five years interest rates decreased markedly, and we used those decreases to gradually re-weight floating rate exposure back to their neutral weight.

This was a real risk management lesson for me, that is applicable now.  One has to take emotion out decisions, especially fear, do the analysis and trust your instincts.  Worked for us!

 

6. What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned as a treasurer?

 

Communication is crucial, especially verbal communication.

Executives, Boards and operational teams do not understand treasury and corporate finance.  Treasurers need to be able to communicate complex technical information in a persuasive and compelling way to non-technical audiences.  For example, I prepared a 35-page capital management strategy working paper that I turned into a six-page Board paper, and my presentation to the Board was a single diagram on one slide.  If they were not convinced in the first few minutes, all that work would have been wasted.  Communication is key, and I believe it is a defining characteristic between the best and the rest.

 

7. How have you seen the role of Corporate Treasury evolve over the years?

 

Corporate treasury was formerly a satellite of the business that was involved at the end of the value-chain, to be engaged only when funding of spend and hedging of exposures was required.  As a result, treasury did not influence decisions, it just implemented them.

Good corporate treasuries today are deeply integrated with, and embedded into the DNA of, their businesses; and, as a result, are involved at the beginning of the value-chain where they can influence outcomes.  This is a much more interesting space to play in.

 

8. What developments do you expect in corporate treasury in the near and further future?

 

Everyone is focusing on using technology, digitalisation and data rich environments to reduce operational risk, release resources and gain insights.  This is understandable given the change in the technology landscape and eco-system.

However, I believe that we will have to focus increasingly on our human resources as we re-examine whether the treasury operating model, governance architecture, people, processes and systems are fit-for-purpose not only now, but for the future.  Are our selection processes biased towards technocrats with limited ability to engage and communicate?  Do we hire and / or cultivate businesspeople with commercial acumen?  Do we encourage out-of-the-box innovation or do we effectively enforce the status quo through a relentless drive for efficiency?  I see treasury as a business within a business, and that it should be run as such.

 

9. Is there anything that you would like to share with our treasury followers that they must know from you?

 

As a community of treasury professionals we all have a responsibility to improve the standard of the profession, and to contribute to the recognition of the profession as a profession!  In this regard, treasuryXL is doing a fantastic job of bringing us all together and giving us opportunities to share, learn, explore and discuss treasury.  Let’s make sure that we contribute more than we take out, so that we add value overall.

 

Want to connect with Kurt? Click here

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Kendra Keydeniers

Director Community & Partners, treasuryXL

What is meant when we read or hear about Volatility?

09-11-2022 | Harry Mills | treasuryXL | LinkedIn

We all have an intuitive feel for what volatility is – we know when a market is exhibiting high or low volatility because we see differences in price changes. But it pays to be more precise with our language and to understand what is meant when we read or hear about volatility.

By Harry Mills

Source

Defining Volatility

Let’s start with a more instinctual and accessible definition:

Volatility is the rate at which prices change from one day to the next. If some currencies or other financial assets routinely exhibit greater daily price changes than others, they are considered more volatile.

Harry Mills, Founder & CEO Oku Markets

In his preeminent book, Option Volatility & Pricing, Sheldon Natenberg refers to volatility as “a measure of the speed of the market,” which is a particularly useful reference point when we consider that volatility and directionality are two different things: an underlying’s price can slowly move in one direction over time with very low volatility, or perhaps it swings wildly from day to day, but over a year it’s not changed much.

Now we have a feel for what volatility is, how do we quantify it? This third definition explains what it actually is: the annualised standard deviation of returns, and Natenberg refers to volatility as “just a trader’s term for standard deviation.”

This isn’t an article on standard deviation per se, but if you’re unaware of what this means then it is a measure of the dispersion of data around the average. Take for example if we measure the height of 1,000 people:

  • If all 1,000 people are exactly 5’7″ then standard deviation is zero
  • If standard deviation is two inches, then we know that 68.2% of people will be between 5’5″ and 5’9″ (see the normal distribution chart below)
Normal Distribution chart (Wikipedia)
Normal Distribution chart (Wikipedia)

What about “annualised” and “returns”?

Volatility is always expressed as an annualised number – this uniformity means that everybody knows what is meant when we talk about volatility being X%. In that sense, it’s rather like interest rates, which are also always described as an annualised figure.

This might not be so immediately useful to a trader or a risk manager, though, who might be thinking of daily or weekly price movements and where their risk or opportunities lie. Volatility is proportional to the square root of time, so to convert annualised volatility into daily, we simply divide the volatility by the square root of the number of days in a year – but we need trading days  on average there are 252, equating to 21 trading days a month. The square root of 252 is 15.87, but most traders approximate this to 16…

Hence, if we have a contract trading at 100 with a standard deviation of 20%, then: 20%/16 = 1.25%. We would therefore expect to see a price change of 1.25% or less for every two days out of three (+/- 1 standard deviation is around 68%).

Returns… I won’t go into detail, but if you want to explore this I would recommend chapter 10.6, The Behaviour of Financial Prices, in Lawrence Glitz’s superb Handbook of Financial Engineering which explains how price returns follow a normal distribution and prices follow a lognormal distribution. I’ll also add that calculating the standard deviation of prices doesn’t provide meaningful information because what we are looking for is the change from one period to the next, so we need to look at the daily returns!

Still here? Ok… let’s take it down a notch and look at the types and uses of volatility

Types of Volatility

There are a few types of volatility that can be measured, but by far the most commonly used and referred to are historical and implied volatility:

  • Historical volatility is a backward-looking measure that shows how volatile an asset has been over say, a 20-day period. It’s useful to look at different time periods and to chart the daily movement in the volatility.
  • Implied volatility is the future expected volatility – the term ‘implied’ is helpful because it literally means the volatility that is implied by the premium of an option contract. It’s a critical factor that influences options prices and draws the attention of traders and risk managers.

Uses of Volatility as an Indicator

Volatility is a common measure of risk, and it is a key component of Value at Risk modelling. But be warned of the ubiquitous disclaimer that past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Historical volatility is useful to understand how an asset or a currency has performed in the past – you can line this up with significant macroeconomic events and understand why there may have been a period of change, and you can get a feel for how the underlying “normally” behaves. For example, trading in the Turkish lira will probably present a higher risk than in, say the Swiss franc.

Summary

  • Volatility is the rate at which prices change from one day to the next
  • It demonstrates the “speed of the market” and is different from directionality
  • Technically, volatility is the annualised standard deviation of returns
  • You can approximate daily volatility by dividing the annualised volatility by 16
  • Historical volatility tells us what happened in the past
  • Implied volatility is the expectation of future volatility, and critical to option pricing

Thanks for reading!


 

Harry Mills

Founder at Oku Markets

Managing Business FX Risk

Interview | 8 questions for Konstantin Khorev, Seasoned Treasury Professional

01-11-2022 | treasuryXL | Konstantin Khorev | LinkedIn |

 

Meet our newest expert for the treasuryXL community, Konstantin Khorev.

Konstantin has 18+ years of experience in corporate treasury, gained in various environments: from public companies with +100BUSD turnover, to PE and privately owned companies, as well as at a prominent treasury consulting firm.

Being exposed to a wide range of different challenges and projects, Konstantin has built a strong expertise in the full spectrum of treasury and risk activities and in cross-functional collaboration and treasury partnership with business operations, tax, accounting, audit, and internal control.

Konstantin holds a Ph.D. degree in financial mathematics and is a CFA charter holder since 2009.

 

We asked Konstantin 8 questions, let’s go!

INTERVIEW

 


1. How did your treasury journey start?

In 2005 I changed my career path from investment management to corporate finance with a leading oil major. Couple of years later, being already a professional with several years of experience in related areas, I decided to join the treasury department within the same company. I made my decision mainly because of a great team and a lot of challenging projects there – we basically were requested to bring best practices into treasury function in multinational corporation with +100BUSD turnover. The first project was setting up an international multicurrency cash pool structure.

2. What do you like about working in Treasury?

Cross-functional collaboration (business, accounting, FP&A, tax), possibility to implement projects that make structural changes, e.g. in how company manages cash and financial risks, make payments, automate processes, etc.

3. What is your Treasury Expertise and what expertise gives you a boost of energy?

Change and project management, setting up a function from scratch or bringing best treasury practices, with special personal interest in the area of automation and data analysis. Having my first background in mathematics and computer science I also like to develop my own IT solutions (python, VBA, SAP scripting) that can solve certain automation or data problems and thus bridge a gap between client’s needs and available market solutions. Observing the professional growth of team members, I am coaching or used to coach is also a big source of excitement to me.

4. What has been your best experience in your treasury career until today?

I would say I can not highlight one single project. I enjoy and I am proud of every moment when I see the change realized, or cost-reduction/value-added created.

5. What has been your biggest challenge in treasury?

Setting up supply chain financing in a country where our team and company have been among pioneers implementing the product. Apart from tax, legal, accounting challenges related to the jurisdiction, as well as bank negotiation it required a lot of effort to explain the benefits and persuade all the stakeholders (from CFO to supply managers and suppliers). The ultimate result was more than rewarding: win-win solution both for the company decreasing working capital needs by 50% and for the suppliers getting access to much cheaper (and sometimes even unavailable at all) bank financing.

6. What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned as a treasurer?

Invest time explaining what treasury is about and why certain things are crucial for internal counterparties.

7. How have you seen the role of Corporate Treasury evolve over the years?

Playing bigger and bigger role as a business partner to other functions. Embedding more opportunities that are provided by IT solutions.

8. What developments do you expect in corporate treasury in the near and further future?

Automation and machine learning to play more role in daily and later strategical treasury operations. Distributed Ledger Technology (blockchain is an example) still to show its full potential. Fintech companies substituting banks in more areas and having bigger market size.

 

Want to connect with Konstantin? Click here

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Kendra Keydeniers

Director Community & Partners, treasuryXL

Brush up on your treasury knowledge? Get our eBook: What is Treasury?

27-10-2022 | treasuryXL | LinkedIn |

How can you fast brush up on your treasury expertise, Treasurers, CFOs, Cash Managers, Controllers, and other Finance Addicts? Or how would you describe “What Treasury is” to family and friends? Well, there is an easy solution for it. Download our free eBook here: What is Treasury?

This eBook compiled by treasury describers all aspects of the treasury function. This comprehensive book covers relevant topics such as Treasury, Corporate Finance, Cash Management, Risk Management, Working Capital Management.

This eBook was prepared by treasuryXL based on the most useful best practices offered by Treasury professionals throughout the previous years. We compiled the most crucial information for you and wrote clear, concise articles about the key topics in the World of Treasury.

We took a deeper dive into each of the above-mentioned treasury functions and highlight:

  • The purpose of each named Treasury function (What is?)
  • What specialists do
  • Examples of Activities
  • Summary of Frequently Asked Questions and answers
  • Conclusion

How to receive the eBook ‘What is Treasury’ for Free?

We simply giveaway two presents for you! By signing up for our newsletter you will automatically receive the following in your inbox:

  1. On Fridays, our Coffee Break weekly newsletter will land in your inbox. In this weekly newsletter, we will highlight the whole week full of the latest treasury news within our community.
  2. The 41 pages eBook, What is Treasury?

 

Subscribe, Join, Download and Relax.

Welcome to our community and have fun reading!

 

 

Director, Community & Partners at treasuryXL

 

 

Interview | 8 questions for Sugandha Singhal, Vice President – Head Treasury at SRF Limited

24-10-2022 | treasuryXL | LinkedIn |

 

We are so happy to embrace Sughanda Singhal as one of our newest treasuryXL experts for the community.

Sugandha is a Treasury Professional with diverse experience in Treasury, Strategic Planning, MIS, and Business analytics. She is passionate about breaking down complex problems and solving them using system-oriented thinking. With strong focus on process improvement, she has lead transformation of the treasury function both in terms of cost-effectiveness and process agility. A firm believer that real change in society must start at individual level she channelizes her spare time in volunteering for the cause.

Sugandha is also the highly commended winner of Adam Smith Asia Award for ‘Best working capital management solution’, winner of ‘Finance Transformation Initiative award of the year’ with C2FO and ‘Out of box thinker Award’ by SRF Limited.

 

Sugandha’s impressive career is an example for many. What is her secret? What drives her to perform at such a high level every day?

Well,…. let’s find out!

 

We asked Sugandha 8 questions, let’s go!

INTERVIEW

 


1. You have an impressive career in Treasury coming all the way up where you are right now. What is your secret?

The secret of success is not just one single mantra but a combination of smart habits. I realized very early that in treasury you spend most of your working hours networking and executing. Back home being a mother to two lovely teenage girls, I have always been hard-pressed for time. Thus changed my early morning routine to dedicate an hour to planning my work. I started setting up weekly learning goals to be completed flexibly during the week. Another important change was developing independent opinion through research rather than being influenced by what others say. These small habits practiced over the years helped me achieve my targets successfully.

2. The last two years must have been incredible for you, winning great awards for example. We are curious about what makes you most proud in your career?

While yes, I have been fortunate to lead certain critical projects that were recognized widely. When I think of what makes me proud it’s not any one project or an award but the journey I have taken as a woman and especially as a mother. I feel proud when I see youngsters, especially girls getting inspired by my journey and motivated to become leaders themselves. Being in a position where one can more effectively encourage and empower young women and girls to become leaders is an accomplishment that matters.

3. What do you like about working in Treasury?

We are living in very exciting times when digital transformation is still unfolding and is providing a wealth of learning opportunities. What I love about my current role is the fact that I have this unique opportunity to shape the future of the Treasury function and how it interacts with other processes/people in the business. It’s the everyday challenges and fast-paced work that excites me about my role.

4. What is your Treasury Expertise and what expertise gives you a boost of energy?

While I had the opportunity to lead multiple aspects of corporate treasury like borrowing, investment, policy formulation, working capital management, risk management, hedging, etc. what excites me the most is transforming the working capital landscape through business process re-engineering and digitalization.

5. What has been your biggest challenge in treasury?

The biggest challenge in treasury has been managing people while driving change.  On one hand, you have new technology, new compliances, new solutions that you need to implement, and on the other hand you have internal teams resisting change. This means while you are busy implementing the project through data architecture, solution design, onboarding suppliers & customers, etc. you are also leading a cultural change within the organization. To succeed, one needs to ensure the wider adoption of a digital mindset and overcome resistance to change through upskilling and communication.

6. What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned as a treasurer?

The two most important lessons that I have learned as a Treasurer are first, the only constant in our profession is change, and second, people are the anchor helping you sail through this sea of change. While we all know that change is inevitable and that people are the key, somehow, it’s often easily forgotten. In my experience, if you know the right person at the right time, half the task is done. I feel what has made a difference in my career is networking and relationship building.

7. How have you seen the role of Corporate Treasury evolve over the years?

I would say over the last few years the role has not just evolved but has completely transformed from being transactional to being strategic. Internally, in the past, treasury was all about ensuring fund availability, dealing with trade products, hedging, and managing excess funds. Today we are seen as the strategic partner to businesses who actively provide solution sales, re-engineer business processes, and act as an advisor to top management. Externally, the environment in which we operate has transformed, we now see very high volatility, significantly increased speed of information sharing, digitalization, enhanced compliances, and ESG focus that has made corporate treasury more agile and tech-oriented than what it was a few years back.

8. What developments do you expect in corporate treasury in the near and further future?

In the future, corporate treasury will become pivotal in driving the corporate sustainability initiatives. With corporates formalizing their ESG pledges, the treasury department will be expected to apply the ESG lens on everything from raising capital and investing surplus cash to supply chain finance. Secondly, the treasury team will become more and more connected to core business activities such as sales or procurement focusing on meeting fast-changing expectations/requirements of both customers as well as suppliers. Lastly, technological disruption will continue in ways beyond what we can imagine today, and treasury teams will be expected to be the front leaders in driving this transformation.

 

Want to connect with Sugandha? Click here

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Kendra Keydeniers

Director Community & Partners, treasuryXL

Types of Forward Contract

20-10-2022 | Harry Mills | treasuryXL | LinkedIn

A forward contract is an agreement to buy or sell one currency for another at an agreed rate and at an agreed future date. Forwards are traded over the counter, meaning they are not traded on a central exchange; instead, they are privately negotiated, legally binding agreements between two parties, typically a bank or broker and its client.

By Harry Mills

Source

Types of forward contract

For businesses, forward contracts provide a mechanism to secure exchange rates for future exposures and minimise the impact of currency fluctuations and market volatility. Forwards are favoured by treasurers and FDs/CFOs for their simplicity, availability, flexibility, and certainty they provide.

The exchange rate on a Forward is typically higher or lower than the spot rate – this is due to the interest rate differential of the two currencies involved. Read more in my blog post on forward pricing for more information!

 

The Benefits of Forward Contracts

The decision to hedge or not is unique to each business and its situation. If currency hedging is appropriate and would help a business to reduce risk and achieve its objectives, then forward contracts will likely play an important role in the strategy:

 

  • Certainty – Guarantee the exchange rate for future payments or receipts
  • Predictability – Securing future conversion rates makes cash flows predictable
  • Flexibility – Some contracts can be used at any time before the maturity date
  • Simplicity – Trade quickly online, in any size, and in most currencies

Types of Forward Contract

The basics apply to all contracts – a set amount, rate, and future maturity date, but there are three main types of contracts to be aware of:

  1. Fixed: Settlement is restricted to one future date only
  2. Open: Fully flexible, allowing settlement at any time up to the maturity date
  3. Window: Can be utilised within a window of time up to the maturity date

The open forward gives the most flexibility for drawdowns and utilisation, but it can come at a price: The reason that three types of contract are available is that the forward rate is influenced heavily by the length of the contract and the size and sign (positive or negative) of the interest rate differential of the two currencies involved. There could be a benefit to a business in selecting a fixed or window forward contract, rather than a fully flexible, open contract.

A quick example:

  • An Irish company imports from China in USD (so they sell EUR to buy USD)
  • They have an invoice of $500K to pay in 6 months’ time
  • The spot rate is EUR/USD 1.0000, and the 6m swap points are +0.0120
  • Open Forward exchange rate is quoted at 1.0000, $500K costs €500,000
  • Fixed Forward exchange rate is quoted at 1.0120, $500K costs €494,071

 

If in doubt, you should speak to your FX provider about forward pricing and which solution would be best for your needs, balancing flexibility and market pricing.

What to look for from your FX provider

Your currency provider should provide you with clear and consistent pricing for forward contracts. They should give you transparent and honest guidance as to the pros and cons of each contract type, and allow you transact how you want, whether that’s over the phone or online.

It’s common for FX brokers to overcharge or “keep” forward points to increase spreads (their margins), so ask for a fixed pricing schedule which includes transparency on forward points.

Open Fwd-va9lk

Window Fwd-tw7b7

Forward with Oku Markets

Oku Markets provides live forward contract trading to clients online and via our telephone dealing desk. We always give our customers fixed, consistent, fair, and transparent FX prices, so you can trust us to work with you, not against you!

Contact us at @[email protected]   or 0203 838 0250 to discuss your needs!

Here’s a quick video of our online platform showing the few clicks to trade:

Thanks for reading 👋


 

Harry Mills

Founder at Oku Markets

Managing Business FX Risk

Eurofinance remains THE event for corporate treasurers | By Pieter de Kiewit

12-10-2022  treasuryXL | Pieter de Kiewit | Treasurer Search  LinkedIn

 

Throughout covid times the organizers of Eurofinance remained active and were able to create interesting web-based events. Still, general opinion in last weeks’ event in Vienna was that there is nothing like the live thing. The programme was packed with interesting content, the event floor with interesting companies and visitors.

By Pieter de Kiewit

Communication leading up to the event and the venue, the Wien Messe, radiated experience in events of this size. The numbers of representatives and visitors were impressive. Luckily, the venue is big enough to not nerve the visitors who have to get used to large crowds again.

The programme was spread out over the very large room for plenary meetings, five large rooms for parallel session with presentations & panel discussions and “open rooms” on the trade floor. Key note speakers like Guy Verhofstadt and Goran Carstedt were able to enthuse with stories beyond the scope of treasury, others covered topics about treasury technology, both practical & visionary and treasury organization, for example about my personal favourite, the treasury labour market.

For many, the trade floor was easily as interesting as the content. Visitors gained market information, for example preparing for a TMS selection and implementation. Also reuniting with old treasury friends and getting to know new ones, was relatively easy during well catered breaks. Some of the visitors created new legends during the Thursday night afterparty that is not covered by this looking-back-blog.

As treasuryXL ambassador I visited the various partners of the platform present and received positive feedback on the event. So Cobase, Kyriba, TIS, CashForce, Nomentia, Refinitiv and CashAnalytics, we hope to see you again in Barcelona again and welcome a number of new ones.

 

Hasta luego,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!

Pieter de Kiewit

 

 

Interview Haia Aaraj, Recruitment Consultant at Treasurer Search

11-10-2022 | treasuryXL | LinkedIn |

 

Speaking about a rockstar within recruitment for treasury you think about Haia. She started working for Treasurer Search as a Recruitment Consultant at the beginning of this year and celebrated many successes with the team since then.

Haia is a down-to-earth, spontaneous and proactive human being with a hilarious sense of humor! You will be very lucky to work with her as someone who is searching for a next treasury adventure or if your company is in need of a treasurer.

 

 

We wanted to know Haia a bit more and we asked her the following questions. Happy reading!

7 questions for Haia, let’s go!

INTERVIEW

 


1. Treasurer Search is a recruitment business for treasury based in the Netherlands. What is your role within the company? And can you tell us more about your background?

I’m a recruitment consultant at Treasurer Search, so I’m mainly responsible for assignments from our clients to hire treasury professionals (from A to Z), and here we’re talking about Juniors up to executive level assignments. About my background, I have a Bachelor in Sociology and a high Technical Diploma in Management. I started in recruitment since 2016 doing some internships, and officially started as a recruitment assistant at a medical centre, then a company in Dubai where I made my way to the upper level and I left as a Recruitment manager. I moved to the NL and started at Treasurer Search in Feb, 2022.

2. How would you describe Treasurer Search in 3 words?

Well-connected / Transparent / Professional

 

3. What is, in your perception, the biggest benefit for clients and candidates to work with Treasurer Search?

They will be working with Recruiters who are experienced in both recruitment and treasury, so we know who a good cash manager or group treasurer is. At the same time, Treasurer Search provides a transparent recruitment process, no surprises or hidden info, alongside the smoothness in communication.

4. You started at Treasurer Search with zero knowledge about Treasury 8 months ago. Now you are a Rockstar in matching the right candidate with a client. What’s your secret?

In today’s world, everyone can learn whatever they want in no time, the resources available are at a wide range. For me it was mainly reading, attending online courses, and of course, learning from the experts in this field.

 

5. How do you stay informed about the recruiting industry combined with treasury trends?

Attending as much helpful webinars as possible. Also following the stars in both industries is very helpful because you need to stay up-to-date, don’t you?

 

6. What do you think is the most rewarding aspect of being a treasury recruiter?

Being a treasury recruiter widen your aspects of how the financial management works. You forget about traditional roles in business finance and you learn treasury is way more than the basics that the public knows.

 

7. What are you most proud of in your career at Treasurer Search so far?

When I started at Treasurer Search I was new to the country, and the treasury. This is where my colleagues played the big part and helped a lot through time. Now I’ve integrated well in the society as well as learned a lot about treasury. Mainly, I’m proud of my colleagues who played an essential part in this big movement for me.

 

Want to connect with Haia? Click here

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Kendra Keydeniers

Director Community & Partners, treasuryXL

LIVE SESSION | My Treasury Career Development & How the Register Treasurer education contributed

29-09-2022  treasuryXL | Treasurer SearchLinkedIn

 

Are you thinking about how you can shape your treasury career and in need for inspiration? There are plenty of education opportunities, but in what education will you invest?

 

 

You are invited to join our next Live Session. Registration is Now Open for:

𝐌𝐲 𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐲 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐫 𝐝𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐩𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 & 𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐑𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐓𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐫 𝐄𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐮𝐭𝐞𝐝

There is no standard career path for treasurers but one can learn from the choices and developments of the successful ones.


In this webinar two graduated Register Treasurers will share their stories:

  • 🌟 Jurgen Wessel RT is interim Head of Treasury of SHV and has experience in a variety of international companies at HQ and treasury hub level.
  • 🌟 Frank van der Hoeven RT van der Hoeven used to be a banker, moved to the corporate side and currently is Treasury Manager at IMCD, well-known for many successful acquisition and integration processes.

They will tell you about how they moved between various stations and will pay special attention to the added value of their post academic degree: The Treasury Management and Corporate Finance programme (RT Programme) at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam).

 

 

Everyone is welcome to this webinar. This webinar is extra relevant for those who consider joining the RT programme.

🌟Moderator: Pieter de Kiewit of Treasurer Search

🌟Duration: 45 minutes

 


We can’t wait to welcome you next week!

Best regards,

 

 

Kendra Keydeniers

Director, Community & Partners

 

 

 

 

What is Pricing Risk (FX Risk) and how to deal with it?

22-09-2022 | Harry Mills | treasuryXL | LinkedIn

Also known as pre-transaction riskpricing risk occurs between a transaction being priced and agreed upon. It materialises when exchange rates change after a quote has been delivered, either impacting the sales margin or incurring a re-price. treasuryXL expert Harry Mills, founder & CEO of CEO Oku Markets, will explain to us what Pricing Risk is all about, and how to deal with it.

By Harry Mills

Source

Who experiences pricing risk?

Businesses experience pricing risk to a greater or lesser extent depending on the nature of their business, their marketplace, and their sales and purchasing cycles. We find it helpful to consider the following initial points when assessing pricing risk:

  1. Is the transaction FX-denominated, influenced, or relatively insensitive?
  2. What is the timeline between quoting and agreement?
  3. What impact would a +/- 5% or 10% FX move have on margins?

A transaction is “FX-denominated” when it is in a currency other than the firm’s functional currency. An example is a UK business providing a quote to an Irish business for an export sale denominated in euros (instead of GBP).

How much influence? An example…

You’ll likely have an intuitive idea of the level of influence that fluctuations in FX rates have on your transactions, but consider a UK company that designs and builds high-end bespoke summer houses (why not?):

  • The company imports unfinished timber and metal fixings priced in dollars, and sources glass and other furnishings and materials from within the UK
  • The per-unit cost of production will be affected by movements in the GBPUSD exchange rate because timber is a major cost
  • But the basket of production costs also includes the UK-sourced materials, shipping, labour (design and build), amongst others (warehousing, storage etc.)
  • So we can see that a 5% drop in GBPUSD wouldn’t result in a 5% increase in production costs – understanding this relationship and ratio is critical

“Businesses should understand the precise impact of currency fluctuations on their costs and/or revenues to determine their FX sensitivity, especially concerning pricing risk”

Harry Mills, Founder & CEO Oku Markets

One-Size doesn’t fit all

Getting to grips with pricing risk can be fairly straightforward for FX-denominated transactions with a straight-through and linear FX impact on the price, but most businesses have a more complex setup.

Many businesses are converting from a just-in-time to a just-in-case stock strategy. which can bring complexity and may add to pricing risk. It’s our view, here at Oku Markets, that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for currency management, so here’s a few areas to think about:

  • Stock cycle and costing method
  • Pricing strategy and flexibility
  • FX price sensitivity (as detailed above)
  • The competitive environment and market practices

Pricing risk can impact procurement and sales, although we mostly think about the pricing that we are delivering. What about the pricing we receive, as customers? It’s not uncommon for Chinese exporters to add a large buffer to their prices to factor in fluctuations and depreciation in the USDCNY exchange rate. Read more about China and the yuan.

So it’s worth considering and asking your suppliers and international partners about how they manage FX – is there an opportunity for increased transparency and better terms by tackling the problem together?

FX Risk Map

It might be helpful to visualise the lifecycle of a transaction to identify when currency risk occurs. Again, there is no one-size template for this – every business’ FX Risk Map will look a little different, but here’s a basic setup to get started with:

  • Pricing Risk: the FX risk between quote and agreement
  • Transaction Risk: the FX risk between agreement and settlement
  • Translation Risk: the FX risk between accounting (PO/invoice) and settlement
FX Risk Map copy-cwoah

Dealing with Pricing Risk

Three ways you can reduce pricing risk and deliver more consistent results are:

  1. Include a quote expiry date – limiting the time reduces risk
  2. Add an FX buffer to the price – 5% is typical for short periods
  3. Build an FX clause into the quote – transparency means no surprises

The most appropriate route or combination of mitigating actions is unique to each business. An online travel company delivering live holiday prices will require higher frequency updates to FX rates and a tighter quote expiry date and FX buffer when compared to a company providing quotes for custom-designed summer houses.

When it comes to an FX buffer, we suggest considering the volatility of the currency pair and adjusting for the relevant quote period.

Let us help you quantify your FX risk

Quantifying currency exposure requires thought and specialist skills and expertise. Most FX brokers lack the capabilities to do this properly, resorting instead to emotionally-charged deal-making which can result in poor outcomes for clients.

We’re proud to work transparently with our clients, and we work hard to break the asymmetry of knowledge and information in the FX market.

You can contact us for a review of your currency processes and for our guidance and suggestions at [email protected] or 0203 838 0250.

Thanks for reading 👋


 

Harry Mills

Founder at Oku Markets

Managing Business FX Risk