Meet our Experts – Arnaud Béasse

28-07-2020 | Arnaud Béasse | treasuryXL

Welcome to the 10th and last (for now) interview of the ‘Meet the Expert’ series. This time we interviewed our brand new Expert Arnaud Béasse. Arnaud is founder of the advisory firm Arts+Brands and an expert in Debt Management. He started his career as Regional Financial Controller, cumulating the responsibility for IT.

Arnaud has more than 17 years experience in Banks focusing successively on Structured Asset Finance, Corporate Banking, DCM and in Multinational Corporates for their Energy and Metals trading and Project Finance. He created Arts+Brands to expand his entrepreneurial spirit by advising small ventures and start-ups (Fintech, Biotech, IT) for their Fund Raising and Finance strategy and also by getting involved in the daily operations.

Arnaud is fluent in English, German and French and is used to work in international, multi-cultural and virtual teams environments.

We asked him 11 questions, let’s go!

How did your treasury journey start?

During my first assignment as a regional financial controller, I have been immediately confronted to a complex consolidation of cash streams from different emerging countries with different currencies and regulations. Finding secure and systematic solutions has been challenging but also interesting and fun. This was the beginning of my treasury discovery, from which I moved then to asset finance, project finance, trade and export finance and later to the complete « corporates and markets » solutions offered by a large European bank.

What do you like about working in Treasury?

I find the central role played by treasury in supporting a business very motivating: it manages all financial resources a business needs to generate returns. Perfect understanding and anticipation of the needs (planning) and an accurate analysis of the resources available (controlling) are therefore essential. I also like the necessity of combining short term priorities like cash management and long term planning like investments.

What is your Treasury Expertise?

Capitalising on my long banking and large corporates experience, I have acquired a strong knowledge of all kind of debt solutions associated with credit, regulatory, compliance competencies. I have specialised in Debt Management, Fund Raising, Asset Finance, Leasing, Cash Flow Management, Trade and Export Finance and Project Finance. I am currently focusing on Sustainable Finance to support firms aligning their finance resources with their commitments towards the environment.

What’s the most important factor in debt management?

The starting point of debt management is a careful analysis and control of the cash flows. Borrowings need to align with the business cycle of the company and eventually its equity profile. Once the needs of each business line and the corresponding cash flow generation are consolidated, the adequate debt structure can be designed with a mix of junior to senior, short term to long term solutions and a calibrated interest rates structure.

What has been your best experience in your debt management career until today?

I remember a dramatic situation occurring during a local currency crisis in an emerging country, where we had arranged a large equipment finance. The debt repayment plan did not anymore match with the borrower’s cash flow generation and we were heading straight to a default situation. After long and numerous discussions, we managed to get transferred a large position on natural resources the company was owning but not operating and structured it in a way that the majority of risks were covered, the credit committees and respective boards were satisfied and ultimately the borrower managed to earn additional profit. I admit there is a part of luck in this experience but getting from this desperate situation to a point where all parties were so happy has been my most fulfilling experience so far!

What has been your biggest challenge in your career?

I consider the toughest challenges in a company are almost always linked to human resources management and termination of assignments. But if we remain within the treasury topic, my biggest challenge so far has been to accept a board decision not to conclude an M&A transaction, whereby all indicators (profit, risk, market position, further opportunities) were very favourable for the group and I had worked for more than one year on the case. Some months later, upon publication of the yearly results, it became clear why the project was rejected!

What is the most important lesson that you have learned as a treasurer?

Along the various experiences I had with treasury, the most important lesson might be to always seek the most simple and straight forward option. There are many ways of hedging a currency position, improving the average interest rate of a pool of debt facilities, leverage the value of an asset, optimise the return of positive cash position. But the risk and time associated to it can rapidly be disproportionate to the purpose and the size of the original transaction. Treasury shall normally create value, not necessarily profit!

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

Obviously, the role of Corporate Treasurer has become more and more complex. Treasury needs to deal with an increasing availability of alternative financial products, intensifying risk management requirements, regulatory and compliance constraints. But at the same time, the emergence of digital treasury platforms and integrated cash management systems are making the steering of treasury much easier and more accurate.

The coronavirus is undoubtedly an unprecedented crisis. In general, can you elaborate on the impact this virus has on treasury from your perspective?

Treasury is between a rock and a hard place: as a consequence of the crisis, sales are dropping and cash flows are missing but the financial obligations (debt, salaries, rents, supply, …) remain and the access (if not the availability) of financial resources become difficult. For treasurers who had a prudent cash flow management with enough resources to bridge the gap, it has been a confirmation for their risk management strategy. For others with more lean structure, it is, in the best case, a very stressing moment trying to find last minute and costly (not only in terms of interest rates) funding solutions. Some businesses, which have bet on a very tight business model, will probably be restructured. The crisis will certainly lead corporates to adopt more careful models with sufficient reserves and flexible organisations but also postponed or reduced investments.

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

The main trend is definitively the further digitisation of the treasury functions, offering more reliable, more secure and faster execution of the transactions: payments, cash management, trading, trade and export instruments, guarantees, etc. As the execution of transactions will be more and more automated and integrated in the supply chain systems, treasurers will shift their focus on analysing and planning for the financial resources in order to formulate strategies.

Another interesting trend for the treasurer is the further development of the non-banking debt market. This shall broaden the borrowers’ horizon, balancing again the bargaining power in favour of the corporates and generating even more tailor-made/OTC debt solutions.

What is your best advice for businesses without a Treasurer?

Running a business without a treasurer can only be considered for small businesses. For standard operations, managing the daily needs with modern digital tools will always become easier, even if substantial support shall be required during the implementation of a system. Once the system is running, the daily treasury tasks can be integrated in the accounting and finance agenda.

However, as soon as operations get more complex (investment, take-over, international development, restructuring…), the support of a specialist remains essential, be it for a limited period of time like part-time or ad interim…



Arnaud Béasse





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Tips voor het verkrijgen van financiering

| 4-2-2019 | ILFA Group | treasuryXL |

Nederlandse banken maken een forse terugtrekkende beweging en dit leidt bij ondernemers tot onrust. Geluiden over uitsluitend uitzettingen aan bestaande relaties en het niet opengaan van de bankdeuren in 2019 dragen bij aan het onrustige klimaat. Ook de steeds kritischere houding van banken en ‘cherrypicking’ van zaken die wel gedaan worden zijn een doorn in het oog van mkb-ondernemers. Dit alles heeft uitwerking op de transacties en hun prijs. Immers, als de financieringsvoorwaarden worden aangescherpt en marges omhoog gaan, zal dit direct invloed hebben op de kostprijs van de bedrijfsvoering.

Ik ben dan ook van mening dat de Nederlandse banken in de komende jaren tegen steeds lagere leverages zullen gaan financieren. Denk aan maximaal 50% loan-to-value tegen looptijden van hooguit 5 tot 7 jaar. Door de komst van Basel 4-kapitaaleisen zal de terughoudendheid van banken alleen maar toenemen en zal er een gap ontstaan van ongeveer 2,5 tot 3 miljard euro per jaar. Dit zal ingevuld moeten worden door nieuwe financieringskanalen.

Wanneer u een financiering aanvraagt, is het belangrijk een aantal praktische tips te volgen:

1. Mkb-financiering is maatwerk
Ten opzichte van een aantal jaar geleden is het aantal (bancaire) financieringen vandaag de dag enorm uitgebreid. Voor de crisis bepaalden vooral banken de markt, maar tegenwoordig is er een groot alternatief aanbod van financieringsproducten. Wanneer er in een onderneming een investeringsbehoefte is, is het heel belangrijk in een vroeg stadium vast te stellen wat deze behoefte precies is, hoeveel geld benodigd is en bij welke partijen dat het best ondergebracht kan worden. Laat u vooral bijstaan door een (onafhankelijke) adviseur met kennis van het financieringslandschap.

2. Het belang van de businesscase
Om precies te weten waar u aan toe bent en om niet voor verassingen te komen staan bij het aanvragen van een financiering is het belangrijk dat door grondige analyse alle financiële aspecten van de financieringsaanvraag inclusief onderbouwing in kaart gebracht worden. Door een credit rating toe te voegen, worden alle relevante financiële risico’s van de onderneming in kaart gebracht. Ook laat de rating zien hoe deze risico’s beïnvloed worden door de investering. Een potentiële financier kan hierdoor een goede inschatting maken van de kansen en risico’s van een investering. Wat niet vergeten moet worden is een haalbaarheidscheck waarbij gekeken wordt naar de haalbaarheid en kans van slagen van de financieringsaanvraag. Hierbij wordt onder meer
gekeken naar de hoogte van de investering in relatie tot de mogelijkheden om de financieringslasten te dragen.

3. Kopen of leasen?
Het is belangrijk vast te stellen of eigendom van machines, auto’s, meubels en andere soortgelijke zaken nodig is. Het kan enorm schelen op de investering en kapitaalvernietiging kan voorkomen worden wanneer, waar mogelijk, gekozen wordt voor lease. Ga na of objecten daadwerkelijk in bezit moeten zijn of dat het puur om gebruik gaat. Mocht gebruik voldoende zijn, is een leaseconstructie of servicecontract een goede optie.

4. Een betrouwbare financieringsaanvraag
De financieringsaanvraag bevat alle relevante cijfers en brengt de terugverdientijd, KPI’s en doorlooptijden helder in kaart. Er staan veel statische gegevens in zo’n aanvraag, maar ook de kwaliteit van de onderneming, de branche, de organisatie van de bedrijfsprocessen en de organisatie van het personeel. Deze gegevens samen zorgen voor de perfecte financieringsaanvraag die nodig is om het vertrouwen van financiers te krijgen. Uiteindelijk is vertrouwen de basis voor een aangeboden lening of financiering.




Arnoud Doornbos

Associate Partner


Are public debts sustainable?

| 19-02-2018 | treasuryXL |

A few weeks ago the EU Commission released a report on debt sustainability within the EU. It provides an overview of the challenges faced by member countries over the short, medium and long term to meet the original convergence criteria – specifically, that existing Government debt is less than 60% of GDP. As with most Government related documents it is long – over 250 pages. A lot of attention is drawn to the Debt Sustainability Monitor (DSM) and the challenges faced to achieve the abovementioned criteria by 2032.

Any forecast is open to different interpretations, especially one that looks 15 years into the future. At the end of 2017, 15 of the 28 countries within the EU (in other words more than 50%) have Government debt that exceeded 60% of GDP. The average ratio for all 28 countries – on the basis of the sum of all Government debt and all GDP – is 83%. Let us focus on those 15 countries who, currently, do not meet the criteria. The figures for this article have been taken from the following website –











This shows the countries – ranked by the current Debt to GDP ratios – from high to low. 3 countries have been highlighted in yellow as their figures have been originally shown in their own currencies. For the sake of comparison these figures have been converted into EUR.


  • The current debt will remain constant for the next 15 years. Debt that falls due for redemption is rolled over – no new additional debt is assumed.
  • The criteria in 2032 is that the debt is 60% of the GDP at the end of 2032
  • The current debt is assumed to be 60% of the GDP at the end of 2032
  • Projected GDP at the end of 2032 is adjusted so that it is a factor of 1.67 larger than the debt
  • A constant annual growth rate is determined whereby the existing GDP at the end of 2017 will constantly grow to equal the expected GDP at the end of 2032.


The top 7 countries have debt ratios around 100% or higher of GDP at the end of 2017. The constant annual growth rates that they would have to achieve under the scenario shown above are all greater than 3% per annum.

Annual growth rate since 1996 for the EU have averaged 1.7% – before the financial crisis there was an annual growth of 2.5%. For the last 10 years since the crisis, the average annual growth rate within the whole EU is just 0.8%. Even in 2017, the growth was just 2.5% – back at the same level as before the crisis. The data for this part came from

It would be appear to be presumptuous to expect future annual GDP growth to consistently exceed the current long term trend. Of course this is a scenario relying on only 1 factor – namely growth in GDP to meet the 60% criteria – whilst ignoring any other possible factors.


As constant growth, as shown above is, not realistic, then other factors will have to come into play if the long term scenario relating to debt criteria is to be achieved. If not through growth, then either through increases in Government receipts (more taxes or selling of national assets) or decreases in Government expenditure (less subsidies, pensions, smaller investments).

Or……………..through fiscal union leading to transfers from the “richer” countries.
Next we will look at the history of fiscal transfer within the EU.

If you want more information please feel free to contact us via email


Yield Curves (term structure of interest rates) – filling in the blanks part II

| 03-06-2016 | Lionel Pavey |

Most treasurers do not have access to a dedicated financial data vendor (Bloomberg, Reuters) but are regularly faced with having to discover prices related to yield curves. There are websites that can provide us with relevant data, but these are normally a snapshot and not comprehensive – the data series is incomplete. It is therefore up to the treasurer to complete the series by filling in the blanks. In my previous article I went over the first approach. Today I’ll talk about the second approach.

A second approach would be to apply a weighting to the known periods of the par curve and to average the difference out over the missing periods.


Schermafbeelding 2016-06-02 om 13.49.46

This leads to 1 year constant maturity rates that are almost equal in value for all the periods between 2 known periods. Whilst these forward rates are also not correct they at least supply us with a visual indicator as to the general shape of the forward yield curve – the 1 year constant maturity rates

reach their zenith between years 12 and 14; after that point they then start to decrease.

Futhermore, taking into consideration the yield curve as shown in the graph, we can make the following conclusions about the 1 year curve:-

  • 11 year rate must be higher than the linear interpolated rate but lower than the weighted interpolated rate
  • 13 year rate must be higher than the weighted interpolated rate
  • 15 year rate must be lower than the linear interpolated rate and lower than the weighted interpolated rate
  • 16 year rate must be higher than the linear interpolated rate and higher than the weighted interpolated rate
  • 20 year rate must be lower than the linear interpolated rate and lower than the weighted interpolated rate
  • The implied forward 1 year constant maturity curve must be smooth and monotonic.

On the basis of these restraints a par curve can be built that leads to the following forward curve.

grafiek2_part2Schermafbeelding 2016-06-02 om 13.50.01

The rates for the missing periods have been calculated manually whilst adhering to the conditions mentioned before– there are formulae which would allow rates to be discovered (Cubic spline, Nelson Siegel etc.) – but these rely on random variables and I have yet to see anyone quote and trade prices based solely on a mathematical formulae.

Visually, the 1 year curve meets all the criteria for the construction of a yield curve, together with the underlying par and zero yield curves.



To ascertain that the rates are correct, discount all the cash flows of the par yield for the given maturity – they should equal 100.

Here is an overview of all the implied 1 year rates using the different methods to construct the yield curve.


For a quick calculation a straight line interpolation is acceptable with the warning that with a normal positive yield curve the real prices will be higher than the prices calculated by straight line interpolation. For a negative yield curve this would be reversed – real prices lower than interpolated prices.

The average difference between the par yield prices of the adjusted smooth yield and the straight interpolation yield are only 2.5 basis points. However, this difference is magnified when looking at a 1 year forward yield curve where the average difference is 22.5 basis points per period with a maximum of 53.5 basis points.

Next – Zero Coupon Yields and implied Forward Yields

Would you like to read part one of this article?
– Yield Curves (term structure of interest rates) – filling in the blanks


Lionel Pavey



Lionel Pavey



Yield Curves (term structure of interest rates) – filling in the blanks

| 27-05-2016 | Lionel Pavey

Most treasurers do not have access to a dedicated financial data vendor (Bloomberg, Reuters) but are regularly faced with having to discover prices related to yield curves. There are websites that can provide us with relevant data, but these are normally a snapshot and not comprehensive – the data series is incomplete. It is therefore up to the treasurer to complete the series by filling in the blanks.

A quick refresher about the construction of a yield curve raises the following points:-

  • All data must be from the same market (treasury bonds, Interest Rate Swaps (IRS) etc.)
  • A regular term (maturity) is preferred for ease of construction
  • A curve must be smooth
  • An implied zero yield curve can be built from the smooth par curve – a theoretical yield curve where no interest is paid until maturity. In a bond this would redeem at par (100) and be issued at a deep discount to par
  • A series of discounted cash flow factors (DCF) are produced
  • An implied forward curve with constant maturities can be built from the par curve
  • An implied forward curve must be monotonic – each point in an increasing sequence is greater than or equal to the preceding point, each point in a decreasing sequence is smaller than or equal to the preceding point

If we look at IRS par yield prices that can be found on a website, we can regularly see yield prices for periods from 1 year to 10 year inclusive, a 15 year price and a 20 year price. To construct a complete curve from 1 year up to and including 20 years we need to fill in the blanks at 11,12,13,14,16,17,18 and 19 years. These yields are assumed to be par yields – the coupon rate is equal to the yield to maturity and the instrument trades at par.

Before starting let us define the procedure for constructing a par yield curve:-
The methodology used is called “bootstrapping”. This allows us to extract discount factors (DCF) from the market rates. DCF’s allow us to calculate a value today for a cash flow in the future.

We assume that the nominal value for all calculation purposes is 100

For a 1 year rate we know the interest and redemption amount at maturity. A DCF is built whereby the net present value (NPV) of these future cash flows in 1 years’ time is equal to 100 or par.

For a 2 year rate we receive interest after 1 year and interest and redemption amount at maturity.

We discount the 1st years’ interest with the DCF we obtained from the 1 year rate and deduct this amount from our initial nominal of 100. This net amount is then divided by the interest and redemption at maturity (at end of 2 years) to obtain the DCF for the 2 year rate.


1 Year                                      7%                          2 Year                          9%

1 Year      
100 / (7/100+100) = 0.93457944 (DCF)

2 Year
9 * 0.93457944 = 8.41121496
100 – 8.41121496 = 91.58878504
91.58878504 / (9/100+100) = 0.8402640829

These DCF’s can then be used to find the NPV of any cash flow maturing in 1 or 2 years’ time.

The following example shows a yield curve from February 2013 published on the website of an interbank broker.

yield curve February 2013

yield curve February 2013

The quickest way to price the missing periods would be with straight line interpolation of the par curve between the known points – which would produce the following par curve, zero yield curve and forward curve with constant 1 year maturity.

yield curve February 2013 - 2

yield curve February 2013

Straight line interpolation

Straight line interpolation


Whilst the par curve and zero curve are smooth, the implied 1 year constant maturity curve is jagged and certainly neither smooth nor monotonic. The 11th 1 year period rate is lower than the 10th period and the 15th 1 year period rate is higher than the 16th period.

A second approach would be to apply a weighting to the known periods of the par curve and to average the difference out over the missing periods. Read more on this second approach in my next article which will appear next week.

Lionel Pavey



Lionel Pavey