Virtual Masterclass | Advanced Treasury & Cash Management

| 06-05-2021 | François de Witte | treasuryXL |

How do you deal with constant change and uncertainty?

As treasury continues to expand its influence, delving deeper into the business and providing advisory services and tech solutions to increase efficiency, flexibility has become paramount. From building resilience in an environment of shifting risks to providing innovation to support business growth, much more is expected from treasury leaders today.

What will the next decade look like for treasury leaders? The past 10 years, with high levels of uncertainty, volatility and changing technology, have upended traditional treasury. Then along came Covid-19 to bring new risks and induce more anxiety for corporate growth and stability, never mind completely altering the way we work.

We’re delighted to introduce the Advanced Treasury & Cash Management Masterclass which is a live 3 half-day program of 4 hours each designed for finance, treasury and banking professionals who have practical experience in various roles in treasury management and who need to gain a deeper practical knowledge of advanced treasury management techniques in today’s changing environment.

Key takeaways and outcome of the program

Ensure that you are operating best practice in the current economic climate and receive the latest update on industry developments through the key topics:

When? 

June 2-4, 2021

Who Should attend?

  • Treasury Managers
  • Risk Managers
  • Corporate and Institutional Treasury Sales
  • Corporate & Institutional Treasury Staff
  • Relationship Managers Corporate Banking
  • Fintechs
  • Financial Controllers
  • Business Controllers
  • Regulators
  • Auditors
  • Accountants
  • CFO

About The Trainer

After having worked for more than 30 years in banking, François launched his own consultancy activity, FDW Consult Services BV, specialized in Banking, Finance and Treasury consulting. From 2014 to 2016, he was also Solution Partner Treasury & Finance at USG Professionals. Since then, he took up several assignments, including one in the automotive sector with Ginion Group and with Ibanity, part of Isabel Group in the area of PSD2 and Open Banking. He currently is Senior Project Manager Treasury at Gaming1 (part of Ardent-Group). He is also independent Director at CKV, a niche mortgage and savings bank.

François is lecturer of the course “Advanced Treasury” and “Cash and Working Capital Management” in the Mastersprogram “Finance and Treasury” at the Lille Management School, at the Treasury Courses at the Vlerick Business School, at Febelfin Academy, and at SBM Opleidingen. He has also a leading role in the Certificate in International Treasury and Corporate Finance Management organized by ATEL and the House of Training in Luxembourg. François has a Master’s degree both in Law and Economics from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

 

 

 

                                                                                     François de Witte 

 

 

 

 

Register here

Market movements could impact your business—stay on top with Rate Alerts

06-05-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

Rate Alerts are a quick, simple way to monitor the changing values of your choice currencies, without having to constantly check the markets.

If your business purchases goods or services from overseas, makes income from overseas, or deals at all with foreign currencies, exchange rate movements can and will impact your business and its bottom line. The degree to which they’ll affect your business will depend on the types of transactions you’re making, the frequency of your transactions, and the currencies that you most commonly work with. But if you aren’t aware of the latest changes in the currency markets, your next payment could be quite a bit more costly than anticipated.

While it is crucial to monitor the values of the currencies you work with and stay on the pulse of movements in the currency markets, we understand it’s not always feasible to keep an eye on them. The currency markets are constantly in motion, and currency values can change multiple times per day, or even multiple times per hour. Who has time to constantly check the latest rates?

Fortunately, you don’t need to devote your time to monitoring the markets. With Xe’s Rate Alert tool, we can handle it for you, so you can devote your time to your business.

What are Rate Alerts? 

Rate Alerts are a quick, simple way to monitor the changing values of your choice currencies—without having to constantly check the markets.

At Xe, we know the currency markets, and we’re happy to keep an eye on them for you. All you need to do is identify which currency pairs you’d like to monitor and your target exchange rates, and we’ll take care of the rest. We’ll watch the markets for you and notify you the moment your ideal rate is reached.

Want to give it a try now? 

Log in

Why set up a Rate Alert? 

By setting a Rate Alert, you’re ensuring that you’ll know when it’s a good time to make your transfer. The currency markets can be volatile, and one change in currency values could have a dramatic impact on how much your business needs to pay for one transaction. If you have some flexibility in the timing of your payment, Rate Alerts will help you to determine when the rates are most favourable, so you can make the most of your money.

In addition to helping you save money, Rate Alerts will also free up valuable time. Rather than frequently checking the markets and poring over historic currency data, you can take just a couple of minutes now to set up your Rate Alerts. You’ll know as soon the rates are in your favour, without ever having to take time away from your business.

How to set up a Rate Alert 

If you have your Xe account, signing up for a Rate Alert is quick and simple.

  1. Sign in or sign up. If you haven’t registered, don’t worry. It’ll take just a few minutes.

  2. Head to the Rate Alerts section. If you’re using the Xe app, you’ll enter through the ‘Charts’ tab.

  3. Select your currency pair and set your target rate. You can either manually enter the rate you’d like or select a point on the chart.

  4. Sit back and wait. We’ll be in touch as soon as your rate is reached.

Get Started



Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

XE can help safeguard your profit margins and improve cashflow through quantifying the FX risk you face and implementing unique strategies to mitigate it. XE Business Solutions provides a comprehensive range of currency services and products to help businesses access competitive rates with greater control.

Deciding when to make an international payment and at what rate can be critical. XE Business Solutions work with businesses to protect bottom-line from exchange rate fluctuations, while the currency experts and risk management specialists act as eyes and ears in the market to protect your profits from the world’s volatile currency markets.

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multi billion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page

 

 

 

Liquiditeitsbeheer en Cash Forecasting | Beheer en controle van de liquide middelen, kredietlijnen en -termijnen

| 05-05-2021 | François de Witte | treasuryXL |

Hebt u een goed overzicht van de liquiditeitspositie van de onderneming? Is er geen sprake van een versnipperde cash- en kredietbenutting die u een onvolledig beeld geeft? Bent u onlangs geconfronteerd met liquiditeitsproblemen als gevolg van onverwachte uitgaven? Tijd om in actie te komen!

De coronacrisis stelt de situatie heel scherp. Heel veel bedrijven lopen tegen liquiditeitsproblemen aan. En het zijn vaak niet de minste! Zelfs grote, succesvolle ondernemingen hebben in de praktijk vaak onvoldoende zicht op hun cashpositie.

Omschrijving

Wilt u de liquiditeit van uw bedrijf verhogen? Dan loont het de moeite om uw huidig beleid eens goed onder de loep te nemen. Door een goede opvolging benut u de cash van het bedrijf optimaal en houdt u het beslag op de kredietlijnen zo beperkt mogelijk.

Met onze specialist staat u daar niet alleen voor! Als uw bedrijf groeit, groeit ook de complexiteit. Hoe gaat u de versnippering van uw kaspositie tegen? Hoe gaat u om met de complexiteit van multi-bancaire relaties en internationale handel? Dankzij deze opleiding vindt u de beste (gepersonaliseerde) aanpak voor uw bedrijf.

Voor wie is deze opleiding bestemd?

Deze module richt zich tot bedrijfsleiders, alsook alle financieel verantwoordelijken, treasurers, leden van het treasury team, controllers, financieel adviseurs, accountants, relatiegelastigden ondernemingen bij financiële instellingen.

Voorkennis

Financieel basisinzicht en ervaring met financiële transacties is vereist. Voelt u zich hier nog onvoldoende mee vertrouwd dan kan u voorafgaand de opleidingsmodule “Cash- en werkkapitaalbeheer” volgen.

Bijkomende info

Het programma komt in aanmerking voor 9 uren permanente vorming bij ITAA.

Programma

  • Belang van cash & liquidity management
  • Hoe kan u de cashposities dagelijks beter opvolgen
  • Hoe maakt u optimaal gebruik van uw cash & liquiditeit in het bedrijf
  • Cash forecasting
    • Hoe een operationele cash forecast optuigen
    • Cash forecasting en het financieel planning proces
    • Link met cash management en working capital management
    • Best practices en tools om cash & liquidity management te optimaliseren: toepassing op uw eigen bedrijf
    • Praktijkervaring Cashforce
    • Case study in groepen
  • Cashconcentratie
    • Gangbare technieken voor de cash concentratie
    • Manuele cash pooling
    • Automatische cash balancing
    • Notionele cash pooling
    • Juridische en fiscale aspecten van cash concentratie
    • Praktische aspecten – beheer van de intercompany leningen

Lesdata

Datum Startuur Einduur
donderdag 20/05/2021 18:30 21:30
donderdag 27/05/2021 18:30 21:30
donderdag 03/06/2021 18:30 21:30
Meer informatie en inschrijven: Klik Hier

 

Francois de Witte

 

François de Witte

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bank connectivity 2.0. New solutions offer new opportunities! (Dutch Item)

05-05-2021 | treasuryXL | Enigma Consulting |

Veel organisaties hebben voor het betalingsverkeer een zogenaamde ‘Payment Hub’ geïmplementeerd voor de connectiviteit met de banken. Zo’n hub zorgt voor een veilige, automatische connectie om betaal- en incasso opdrachten naar de bank(en) te sturen en dagafschriften te ontvangen. Veel van deze hubs zijn in 2012 bij de overgang naar SEPA geïntroduceerd. Sindsdien is de technologie echter drastisch veranderd en bieden nieuwe oplossingen, via Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), rijkere functionaliteit aan tegen een veel efficiënter bedrijfsmodel. “Het wordt dus hoog tijd om uw bankconnectiviteit opnieuw onder de loep te nemen!”, aldus Roderick Kroon, partner bij Enigma Consulting.

“Het gebruik van een Corporate Payment hub voor bankconnectiviteit tussen de corporate ERP / TMS-systemen en de bankrelaties neemt in aantal toe. Trends als digitalisering, standaardisatie en de toegenomen aandacht voor fraude- en risicomanagement maken het automatiseren van de connectiviteit met banken een onderwerp op de managementagenda.”

Er zijn volgens Kroon momenteel drie interessante ontwikkelingen die resulteren in een verhoogde focus op bankconnectiviteit in de Nederlandse markt:



1. De toegenomen focus op het ‘in control’ willen zijn

“In het verleden waren Treasury en Finance vooral gefocust op de hoge waarde / laag volume Treasury betalingen en niet te veel op de commerciële betaalstromen. Uit de discussies van Enigma met veel corporate treasurers zien we een grotere focus op het ‘in control’ zijn door bijvoorbeeld handmatige activiteiten te verminderen, het aantal tokens voor elektronische banksystemen te verminderen en realtime inzicht in liquiditeit te hebben. De verbeterde proposities van TMS-systemen en netwerk partijen zoals SWIFT, leiden tot de logische stap om de bankconnectiviteit te automatiseren. Dit omvat niet alleen de automatisering van de betaalstromen, maar ook de ontvangst en distributie van bankafschriften intern.”

2. Er zijn nieuwe (payment hub) oplossingen met een revolutionair bedrijfsmodel

“Ook aan de oplossingszijde zien we interessante ontwikkelingen. Nieuwe (Fintech) leveranciers zoals Cobase, Nomentia, Kyriba of TIS nemen (multi-tenant) SaaS als uitgangspunt om de IT-footprint te verkleinen en zorgen ervoor dat klanten direct profiteren van verbeteringen die voor andere gebruikers wordt ontwikkeld. Vooral op het gebied van bankconnectiviteit zien we een verschuiving van ‘maatwerk voor de klant’ naar ‘best-practise oplossingen van de leverancier zelf’. Gebruikers profiteren direct van investeringen die reeds gemaakt zijn voor andere klanten en bankkoppelingen die al deel uitmaken van de standaardoplossing. Sommige leveranciers gaan zelfs nog verder en bieden de gehele bank onboarding aan als ‘service’.”

“Kennis van de details van betaalformaten, (bank)kanaalopties en noodzakelijk contracten is dan niet meer noodzakelijk zelf te hebben. Andere (eveneens SaaS) leveranciers zoals COUPA Treasury of Serrala richten zich op het creëren van complete ecosystemen en samenwerkingen met derde partijen om de waarde propositie en relevantie verder te versterken.”

3. Vervanging van (verouderde) Payment Hub-oplossingen

“Een derde interessante ontwikkeling is dat ‘early stage’ payment hubs aan het einde van hun economische levenscyclus zijn gekomen en aan vervanging toe zijn. Sterker nog, één grote speler (CPH van FIS) heeft haar klanten geïnformeerd einde 2021 te stoppen met het product waardoor tientallen bedrijven op zoek moeten naar een andere oplossing.”

Met de introductie van SEPA in 2012 maakte een groot aantal bedrijven de keuze om een payment hub te implementeren, vertelt Kroon. “De belangrijkste focus in die tijd was het verminderen van de complexiteit van veranderingen in het bestaande IT-landschap. In die tijd speelden Payment Hub-oplossingen vooral een rol bij:

  • Bestandsconversie of -verrijking van (in NL Clieop) formaten naar SEPA formaten
  • SEPA-machtigingsbeheer voor automatische incasso om de (te complexe) ‘FIRST versus ‘RECURRENT’ richtlijnen te volgen en het nieuw vereiste ‘machtigingskenmerk’ te administreren
  • Het bieden van een alternatief voor kanalen die banken besloten uit te faseren om hun SEPA-programma’s te vereenvoudigen (bijvoorbeeld het ING Finstream-kanaal)”

“De stand van de techniek was echter totaal anders dan tegenwoordig. API’s, SaaS of Cloud bestonden niet. De implementatie was veelal ‘on-premise’ met een aanzienlijke IT-voetafdruk en initiële CAPEX-investering. In de afgelopen maanden heeft Enigma Consulting meerdere discussies gevoerd over de noodzaak om deze ‘vroege’ payments hubs te vervangen en zijn wij betrokken bij meerdere selectie en vervangingstrajecten. De leverancierselectie projecten die we hebben gedaan ter vervanging van bestaande oplossingen hebben interessant genoeg een zeer positieve businesscase als resultaat:

  • Er zijn grote extra investeringen (soms upgrades) nodig in de legacy-oplossingen om de IT-beveiliging te verbeteren of om nieuwe bedrijfsfuncties beschikbaar te maken. Nieuwe oplossingen zullen deze kosten onmiddellijk elimineren;
  • De huidige kosten zijn in vergelijking met de kosten van nieuwe oplossingen een stuk duurder;
  • Sommige leveranciers zijn van eigenaar veranderd en de focus op payments én bankconnectiviteit is verdwenen, terwijl nieuwe oplossingen de huidige marktfactoren en ontwikkelingen in het betaaldomein zeer groep begrijpen;
  • Nieuwe SaaS / Cloud-oplossingen verkleinen de IT-footprint aanzienlijk en vereisen veel minder (vaak schaarse) capaciteit van IT voor onderhoud / upgrades;
  • De huidige payment hubs bieden een breder scala aan diensten en kunnen veel eenvoudiger (via API’s) worden geïntegreerd met andere systemen (bijv. cashmanagement, fraude, treasury, ERP, transactie monitoring);
  • Veel payment hubs bieden mu volledige ondersteuning voor ‘on-behalf’ (POBO / COBO) verwerking in combinatie met in-house bankieren en / of virtuele accountoplossingen.”

Is bankconnectiviteit een apart onderwerp?

Kroon: “Niet per se. Hoewel het onderwerp zelf perfect als individueel vraagstuk kan worden aangepakt, zien we dat onze klanten de benodigde verandering op dit domein koppelen aan een bredere discussie over hun financiële waardeketen. Vaak gaat een noodzakelijke verandering in het connectiviteitsdomein van banken hand in hand met bredere discussies over de visie ten aanzien van ‘betalen’ en het gerelateerde Target Operating Model, waarin alle marktontwikkelingen (outside in), interne ambities (inside out) en discussie over de bankrelatie (s) worden meegenomen. De selectie van de best passende leverancier voor de payment hub moet dan worden gezien in het bredere perspectief van een routekaart (roadmap) voor Payments op de middellange termijn.”

Dus wat nu te doen?

“We raden aan om de oplossing die is gekozen voor de bankconnectiviteit opnieuw te (laten) beoordelen. Indien deze nog niet geautomatiseerd is kan er een sterke businesscase zijn om dit te veranderen, de efficiëntie te verbeteren en risico’s te verminderen. Indien er al wel een oplossing is kunnen er argumenten zijn om te profiteren van vervanging door een van de nieuwe oplossingen die ‘meer bieden voor minder’.”

“Wij adviseren om verder te kijken dan alleen bankconnectiviteit en het volledige betaaldomein in beschouwing te nemen om te valideren of men voldoende voorbereid is op de toekomst, rekening houdend met alle nieuwe ontwikkelingen in het betalingsverkeer. Enigma Consulting kan de business case versterken door een efficiënt traject met behulp van de unieke ‘RFP-as-a- service’ en ‘Payments Road map’.”

Bank connectivity – why it is not a one-size-fits-all issue

04-05-2021 | Luca Crivellari | treasuryXL |

Corporate to bank communication is still a very pressing issue in cash management. There are several alternatives that allow corporates to interface and exchange data with banks, and most of the times it is complex for treasurers to identify the best choice. The consequence of not adopting the best setup might be to receive inadequate or old information, or the inability to have the right level of control over the issue of payments. The aim of the article is to assist treasurers in identifying all the relevant variables, and to take a decision that factors in all the possible impacts of each alternative.


Introduction – Why bank connectivity is still a hot topic?

In 1973, over 200 banks from 15 countries created a cooperative body with the aim of easing the communication among banks. This organization was born under the name of SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.

SWIFT enables its customers to automate and standardize the processing of financial transactions, thereby lowering costs, reducing operational risk and eliminating inefficiencies from their operations.

The rise in global trade was the main reason why financial institutions were pressed by defining a common standard for international payments and reporting, and the aim was to avoid lengthy conversions, useless charges and operational inefficiencies that might derive from the use of different standards.

Fast forward to today, SWIFT is the undisputed backbone of financial markets, with over 11,000 financial institutions and corporations in more than 200 countries, processing a record of 46,3 million messages in a single day on the FIN service. SWIFT messages are nowadays used for both bank-to-bank and corporate-to-bank communication, and the organization has developed dedicated categories for messages that are related to payments, cash management, foreign exchange, trade finance, treasury markets, and securities.

Overtime, several other organizations with a similar aim were created, at national or international level. It is worth to mention the CBI (Customer to Business Interaction, former Corporate Banking Interbancario) consortium in Italy, and the EBICS (Electronic Banking Internet Communication Standard) protocol in Germany.

We still live in a world of different standards and practices, where corporates often struggle in navigating among the different options they have when it comes to issue a payment or to receive a piece of account statement. This article is meant to be a guide for corporate treasurers on how to select the right connectivity setup, because there is no such a thing as a universal optimum, and every alternative has its own advantages and its own shortcomings.

From the experience I gathered during the last years of conversations with several corporates based throughout Europe, one of their most relevant priorities is to consolidate an accurate picture of the liquidity available in the company bank accounts, on a daily basis. Too many organizations, including some with a relevant experience in international business and with a very important turnover, are still relying on Excel files shared on a monthly basis, in order to get the information of the balance that is sitting in a certain bank. In a world where business is changing rapidly, this can be an issue.

Moreover, the ever-changing technology landscape is adding complexity to the issue. New trends as the API-based connectivity can definitely allow a more efficient exchange of information, shortening the gap to a real time treasury, while the migration from MT to MX messaging standard is going to heavily impact how payments are going to be settled in the near future.

In conclusion, bank connectivity is still a hot topic because it is yet perceived as being a complicated issue by many corporates, and there is a clear need for treasurers to figure out all the relevant variables before choosing the most valid option for their company.

The alternatives on the market

Years of innovation and progress in information technology and financial markets have developed a wide array of possible bank connectivity services. In order for a treasurer to take the most educated choice, it is essential to list and examine all the options available. The list goes from the simplest to the most complex.

  • E-banking or bank-proprietary platforms: the base scenario nowadays is for a company to exchange messages and documents over an e-banking platform. This kind of platforms are provided by most of the commercial banks, and they include a common range of functionalities such as the possibility to import payment files from the Enterprise Resource Provider, approve them and send them over to the bank for the execution of the transaction. On the informative side, banks can allow their clients to download account statement messages, and possibly to collect statements sent by other banks.

Additional features that an e-banking platform might have are, for example, the possibility to manage direct debit mandates, or to place FX dealing orders to the bank.

Most of the e-banking solution in the market are endowed with a scheduler function that allows to exchange files with external systems such as the Enterprise Resource Provider or the Treasury Management System.

Companies that are relying on an e-banking platform for bank communications should carefully examine the range of functionalities that are included in the solution, when looking for a bank to work with. Corporate e-banking platforms developed by international banks might be more adequate for companies with international business, while domestic banks might develop functionalities that are more fit to the domestic market.

Another variable to consider is the technology that runs behind the platform. Most banks are nowadays offering web-based solutions that are more flexible and easier to maintain than hosted solutions.

The main advantage of relying on e-banking connectivity is the fact that it requires virtually no effort for the channel to be available, especially if it is a web-based service.

Although it is a very practical solution, companies that have multiple banking relationship will need to activate multiple e-banking platform to issue transactions from these bank accounts. Another shortcoming is that the availability and the security of each e-banking platform relies on the systems of the bank who is providing the service, and this can be a potential risk if the financial institution is not disciplined enough to run a highly secure infrastructure.

  • Multibank platforms: one of the most annoying disadvantages of leveraging on e-banking connectivity is to maintain the access to multiple platforms, and to constantly need to switch from one to the other during the day. This shortfall can be bypassed by the adoption of a multibank platform. These solutions work just like an e-banking platform, but they give the possibility to manage bank accounts belonging to more banks via a single solution.

This possibility is often developed by multinational banking groups, that might allow to reach bank accounts within the same banking group via a single e-banking solution.

Alternatively, some banking communities have developed country-wide standards that allow the possibility to manage all the bank accounts that a company has in the country with a single e-banking channel. This is the case of Italy with the CBI service.

Technical advantages and disadvantages of this solution are essentially the same of the e-banking connectivity that was described in the previous point.

  • Host to host connectivity: some financial institutions allow their corporate clients to exchange files via a secured file transfer mechanism. This option is preferred when the company has a privileged relationship with a specific bank, and this is the case because the setup of a host-to-host connection can be a time consuming task both on the bank and on the corporate side.

It is important to bear in mind that a dedicated host to host connection can be a resource intensive solution to maintain, therefore it is key to agree with the partner bank who is responsible in the maintenance of the service, and which is the minimum uptime contractually agreed.

Having a host to host connection with a specific bank means that the company is clearly trusting the security protocol of the financial institution. Connections of this kind are normally secured by an encryption protocol, and this makes a host-to-host connection generally more secure than an e-banking connection.

  • SWIFT connection: most of the companies with a complex cash management infrastructure choose to connect directly to the SWIFT network.

Being part of the SWIFT network means for a company to be identified with a specific SWIFT code, the same identifier that is normally used by banks.

It also means that a company can securely exchange files with several banking partners from a single channel, and for this reason a SWIFT connection is the preferred option for companies that have implemented a central payment factory.

Two separate services are used within the SWIFT network: the FIN service is used to exchange single MT messages to banks connected to the network. This service is normally used to receive account statements such as MT940/2.

The second service used is called FileAct, and it is the service used to exchange any kind of file to banks. This service is mostly used for bulk payment files such as XML.

Joining the SWIFT network as a mean to consolidate payment operations in the company headquarter or in a shared service center can definitely bring efficiencies, but at the same time it makes sense to go through this road only if the company has the necessary resources to maintain a SWIFT connection overtime, or if it is willing to outsource the maintenance of the connection to a service bureau.

  • API-based connection: with the sharp rise of open banking in Europe, driven by the PSD2 regulation, the adoption of APIs is becoming more and more common among banks, corporates, and software vendors. An API, or Application Programming Interface, is an interface that allows a secure exchange of information among several software applications. Through an API, the company and the bank can exchange information such as payment files or account statements, without the need to setup and maintain a resource-intensive host-to-host connection.

Although it is a very interesting concept, most of the players in the financial industry still have to develop an adequate IT infrastructure in order to get the benefits of this new protocol.

An important role can be played by software vendors that are offering Enterprise Resource Providers or Treasury Management Systems, since they have a strong incentive to differentiate their offer by develop APIs that would connect their solution to the largest possible number of banks.

Who should manage your SWIFT connection, and why should it be FIS?

Every company that wishes to connect to the SWIFT network should ask itself which configuration is the best for them. The main question to consider for a company is if it has the adequate resources to manage and run a SWIFT connection, or if they want to leverage on a service bureau.

Companies that wish to setup and maintain their SWIFT connection should plan the IT resources required to host the SWIFT software, and the personnel that will be dedicated to fulfill all the functional and technical duties required by SWIFT or by the banks.

Because of the effort that is required to setup and maintain a SWIFT connection, a company might decide to outsource those tasks. A SWIFT service bureau can help companies to establish and ensure the availability of the SWIFT network overtime.

Via the Managed Bank Connectivity service, FIS offers its capabilities as one of the largest SWIFT service bureaus in the world, being a key partner for more than 350 groups of banks and corporates, spread in over 35 countries. As part of the Service Level Agreement that FIS has with its clients, service availability is set for a minimum of 99,5%, although the average uptime for 2020 was 99,99%.

Companies that choose to leverage on a service bureau are either those with a very limited staff within the treasury department, or those that have a very complex cash management infrastructure.

The cost of connecting to the SWIFT network via a service bureau can be quite relevant, therefore companies that are evaluating this kind of solution should create a comprehensive and accurate business case that includes both direct and indirect expenses for both alternatives.

Which variables should be considered?

A company should consider several variables when evaluating which is the most adequate connectivity setup.

  • The size of the business: it might sound overkill for a small corporate to adopt a SWIFT connection, in fact most of the small business normally rely on e-banking portals. More complicated connectivity choices are normally more expensive, and it might not be sustainable for a modest company to adopt more complex solutions
  • The number of markets the company is operating: multinational companies normally need several banks in order to do business internationally, therefore a company that is active in several countries might want to adopt a SWIFT connection in order to collect the daily account statements and to orchestrate their payment flows.
  • The number of banking relationships: a company that is operating with several banks might find difficult to maintain access to several e-banking portals. In this case, a company of this kind might want to evaluate a SWIFT connection, unless a country wide multibank standard is available.
  • The company treasury policies: there are several reasons for a company to centralize their payments at headquarter level, or to keep them at country or at division level. The choice of connectivity should reflect the processes in place within a company: in corporate groups where every country is responsible to issue their own transactions, and banking relationships are limited in number, e-banking platforms can work just fine, while on the other hand an international payment factory will most probably require access to the SWIFT network.

Whatever process should the company have in place, it should anyway explore a way to consolidate the account statements of all the subsidiary at headquarter level, in order for the holding company to have complete information on the liquidity situation at group level, and to make sure that liquidity is used in the best possible way.

How to choose the best connectivity solution?

If there is one thing that I have learned by talking to corporate treasurers overtime, it is that no treasury is alike, and every treasury has its own peculiarities.

Given the vast array of bank connectivity options, I will define a few examples of treasury infrastructure, and I will pair them to my recommended choice of connectivity.


Case

 

 

Recommended solution

 

 

Company Alfa

 

Alfa is a company based in the UK, producing semi-finished goods for the food industry. The production is completely sold to English companies, and all its suppliers are based in the UK.

Alfa has two bank accounts, with two English cooperative banks.

Through the e-banking portal of the two banking partner, Alfa will be able to perform all the necessary operations for its daily business.

 

Company Beta

 

Beta is the headquarter company of a large conglomerate of ventures, operating in several industries. Since the subsidiaries operate in very different markets, the group policy is for every subsidiary to manage their treasury separately, and to orchestrate their payments independently.

The group has relationships with around 30 banks, counting more than 600 bank accounts.

Every subsidiary of the Beta group will choose its most efficient setup, but the holding company will need to setup a channel to collect efficiently the account statement of all the 600 bank accounts of the group. This will allow Beta group to closely monitor the transactions and to efficiently use its liquidity.

Given the large number of bank relationship, my advice would be to setup a SWIFT connection.

 

Company Gamma

 

Gamma is a group of companies providing consulting services. The group has grown dramatically in the last years, acquiring smaller ventures around the world, and the CFO just hired a group treasurer that has the task to rationalize the banking relationships, and to setup the most efficient treasury infrastructure.

Payments are quite limited in number.

It would make sense for Gamma to look for a global bank with which to open bank accounts around the world.

By having one main bank, Gamma will easily orchestrate a cash pooling from its headquarter, and it will be easy for the group treasurer to control the payments that are performed by the local staff.

The most efficient connectivity scenario is a host-to-host connection (or a connection via API if available), with the main banking partner, while payments from minor bank accounts will be done via the e-banking.

 

Company Delta

 

Delta is a telecommunication company operating at global level. Due to the nature of its business, the company sends and collects a vast amount of payments of any size from retail and business customers located in several countries.

The company needs to offer the widest range of payment options, therefore it needs to have relevant banking relationships in many countries.

The best way to orchestrate payments and collections on such a complex company is to setup a connection to the SWIFT network.

Given the very complex cash management setup and the large number of banks involved, it will be essential to have the infrastructure served by a service bureau.

 

Company Epsilon

 

Epsilon is a company operating in the mining and trading industry, headquartered in Spain but with operations in other five countries.

The company needs to maintain a wide range of banking relationship due to the complex financing plans in place.

The treasury department employs a single person, and there is no plan for the company to hire more treasury staff.

Due to the complex landscape of banking relationships, and the need for the company to control the incoming and outgoing information flows to the banks, my advice would be to implement a SWIFT connection.

As highlighted in the box, it would be extremely hard for a single person to handle the requirements coming from SWIFT and the banks, therefore my suggestion is to adopt a Service Bureau

 

Conclusion – a complex matter requires a complex answer

As I do with most of the complex questions I receive, when asked which is the ideal connectivity setup for my company, my natural answer is: “it depends”.

The aim of this article was to communicate how sophisticated it can be to identify the best possible way to connect a corporate to a bank, or to several banks. My wish is for every treasurer out there to carefully balance all the options, and to include all the relevant items into a specific business case, in order to have a functioning and sustainable infrastructure.

More about the author, who is Luca Crivellari?

Luca is based in Italy and he is a Sales Executive at FIS, specialized in Corporate Liquidity solutions. He has a solid experience in cash management and treasury, having matured experiences in banking and fintech.

Thank you for reading!

 

ECB and a Digital euro: positive consultation results

03-05-2021 | Carlo de Meijer | treasuryXL

Last year I wrote a blog on the ECB plans to investigate if one should introduce a Digital euro. They announced to launch a public consultation on the desirability of such a central bank digital currency for the euro zone.

Now we are a half year later and in a comprehensive analysis of the results of this consultation the ECB published the findings of this inquiry that mirrored a rather positive attitude. The report thereby provides important input into the ECB’s analytical and experimental work and into the upcoming decision of the Governing Council on whether (or not) to launch a formal investigation phase in view of the possible issuance of a digital euro as a payment instrument. So nothing has been decided so far!


Why a digital euro?

In that same blog I mentioned the various reasons why central banks all over the world, including the ECB, are investigating the need and viability of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Such as the further digitalisation in the payments world and the continued trend towards a more cashless society. And China’s advancements with their own digital Yuan and the fear that it would become a dominant currency eroding other international used currencies like the dollar and the euro. But also Facebook’s  plan to launch its stable coin named Diem that could be used globally and the big interest of private people and companies to invest in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether with the danger of crowding out fiat currencies.

According to the ECB these developments may undermine central bank’s control over monetary policy and endanger financial and monetary stability in the EU. So in fact the launch of a Digital euro is increasingly becoming a strategic issue for Europe. EU members like France but also the Netherlands have recently begun experimenting with a Digital euro. But any decision would require intensive cooperation between member states.

ECB Digital euro consultation

The ECB recently released its report on the consultation on a digital euro. The consultation that was launched in October last year, received over 8200 responses. The large majority of respondents were private citizens (94%), of which mostly men between 35 and 54 years old, while the other participants were professionals, including banks, payment service providers, merchants and tech companies. Most responses came from Germany (47%), Italy (15%) and France (11%).

Main findings

The consultation report shows that Europe’s citizens are in favour of a digital euro, but under a number of conditions.

The results show that citizens as well as professionals (esp. merchants and other companies) are in favour of such a development, provided that the Digital euro respects privacy (43%) and confidentiality of transactions and that it is sufficiently secure (18%) to prevent fraud. They also support requirements to avoid illicit activities with fewer than one in ten responses from members of the public showing support for full anonymity.

 

“The record level of participation in our public consultation and the willingness of citizens and professionals to support a digital euro are encouraging. Their responses show the high expectations that prospective users have for a digital euro and provide valuable input for our work.” Fabio Panetta, ECB Board member 

 

According to the document, two in five respondents thought that “Digital euro transactions should be visible to either intermediaries or the central bank, which would effectively allow the application of anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) requirements.” Additionally, one out of ten respondents believes that transfers under a certain threshold should remain private.

 

“A digital euro would therefore allow people to make payments without sharing their data with third parties, other than what is required by regulation. This differs from private payments, where services are generally offered in exchange for personal data that are then used for commercial purposes.” Christine Lagarde, president ECB

 

The respondents also want a Digital euro that is easy to use, without additional costs (9%), and that allows for fast and reliable payments via payment cards and iPhones (8%).

More than two-thirds acknowledge the importance of intermediaries providing innovative services that allow access to a digital euro and indicate that it should be integrated into existing banking and payment systems. They would like additional services provided on top of basic digital euro payments.

Around a quarter of the respondents take the view that a Digital euro should make cross-border payment faster and cheaper. They also want to be able to use the digital euro outside the Eurozone, though with limits.

 

“A digital euro can only be successful if it meets the needs of .Europeans.” “We will do our best to ensure that a digital euro meets the expectations of citizens highlighted in the public consultation”. Fabio Panetta, ECB Board member

Next steps

The feedback is now to be communicated to the European Parliament as well as the Commission and the Council. And it is up to the Euro system – which includes the ECB and central banks of countries that have adopted the euro – to decide whether the project should be launched.

Following the findings of the consultation, the ECB is set to take a decision on starting formal investigation on a Digital euro on whether to commence central bank digital currency trials by the middle of 2021, before a further six months to one year practical trial of the technology.

And if this decision will be a positive and the green light is given, the Digital euro, a complement (not a replacement) to banknotes and coins, could see the light of day in four years from now, according to ECB president Lagarde. She indicated it may be 2025 before any digital currency would be ready.

 

“Because it’s a technical endeavour as well as a fundamental change because we need to make sure that we do it right. We owe it to Europeans, they need to feel safe and secure. The need to know that they are holding a central bank-backed equivalent of a digital banknote. We need to make sure that we’re not going to break any system, but enhance the system”. Christine Lagarde, president ECB

 

The ultimate design of the digital euro lies with the ECB that will take the public consultation into consideration and look into various possibilities, including use of distributed ledger, definition of spending limits, use of a device for transfers and payments, online/offline capabilities, or availability of cross-border transactions outside Europe.

The Dutch positive stands towards the Digital euro

In narrow cooperation with the ECB and the other national banks in the Eurozone, the DNB is also exploring the possibility of issuing a Digital euro in addition to euro banknotes and coins.

In a recently published report, the Dutch Central Bank said it was ‘ready to play a leading role’ with research and development into its own digital currency as well as a Europe-wide digital currency. The Netherlands would be a suitable testing ground, according to the report, being well placed to develop and trial a Digital euro. The Netherlands is the country where the move out of cash is the largest in Europe. Nearly two thirds of all payments in the country are digital.

The main findings of the report

In this report the DNB researched the satisfaction with the current payment system and the willingness to hold a Digital euro account among a representative group of Dutch citizens. The findings are broadly in line with those of the ECBs public consultation.

While citizens are very satisfied with the current payment options, half of the Dutch population would be interested in opening a current account for Digital euros, an electronic form of central bank money that is available for all citizens and businesses – similar to banknotes and coins, but exclusively in digital form. Relating top the amount they would be willing to deposit into a digital euro account, most of the, opted for €101-500.

Main condition is that privacy is well protected, security features should be adequately safeguarded if people want to open such an account and the risk of theft and fraud of their assets is minimized.

Familiarity with the concept of a Digital euro increases people’s willingness to use it as a means of payment. Almost half of Dutch citizens are familiar with the concept, although most people indicated they did not knew exactly what it entails. 53% said they had never heard of it, 33%had heard about it but do not know what it means while 13% knows exactly what it means.

The most frequently cited reason why the Dutch public believe a Digital euro would be useful and could be a reliable complement to cash and existing electronic payment instruments, is that central banks, unlike commercial banks, do not operate on a for-profit base.

Balancing act

While earlier discussions on CBDC were mostly academic, the focus has increasingly turned to the technical aspects and financial and monetary issues. The ECB received many technical suggestions from the respondents. According to a quarter of individual respondents, end-user solutions comprising (smart) cards or a secure element in smartphones would be preferred to facilitate cash-like features. Building a Digital euro for retail payments may require an infrastructure that is interoperable with existing point of sale terminals or with digital platforms

What may it bring?

A Digital euro could bring many benefits to the population as it would grant greater usability, speed and safer payments transactions while it could leverage technology. It could also enhance digital inclusion, facilitate monetary policy implementation, and help protect against frauds and thefts. Being issued by the ECB and supposed to be not more expensive than the use of cash, it would be a cost-efficient payment solution for individuals and businesses with limited interchange fees, if any.

What about the future of commercial banks?

A digital euro however could pose a number of problems in a number of areas. These should be attention points in the further discussion that should be addressed before the release of the Digital euro to ensure the stability of the financial and monetary system.

First of all for banks, what will be there future?  What about the already identifying competition by fin techs and big techs using crypto currencies?

Lagarde raised that certain intermediaries – that is, banks – are apprehensive about what the issuance of this Digital euro may mean for them, noting that they should not be concerned.

 

“We need to also make sure that we are not going to break the system but to enhance the system.” “Those intermediaries will continue to co-exist, to develop their business and conduct their activities with cash which will continue to be available as will digital currency.” Christine Lagarde, president ECB

 

But in an increasingly digitised world banks may increasingly have to ask themselves how they may serve their customers’ future needs and how they can distinct themselves from their competitors.

And what about financial and monetary stability?

And how to avoid in times of financial crisis that a digital euro will “blow a hole” in commercial bank’s balance sheet. Especially in the event that savers would massively transform their deposits in banks into central bank money, in case of economic or financial crisis. This bank run could increase the cost of financing for banks, and in turn the interest rates on bank loans.

Almost half of the respondents of the ECB Consultation mention a need for holding limits, tired remuneration, penalty rates to excess balances or a combination of the two, to manage/control  the amount of digital euro in circulation and prevent a massive flight to digital euros in times of a financial crisis. A similar share of professional respondents agree.

Competition or cooperation?

Another issue is: will CBDCs trigger competition between central banks or cooperation? With the exception of China, most central banks are looking for (some sort of) cooperation. Under the auspices of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the ECB is part of a core group of central banks including the Bank of Canada, Riksbank, the Bank of Japan, the Swiss National Bank, Bank of England (BoE) and the Fed, who are jointly exploring CBDC.

The way forward

The topic of a Digital euro has gained much more public attention in the Netherlands and that is not strange as a much higher proportion of their payments is digital compared to other countries in the Eurozone. But for a Digital euro to get more footing in Europe, what is required is a more in-depth policy debate to be held more broadly across the euro area. This given that it is the Euro system that will decide on the potential introduction of a Digital euro.

If the decision should be taken within the Euro system to experiment with some more concrete type of digital euro the Netherlands said it is ready to play a leading role!

 

Carlo de Meijer

Economist and researcher

 

 

 

 

Source

Vacancy | Treasury Manager for a multi billion asset company with international listings

30-04-2021 | Treasurer Search | treasuryXL

The ideal candidate for this position holds a relevant degree and is at a career stage where combining the operational with the more strategic makes sense. She is at ease in a multicultural environment, speaks English and, next to that, at least Dutch and/or French. Her current or previous employer enabled her to learn a lot about cash management and TMS. As a person she takes initiative, has analytical skills and enjoys building an organisation. Both corporate treasurers as well as treasury consultants wanting to move to the other side of the table will be considered.

Tasks 

Together with the group treasurer the treasury manager is responsible for all treasury tasks. These will be operational and in support but, given the industry type of our client, the treasury manager is also expected to pick up tactical and strategic tasks. These tasks will include risk management and in-/external funding. The treasury manager is expected to take the lead in the TMS implementation.

Client

Our client is a multi billion asset company with international listings and active in a growing market. The organisation is investing in improving processes, including treasury.

Remuneration and Process

Indication of the base salary is €75K with excellent fringe benefits, there is a bandwidth. Currently, due to covid-19, most employees are working from home. It is not to be expected that, in due time, all employees have to work full-time at the office; policies are currently being written. For candidates that qualify and are interested, further information is available.

The Treasurer Test might be part of the recruitment process.

 

Location

Brussels / Home Office

Contact person

Pieter de Kiewit
T: (0850) 866 798
M: (06) 1111 9783
E: pdk@treasurersearch.com

 

APPLY HERE

 

Choosing the right international business payments provider: what should you check for?

29-04-2020 | treasuryXL | XE |

Once you’ve ascertained what you need from a provider, the next step is shopping around to select the best provider for your business.

Working with a foreign exchange (FX) specialist can greatly help your business to navigate the currency markets and protect your bottom line from potential market volatility. However, not all providers are the same because not all businesses are the same. Each business has its own currency needs and risk exposures dependent on its size, operations, and planned payments.

We recently offered a guide on understanding what you need from an international payments provider. We encouraged you to consider:

  • Overhead visibility of your FX requirements

  • How you prefer to conduct business

  • The simplicity (or complexity) or your FX requirements

  • The payments your business makes or will make.

All of these factors can greatly impact what you’ll need from an FX provider to suit your business.

Once you’ve ascertained what you need from a provider, the next step is shopping around to select the best provider for you. In addition to considering whether they can meet your needs, be discerning about each provider and whether they should be trusted with your business’s international payments.

Do your due dilligence 

As with any financial services company, do your research and use your best judgment. If something feels off, it very well could be. If the rate looks too good to be true, it probably is. There are some other questions that you should ask yourself as you research each provider:

  • Are they registered? Companies that provide money transfer services in the UK, for example, have to be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can check which ones are authorised on their site. If you deal with a firm that is authorised or regulated by the FCA, you will be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service if something goes wrong. Confirm that the provider is registered with your country’s authority.

  • Are they authorised? Larger companies are called an “authorised payment institution” while smaller ones are listed as “small payment institutions”. All authorised payment institutions must meet obligations that include providing certain information to customers before they commit to using the service. This includes whether they safeguard client money, what exchange rate they will provide and whether there will be any additional charges, how the transaction will be carried out, how long the money will take to arrive, how long they will take to correct a transaction in the event of a mistake and your rights to cancel a transaction.

  • How does their site look? You can also take a look at the company website to see if there are any additional security measures in place. Looking at their site will also give you a quick snapshot of the business. If their site is outdated or poorly-run, it could reflect poorly on their business practices.

  • Can you call? Sometimes, the quickest way to get a feel for a provider is to speak with them directly. Giving the company a quick call is another way to check you are comfortable trusting them with your money and to get answers to any questions you might still have about their service. This call will also give you an idea of whether you would be able to speak to someone if you do encounter any issues with your transfer.

What should you check before deciding which provider to use?

  • How strong is the company’s balance sheet? If they don’t have full accounts on their website, you can check at Companies House. Xe, for example, is owned by NASDAQ-listed global payments processing company Euronet Worldwide Inc.

  • How big are they and how long have they been in business? A large, established company with experience in the markets will likely be better-equipped. At Xe, we’ve been in the business for almost 30 years now with offices around the world to serve our customers.

  • How good is their payment processing? Are they audited by reputable auditors? Can they send payments quickly and securely?

  • How many other businesses trust them with their international payments needs? Judge them by the company they keep. Do they work with any other reputable businesses? Do they have experience working with businesses like yours? Xe for example, serves over 13,000 businesses of all sizes across 100 industry sectors.

  • What online security measures do they have in place to keep your funds safe? Look out for well-known online security ‘trust marks’ such as Norton online security. For example, if the site URL begins with “https”, that makes it a secure site. A URL beginning with “http” is a warning sign of an insecure site, which you should not give your sensitive information to.

What should your business know about Xe? 

At Xe, we know the currency markets. With nearly 30 years in the business, we are the world’s trusted authority with the knowledge and experience to help businesses navigate the currency business and their international payments. Today, over 13,000 businesses across 100 industry sectors look to Xe for:

  • Fast, secure and simple international payments

  • Tools and solutions to manage their currency needs

  • Expert FX risk management guidance



Get in touch with XE.com

About XE.com

XE can help safeguard your profit margins and improve cashflow through quantifying the FX risk you face and implementing unique strategies to mitigate it. XE Business Solutions provides a comprehensive range of currency services and products to help businesses access competitive rates with greater control.

Deciding when to make an international payment and at what rate can be critical. XE Business Solutions work with businesses to protect bottom-line from exchange rate fluctuations, while the currency experts and risk management specialists act as eyes and ears in the market to protect your profits from the world’s volatile currency markets.

Your company money is safe with XE, their NASDAQ listed parent company, Euronet Worldwide Inc., has a multi billion-dollar market capitalization, and an investment grade credit rating. With offices in the UK, Canada, Europe, APAC and North America they have a truly global coverage.

Are you curious to know more about XE?
Maurits Houthoff, senior business development manager at XE.com, is always in for a cup of coffee, mail or call to provide you detailed information.

 

 

Visit XE.com

Visit XE partner page

 

 

 

Treasury: the sad story about the ones that do not get it

28-04-2021 | treasuryXL | Pieter de Kiewit

The great Dutch philosopher Johan Cruijff said: “Je gaat het pas zien als je het door hebt”, roughly translated “you only see if you get it”. I recently thought about this when visiting and working with a mid-sized local company. Their treasury team was much bigger than the teams of companies in the same industry two or three times their revenue size. In this team, for example, they had two employees full-time entering manual payments. Data and instructions are gathered from a multitude of systems and typed into banking software. Time is lost, mistakes are made, staff demotivated and money lost. They refused to hire a qualified candidate who could help because his expected base salary was a few thousands of euros too high…..

Recently the Dutch regulatory body for financial markets, AFM, published this research that shows that companies would benefit from a more mature market in alternative funding. One of their observations is that new solutions, for instance in working capital, are accepted even though the rates that have to be paid are preposterous. They see the market grow, not enough focus on credit rating and doubt if the market will stabilize in a professional manner. A stronger regulatory framework is suggested. I am in doubt, who will do the audit?

Those who are in need for strong treasury seem to ignore the available expertise. Distrust? Lack of time? Afraid of treasury lingo?


Personally I hope that entrepreneurs and CFOs will train their critical thinking and only use what they understand. Cost that are hidden in the total price of their treasury solutions are regretfully accepted easier than a separate price for the right solution and one for the advice. That is regrettable because one of the effects is that companies get perhaps the cheapest but the wrong solutions.

We have a simple suggestion: digest what you know about treasury and ask the most obvious question you can think of. Ask the expert panel and pass our suggestion forward to anyone you might think have a proper question. It is a matter of time until we get it all. I am sure.

Take care, Pieter

 

 

Pieter de Kiewit

Owner at Treasurer Search

 

 

 

Webinar Reminder | April 28 | “Bitcoin. Is this the New Reality in Corporate Treasury or is it a Hoax?”

| 27-04-2021 | VU Amsterdam |

Have you signed up for the webinar for tomorrow? Here is your reminder call, enjoy!

This Webinar is offered to you by the postgraduate programme Treasury Management & Corporate Finance at the School of Business and Economics.

Webinar Treasury Management in short

Date:     Wednesday 28 April 2021
Time:     19.00 – 20.30 hrs.
Costs:    Free-of-charge

Bitcoins are in the news. Opinions vary a lot in between “the new global currency standard” and “difficult to understand in practice and governance”.  Corporate Treasurers need at least to have a start of an opinion. We see Tesla and other big corporates currently buying crypto currencies. What are opinions among corporate treasury professionals? Is investing surplus cash in crypto currencies the new reality in corporate treasury or is it a hoax?

Tristan Verhagen, a student in our TM&CF programme, will introduce the topic at this webinar. Tristan will share his provoking ideas about investing surplus cash in Bitcoin. Is this the New Reality in Treasury or a Hoax? Tristan wrote an academic paper on this subject and this has added value in terms of a new insight for the treasury professional and is very useful for experts as well as laymen to be updated on the issue.

Description Academic Paper

As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important for (institutional) investors and (corporate) treasurers to understand the effects of central bank and government intervention. Especially in the context of Bitcoin and the unique attributes it possesses. The role of central banks and governments in stabilizing the economy and the realization of economic growth in the aftermath of crises is becoming ever more important. Currently central banks and governments are “all in” to cushion the effect(s) of the current crisis. The response is considered to be bigger and broader than it was for the great financial crisis. Interest rates are historically low and central bank balance sheets have expanded considerably. This led to a significant increase in the money supply, which sparked a debate among economists about the implications for inflation.

When central banks and governments worldwide enact in ‘quantitative easing’ and increase the money supply, the associated fiat currencies depreciate in value. In contrast, Bitcoin experiences a ‘quantitative tightening’ (or reduction) of new supply as halving events programmatically decrease the number of new Bitcoin entering circulation regardless the demand for the asset. This feature is native to the digital protocol and possibly makes it the ultimate ‘store of value’ asset. During times of economic uncertainty and in a world where ‘software is eating the world’ more and more (institutional) investors and (corporate) treasurers are becoming convinced of the potential of Bitcoin. The paper/discussion aims to investigate to what extent this is justified.

Speakers

Tristan Verhagen MSc MSRE graduated in Strategic Management from Tilburg University. Real estate is the cornerstone of his career. He has worked for various real estate investors and is now Director Finance & Control at Eigen Haard. A few years ago, he fell through the Bitcoin rabbit hole and since then his views on money and monetary policy have changed significantly. He is open to the idea that Bitcoin’s unique properties will in the future lead to it becoming an important (macro) asset and therefore suitable for a large group of investors (e.g. insurance companies and pension funds).

Strong ideas are worth to have strong opposition, so we have two panel members to challenge the vision of the keynote speaker.

Wilko Bolt is a Senior Economist in the Economics and Research department at De Nederlandsche Bank in Amsterdam and Professor of Payment Systems at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His current research focuses on the payment economics, digital currencies, two-sided markets theory and antitrust implications. He has published in journals such as American Economic Review, European Economic Review, Economic Theory, International Journal of Industrial Organization, International Journal of Central Banking and Journal of Money, Credit and Banking. Bolt was awarded the Hennipman Prize by the Dutch Royal Economic Association in 2007 for his research.

Joan Schutte joined ASML back in 2014 as VP & Corporate Treasurer and is responsible for Treasury, Corporate Finance and Insurances globally. From 2010 to 2014 Joan was Director Treasury for VimpelCom (Veon) in Amsterdam. Before that, he worked 12 years for US based Sara Lee Corporation in various Treasury roles in Curaçao, Singapore and Chicago and as Finance Director for the global procurement function in Utrecht. Joan started his career in Treasury in Belgium for CSM NV and Campbell Soup Company. Joan holds a MSc in Economics from the University of Amsterdam. He serves on the Board of the Dutch Association of Corporate Treasurers (DACT) and has served on the Board of the Association of Corporate Treasurers Singapore (ACTS).

The webinar is moderated by Pieter de Kiewit, he is treasury aficionado, recruitment consultant and owner of Treasurer Search. Together with his team, Pieter finds candidates for interim assignments and permanent positions in corporate treasury. Pieter holds an MSc. in Organizational Science (Technische Bedrijfskunde, Universiteit Twente) and has over 25 years experience in international recruitment. In many ways he contributes to the treasury community by connecting people and companies. He supports educators, for example as a member of the management board of the RT programme of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. On a regular basis he blogs, presents and moderates with the purpose to make treasury known by a bigger audience and facilitate experts to deepen their knowledge.

For whom?

We specifically invite our alumni of the PGO Treasury Management & Corporate Finance and those interested to join the programme and DACT members.  Of course, those professionally involved in the subject, TreasuryXL – followers, are also very welcome to join. A truly inclusive (corporate) treasury community!