Spreadsheet risk: the silent killer of FX performance

07-09-2021 | treasuryXL | Kantox

Imagine a perfectly designed currency hedging program for a company that seeks to protect its annual budget. Given the specific features of that company —especially its pricing dynamics— such a program would allow the finance team to systematically achieve a hedge rate that would be equal or better than the FX budget rate, avoiding overhedging all the while. The hedging strategy would also consider the firm’s degree of forecast accuracy, as well as the forward discount or premium of the currencies in which it trades.

Now imagine that this optimal FX hedging program was implemented on perfectly designed spreadsheets. Armed with super-efficient spreadsheets, the finance team would project forecasted revenues and expenditures, calculate the firm’s exposure to currency risk and set a time frame for the execution of hedges.

A treasurer’s dream come true? Not so fast.

Any reasonably well-designed currency hedging program goes through a process in three phases: the pre-trade phase, the trade phase and the post-trade phase. Each of these phases, in turn, comprises several intricate steps. And here’s where a wholly unexpected risk would sneak in, with potentially devastating consequences: spreadsheet risk, the silent killer of performance.

Spreadsheet risk is omnipresent 

The real value of Multi-Dealer FX trading platforms

16-08-2021 | treasuryXL | Kantox

(Spoiler: it’s not about trading costs)

A few years ago, PwC consultants proposed a clever analogy to illustrate the difference between single-dealer platforms (SDPs) and Multi-Dealer Platforms (MDPs). For banks looking to provide products and services to corporate clients on a platform, SDPs are like an airline’s website, where high-margin sales occur. Multi-Dealer Platforms, in turn, are the equivalent of online aggregators that let customers compare fares and schedules. While the former emphasizes customer relationship intimacy, the latter work as “transactional supermarkets” with a higher degree of automation.

When it comes to the corporate FX market, where spot and forward transactions take the lion’s share in terms of traded volumes, Multi-Dealer Platforms like 360T and SWAPs have been the venue of choice. The shared technology of Multi-Dealer Platforms has enabled them to better adapt to changing customers’ needs than the proprietary technology of most Single-Dealer Platforms. As a result, corporate treasurers have moved en masse to Multi-Dealer Platforms to improve FX trading processes and reduce spreads. As Kantox’s CEO Philippe Gelis argues, the success of Multi-Dealer Platforms has resulted in a spectacular “compression of FX spreads for vanilla products”.

Beyond trading costs: the value proposition of Multi-Dealer Platforms

Lower FX trading costs, the natural result of the Multi-dealer platform proposition, play an important role by facilitating the participation of firms who see a benefit in ‘embracing currencies’ to access new markets and grow their business. But the fixation with lower spreads is unwarranted. Going forward, treasurers will care less about paying 9 bps instead of 10 bps, if a 2% move in the exchange rate can be easily and efficiently handled by an automated hedging program.

To see where the real value of Multi-Dealer Platforms lies, let us start by briefly looking at the three phases of the FX hedging workflow: pre-trade, trade and post-trade.

The pre-trade phase involves sourcing exchange rates for the purpose of pricing as well as capturing and processing the relevant exposure. Once the FX trade is executed and confirmed, the post-trade phase kicks in with reporting and performance analytics as well as accounting and payments and collections.

In this increasingly automated series of steps, MDPs play a key role. Kantox’ partnership with 360T, for example, provides straight-through processing integration for corporates of all sizes to tailor their Multi-Dealer Platform setup to execution and routing rules of their own making. The range of functionalities includes:

  • Trading in spot, forwards, NDFs and swaps with hundreds of liquidity providers
  • Automated trade and data requests via API
  • Transparent pricing with greater efficiency in sourcing
  • Diversification in order to lower counterparty risk
  • Ability to select preferred liquidity providers
  • Complete trade history and audit trail
  • 24/6 execution capabilities
  • ‘Best price execution’ functionality that puts liquidity providers in competition with one another
  • Conditional orders setup with order management tools
  • Automated trade confirmation by API or email

What emerges from this picture is clear: the ‘trade phase’ of the FX corporate workflow is being automated at lightning speed. The reduction in spreads, while important, only tells part of the story. The real value proposition of a Multi-Dealer Platform lies elsewhere: they are an integral part of the seamless, end-to-end management of corporate currency workflows that Currency Management Automation solutions provide.

This process of automation comes with an added bonus: Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) ensure that data can flow seamlessly between different systems (ERP, TMS) without any need for spreadsheets, reducing spreadsheet risk and freeing up valuable treasury resources.

When viewed in this broader dimension, as part of a larger process that includes all the phases of an automated FX hedging program, Multi-Dealer Platforms are part of an ecosystem that allows companies to benefit not only from automating, one by one, the different phases of a hedging program but to have all these processes integrated with one another, thus creating more value than the sum of the parts.

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Press release | Kantox joins the treasuryXL community as Premium Partner

28-07-2021 | treasuryXL | Kantox

treasuryXL announces partnership with Kantox to strengthen dissemination of the latest trends about currency management automation technology

VENLO, The Netherlands, July 28, 2021 – treasuryXL, the community platform for everyone who is active in the world of treasury, and Kantox, the global leader in currency management automation software, today announced the signature of a premium partnership.

This partnership will create a new content resource for the treasuryXL community. Treasurers will now have access to a regular stream of insightful and practical content on currency management automation. This partnership includes:

● Collaboration on messaging, content production, and visibility
● Mutual distribution on select items of interest
● Collaboration on larger themes: event promotion, speaking and experts contribution, publications

Through this partnership, treasuryXL and Kantox are striving to ensure that treasurers are always up to date with the latest news and events in their field.

About treasuryXL

treasuryXL started in 2016 as a community platform for everyone who is active in the world of treasury. Their extensive and highly qualified network consists of experienced and aspiring treasurers. treasuryXL keeps their network updated with daily news, events and the latest treasury vacancies.

treasuryXL brings the treasury function to a higher level, both for the inner circle: corporate treasurers, bankers & consultants, as well as others that might benefit: CFO’s, business owners, other people from the CFO Team and educators.

treasuryXL offers:

● professionals the chance to publish their expertise, opinions, success stories, distribute these and stimulate dialogue.
● a labour market platform by creating an overview of vacancies, events and treasury education.
● a variety of consultancy services in collaboration with qualified treasurers.
● a broad network of highly valued partners and experts.

About Kantox

Kantox is a leader in Currency Management Automation software that enables corporates to effectively manage their FX workflow and leverage currencies for growth. Since 2011, Kantox’s expertise and solutions have allowed businesses to collect FX exposure data and automate their hedging, pricing, payment and collection processes.

The company is headquartered in London and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (reference number 580343) and Kantox European Union, S.L. is based in Barcelona and authorised by the Bank of Spain (reference number 6890) For more information, visit www.kantox.com, @Kantox LinkedIn.

 

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