Webinar: PSD2 & Open banking: impact on the financial ecosystem and new challenges

| 23-11-2020 | Francois De Witte

On December 16th, our Expert Francois de Witte will present a Webinar in collaboration with Febelfin-Academy, regarding PSD2 & Open banking: impact on the financial ecosystem and new challenges.

This training program prepares participants for 2 major challenges of the upcoming years in banking: PSD2 & Open Banking. This will have a major impact on the financial ecosystem and will create new challenges.

The goal of this training course is to:

  • Make participants aware of the ways PSD2 & Open Banking affect banks and other players in Europe;
  • Understand the impact of the technical requirements with a focus on strong customer authentication;
  • Outline the risks and responsibilities of the involved parties within the new regulatory framework;
  • Understand the impact of Open Banking APIs (Application Programming interfaces;
  • Understand the impacts of the PSD2 & Open Banking the financial ecosystem;
  • Evaluate the risk and opportunities created by PSD2 & Open Banking the banks and the new players;
  • Determine action plan for your company.

Target Audience

This training course can be followed by multiple target groups:

  • Managers of a banks/PSP’s/Fintechs involved with the payments and digital strategy
  • Product Development Experts (payments)
  • Service providers involved with Open Banking
  • Corporate Treasurers
  • Compliance officers

Prior Knowledge

Advanced: offers practice-based applications to complement the theoretical knowledge already acquired through the “basic level” courses (in-depth learning).

There is no specific preparation required. For persons who are less acquainted with PSD2 and payments, some pre-course reading material can be made available.”

Program

This training program prepares participants for two key challenges of the upcoming years in banking: PSD2 and Open Banking.

Part I: PSD2 and Open Banking – overview:

  • PSD2: Scope and Basic Principles
  • XS2A (Access the Accounts)
  • New Players: AISP and PISP
  • SCA (Strong Customer Authentication)
  • Consent and SCA
  • Requirements for the Banks and TPPs
  • Timetable
  • Trends in Open Banking

Part II: Open banking architecture: Implications for banks and the New Players

  • XS2A: Risks, Responsibilities and obligations of the related parties
  • XS2A: Availability Requirements
  • Setting up the SCA in Practice
  • SCA: Optimization of the Exemptions
  • Security requirements ensuring consumer protection
  • Addressing the fraud and cyberattack risks
  • Technology: building interfaces – APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)
  • European initiatives to standardize the interfaces
  • Practical aspects – Role of Aggregators
  • Group Exercise

Part 3: PSD2: Potential impact on the market and next steps

  • Global impact on the market – New Players
  • Impact on the Payments Landscape
  • Impact on the Cards and Digital Payment Instruments
  • Impact on the Merchants and the e-commerce
  • Impact on corporates
  • FinTech Companies: ready to disrupt banks?
  • Implication on the Digital Banking Strategy
  • The new role of competition and cooperation
  • Action Plan for Banks and New Players
  • Group Exercise

Practical information

Duration: One day training

Hours: 9AM-5PM (6 training hours)

Location: This training will be given online

Additional information: This training course will be given in English

Pricing: Members (€510), Non-Members (€610), Partner BZB (€510)

REGISTER HERE

Digital Finance Summit | The World After | 24 November 2020

| 20-11-2020 | François de Witte | treasuryXL |

Only 4 days left for the Digital Finance Summit, the highly renowned conference focusing on the ever-increasing digitalisation of the financial industry, is back again this year to set the path for a bright and more dynamic future at the heart of Europe.

Digital Finance Summit is at the crossroads between Tech Talent, Regtech, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Blockchain, Crypto-assets, Artificial Intelligence, Crowdfunding, Cybersecurity and Banking. It gathers global innovators looking to get inspired by a unique blend of industry leaders and turboboost the whole European FinTech ecosystem!

ONLINE EVENT | NOVEMBER 24 | 2020

Due to the current sanitary situation, this year’s edition goes entirely ONLINE!

For the 5th year in a row, FinTech Belgium is preparing a creative programme spread over 3 stages with Keynotes, Workshops and the European FinTech Pitch Battle!  And, of course, be prepared for the most qualitative networking in Digital Finance in Belgium!

REGISTER NOW!

 

 

 

Partner Interview SpendLab | Leaders in Spend Justification

17-11-2020 | treasuryXL | SpendLab |

SpendLab Recovery generates liquidity for clients by using their Accounts Payable Recovery Analyzer (APRA). APRA is a technology platform that combines over 400 algorithms, Big Data, AI, and machine learning, and audits all the raw Accounts Payable data in any ERP system to identify anomalies. Several examples of anomalies include but are not limited to: undue payments, double invoices, overpayments, and overpaid VAT. Over the past years, SpendLab has analysed over 321 million invoices and has recovered more than €200 million EUR for its clients.

We asked the company 10 questions, let’s go!

INTERVIEW

1. Can you tell something about SpendLab Recovery?

SpendLab is the Dutch market leader in spend justification and has grown significantly during the past years. The organization is a former spin-off of the Dutch government with a 98 year old heritage in procurement. SpendLab is specialized in generating liquidity for clients by analyzing- and identifying anomalies in raw Accounts Payable data. Besides the generation of liquidity as part of Treasury, we provide compliance reports that are used by our clients to achieve compliance objectives.

2. What was the main reason to start SpendLab Recovery?

During our analyses back in the day we identified that a significant number of invoices and payments were processed incorrectly in Accounts Payable departments of organizations. As a result of these incorrect processes, liquidity could be recovered over multiple historical years.

During the years we significantly invested in our technology in order to provide our clients with a value proposition that is comprehensible, covering all aspects of an Accounts Payable recovery audit. Despite the approval of financial years by Auditors and Accountants, we are able to recover liquidity from the Accounts Payable for our clients. Nowadays we provide liquidity, a 100% analysis of the administrative Accounts Payable processes, and compliance -and risk reports that can be used for compliance purposes.

3. What is, in your perception, the core issue that SpendLab Recovery solves?

Administrative departments within organizations consistently encompass irregularities that lead to the loss of liquidity, despite the level of automation that is adopted. There will always be a continuous flow of business operations inside an organization, and if there are any checks in place, then these checks are mostly reactive and are used as an add-on for a team or employee. SpendLab specifically focuses on the Accounts Payable and is able to identify any irregularity within the raw AP data. Thereupon, we recover rightful liquidity for clients that they can use for value-adding activities.

4. What are the biggest advantages of using SpendLab Recovery?

From our own perspective the generation of liquidity from the Accounts Payable of financial years that were audited and ‘’closed’’ is a great advantage for our clients. Specifically, we are remunerated for the amount of liquidity that we recover.

In terms of Procurement, the Procurement department is usually in the lead during the contracting phase. However, after this phase a lack of insights and active control exist in how suppliers perform in processing invoices. Through our approach and the methods that we use, you could say that we are educating the suppliers of our clients in processing invoices correctly. Besides, it creates awareness that our clients are performing Accounts Payable Recovery Audits on a structural basis.

5. How does the customer project phase looks like from start till actual results?

Our recovery analysis consists of six project phases and requires approximately four months to conduct. The first results will be visible after only eight weeks. Below the project planning can be found.

6. How fast can customers experience the impact of SpendLab Recovery after implementation?

The average lead time of a recovery project is four months. The first payments from suppliers, however, will be collected after just two months. SpendLab is only charged based on the payments that are received, on the basis of no cure no pay.

7. What is the biggest challenge you ever experienced with SpendLab Recovery?

In the very beginning of Account Payable recovery audits, research was done based on spreadsheets. In the past five years we have invested significantly in our IT-platform APRA®. Nowadays, we have a team of more than twenty employees in the Technology department that are continuously developing software for Recovery. The transformation from manual research to automated research in combination with Machine Learning and Artificial intelligence has been the biggest challenge within SpendLab, and could not have been possible without the team and the investments that had to be made.

It has been a challenging choice to completely focus on IT development. However, this choice has enormously helped our organization in optimizing our service, identifying anomalies in Accounts Payable data, and remaining thought leader in the field of Accounts Payable recovery.

8. What have been the latest successes around product development?

Remote and safe access to ERP systems. Whereas our Data Collections team used to literally fly all around the world to align data requirements and to safely collect the raw data of the Accounts Payable that we need for our recovery audit, we can now align and safely collect (ISO:27001; ISO:9001 certified) the data remotely with and from our clients. SpendLab is now able to conduct a complete Accounts Payable recovery audit on a remote and digital basis. Since March 2020, COVID-19 has only accelerated this level of digitization and the service that we provide for our clients.

Moreover, as an organization we have completely changed our way of working. We now work from our platform on a digital and remote basis. Just like every success, this could not have been achieved without challenges.

9. Can you give us an outlook on the product developments and tell us a bit more about your vision?

We have gone from subsequent recovery analyses over five financial years to periodical visualizations. Together with our clients we have developed a complete recovery service, which we can utilize several times a year over the current financial year. Instead of conducting subsequent recovery audits, we are now aiming to provide our clients with a subscription agreement in which some of our clients even take care of the recovery themselves.

Despite that organizations keep optimizing their internal -and external processes, there will always be errors in processes. Based on the collaboration with and input from our clients, we have invested in optimizing our compliance -and risk reports. We can now offer the visualization of these reports in Power BI, which allows our clients to have live and real-time insights in the Accounts Payable.

10. The world is always changing, how does SpendLab Recovery stays one step ahead of its competitors?

SpendLab has always chosen to conduct Accounts Payable recovery audits only, and we are now an absolute leader in spend justification. This leadership role allows us to partner up with top leading international organizations and to discuss the current and future capabilities that they require from our recovery service. By commencing structural dialogues with leading organizations and system suppliers we challenge tomorrow’s needs in Accounts Payable solutions.

 

Interested in a free SpendLab Recovery demo and see how your company can benefit?

Contact us!

 

Partner Interview Nomentia | Best-of-breed cash & treasury management solutions

10-11-2020 | treasuryXL | Nomentia |

It has been a crazy year for OpusCapita with a lot of positive changes. OpusCapita recently joined forces with Analyste and merged into Nomentia.

Nomentia is a Nordic powerhouse for global cash management. By believing in a world in which businesses can make the right decisions no matter how unpredictable the times are, their SaaS-based platform offers solutions for cash forecasting & visibility, global payments with bank connectivity, reconciliation, in-house banking, guarantees, and FX dealing. Nomentia currently serves 2,300+ clients in over 100 countries processing more than 200 billion euros annually.

AN INTRODUCTION TO…

 

Meet Jukka Sallinen , Deputy CEO at Nomentia.

Jukka is a cash management domain expert with a strong hands-on background from international and complex payment factory and SWIFT projects. Previously Jukka had been working in various R&D roles, focusing on bank and ERP integrations and security topics.

” We are the bridge between finance and treasury ”

 

 

We asked him 9 questions. Let’s go!

INTERVIEW

1. Nomentia, what is the core business and what is its mission??

Our vision is to create solutions that make the life of modern CFO’s and Treasurers easier. We provide best-of-breed cash and treasury solutions that are the bridge between Finance and Treasury. Best-of-breed means that we focus on challenges that matter for modern CFO’s and treasurers to stay ahead of the curve and help their business to prosper.

We solve the challenges that professionals face in their daily work:

End-to-end & total visibility of cash flows is ever important. By visibility we of course mean visibility to cash flows, bank accounts, payments and future cash flows. But today, visibility is also more and more a risk & compliance related challenge. To whom I am going to pay? How do I mitigate the risk of fraud? Another visibility challenge is the whole topic of working capital where cash & liquidity forecasting & analytics solutions will play a role.

While visibility could be classified as internal challenge an example of external challenge Treasurers are facing is financial crime which is globally a trillion-dollar industry. Payment fraud and cybercrime faced by corporates remains significant and growing problem. To fight back corporates are mitigating these risks by harmonizing bank connectivity & payments into a centralized payment hub.

Finally, finance organizations seeking for return of investments from their Treasury or Finance solutions typically look increasing automation and efficiency in financial processes. Automating & harmonizing bank statement processing and accounts receivable reconciliation (automatic matching) holds typically largest savings potential.

By focusing on these challenges that matter to modern CFO and Treasurers, Nomentia is different. Monolithic finance and treasury systems are not quick and flexible enough to face the challenges of today and thus remain largely un-used.

2. OpusCapita recently formed a new company together with Analyste. What was the main reason for this? 

There is a growing need for choosing best-of-breed cloud solutions to solve particular business challenges today’s organizations are facing, which cannot be addressed by traditional monolithic tools. And treasury and finance organizations are no different. We are in a journey to create a leading cloud native cash management company as one.

3. What constitutes this Nordic powerhouse?

We took the best practices of both companies and combined them into one integrated solution for Finance and Treasury professionals. Nowadays, companies need multiple tools and systems. Is anyone convinced that the trend would go backwards? I mean look at your mobile phone. More apps keep coming and we as consumers add more. As business consumers we don’t want to be different, right?

A modern company needs a sales and customer relationship management, marketing automation tools, billing systems, project management tools, HR systems and various business solutions – and Finance & Treasury are no different. Often at some point we fall into the trap of looking for one platform to solve all challenges. But there never will be one, because we cannot possibly know everything a platform needs to solve to adapt in changing business environment. You end up using only small fraction of such monolithic platform with a very high price tag or building very customized solutions.

4.You talk about best-of-breed, what does it mean and what is the customer benefit?

Now, what does this mean for treasury and cash? A one-for-all solution would be a single solution to solve all your finance & treasury & cash management issues. That at least used to be sort of IT’s dream come true. One can clearly see benefits such as having less systems to integrate or less business partners to deal with. Also, commonly heard argument is to claim you would have “all the data at your hand in one place” which often shrinks into a mere sales argument.

While choosing best-of-breed companies can build network of integrated products and solutions. Benefits are often ones like paying and implementing only what you really need, much quicker implementation time and thus quick payback time, more standard features and no customization and vendor locking. Even the integration – a classical tarpit in IT projects – is often surprisingly simple because best of breed providers works very well together

Treasury or Finance is not an island. It is not the treasury that really is changing but the world around it. How companies are purchasing goods, sales are becoming digital, buying journey shifting to marketplaces and technology and software connecting everyone and concerning almost any business will sure keep changing the work that needs to be done by Treasury and Finance teams. Our claim is that networks and best-of-breed is more adapted to change.

5. How does the customer journey look like from start till end? And how long does a project take?

This really depends on the customers and their needs and how their internal processes look as well. We adjust to our customers’ needs.

6. Can you give us an outlook on the product developments that are scheduled?

The most important achievement is that we’ve now released our first versions from next generation Nomentia products that are based on a modern cloud architecture. We have been working on for the last four to five years to come up with the next generation – which is by the way already fifth generation if we look how our products have evolved from 80’s. Our customers should expect a whole new user experience from all our applications as many modules have not only got a completely new front end in HTML5 but a backend and business logic as well.

One of the new developments our customers should be looking carefully is that we are bringing better productized analytics capabilities to our next generation product as we speak. With analytics capabilities we mean payment behavior analytics and statistics, performance analysis and working capital related key performance indicators.

7. What has been your best experience in your career at OpusCapita, now Nomentia?

Next spring shall mark me already fifteen years in the company. Both OpusCapita and Analyste had gone such an exciting journey first as an independent company and then as part of larger enterprises, and finally again independent but together. It’s hard for me to rank all the memories I’ve collected with such a fantastic team and individuals that have participated into this journey. However, I still do remember with warmth some of the early development projects that helped us to become more international, such as joining to SWIFT Lite 2 program as global early adopters in 2013. And of course, winning the hearts of first global customers for the new service back then.

I’ve always got inspiration from challenging projects, working with new technology, and working to productize something that no one has done before. I feel that our employees at Nomentia are in a privileged position, since we work with such an exciting customer base and deliver software for so critical processes.

8. What has been the biggest success story of OpusCapita, now Nomentia, so far?

Although both Analyste and OpusCapita  have their roots in early 80’s we’re truly living the moments of biggest success right now. The company has never been filled with such a talented people, have such great solutions, and finally a market position to grow and create a European (or rather global) Fintech success story.

9. The year is 2025, what have been the OpusCapita/Nomentia successes over the last years?

The world of CFO and Treasurer is changing probably faster than never. Our five-year plan is obviously to grow significantly, which means double-digit revenue growth year-on-year. Much of our growth comes from international markets where I would expect us to cement our positions in several new markets as a viable and market leading choice of a modern CFO.

We will be significantly larger and stronger European Fintech company than we are today. When it comes to successes, I believe it is all about the journey rather than single events. We must work hard every day to win our customers hearts, and to have an atmosphere where employees find it exciting to wake up every Monday and be a part of our success story. Work hard, learn something new every day, and do it with a smile, and the journey will reward you.

 

Corporates: Caveat IBOR!

03-11-2020 | treasuryXL | Enigma Consulting |

Many of the world’s leading benchmark base rates are about to change; this could impact your business in unexpected ways.

Since Roman times, the phrase ‘caveat emptor’ – let the buyer beware – has been used in agreements as a warning that a lack of due diligence could come back to bite you. For today’s corporate treasurer it might instead be more relevant to use (with apologies to the linguists out there) ‘caveat IBOR’.

For the past 40 years, IBOR has been the benchmark used to determine the interest rates applied to a myriad of financial products. All this is about to change: starting on 31st December 2021 many of these rates will cease to exist and be replaced by ‘Risk-Free-Rates’ (RFRs).

The potential impact of these changes is often seriously underestimated. Corporate companies need to prepare today to be ready for banks wanting to discuss changes to existing contracts in the coming months.

 

The 4 to 6 months ahead of us are arguably the most critical period in the transition away from LIBOR. The time to act is now.
 – FCA July 2020

 

Why should I care about the IBOR transition?

It is highly likely that your organisation will be affected by the IBOR transition. Most corporate organisations underestimate the impact, thinking that the ‘only’ thing that will change is a base rate and its calculation method. Before you join their ranks, take some time to reflect on the following:

  • The IBOR will cease to exist, starting on the 31st December 2021 and be replaced by Risk-Free-Rates (RFRs) with a different basis for calculation
  • These changes will impact financial (e.g. bond, (intercompany) loan, (multi-currency) credit facility) contracts as well as commercial contracts with an IBOR related ‘late payment clause’
  • This in turn will impact processes in the Treasury functions, with knock-on effects to supporting departments, Legal, IT systems, accounting, and tax reporting to name just a few
  • IBOR transition is progressing at a different pace across jurisdictions and financial products (e.g. loans, bonds, and derivatives), adding to the complexity of managing the transition

In the coming months you are going to be approached by your bank(s) to discuss changes to contracts maturing after 2021. To be prepared for these discussions, it is essential that you have a solid idea of what the repercussions of these changes will be on your organisation.

From IBOR to RFRs: a brief history

For the past 4 decades, IBOR (interbank offered rates, including LIBOR and EURIBOR) have been the benchmark for lending, hedge contracts, current accounts, valuation models etc. The (L)IBOR is calculated by processing hypothetical borrowing transactions that are submitted by a few ‘panel’ banks.
In 2012, the LIBOR scandal came to light: it was discovered that since 2008, panel banks had been colluding to illegally manipulate the rates. This set in motion that regulators, central banks, and market participants started a search for a safer alternative to the LIBOR. In 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that it would not compel or persuade panel banks to make LIBOR submissions after December 31st, 2021.

As a direct result, LIBOR term rates (1m, 3m, 6m, 12m) for USD, GBP, CHF, JPY, EUR will cease to be published as per December 31st, 2021. Other benchmarks such as EONIA and EURIBOR are similarly subject to an interest rate benchmark reform and it was decided to also discontinue the submission of EONIA after December 31st, 2021. Additionally, other benchmarks, such as JIBAR (ZAR), SIBOR (SGD), SOR (SGD) and Euroyen TIBOR (JPY) are undergoing comparable reforms[1]. See the sidebar (at the bottom of this article) for additional IBOR related details.

To minimise the possibility of fraud in future, global working groups have defined a new reference rate and calculation system. As a result, IBOR will be replaced by secured or unsecured transaction-based alternative Risk-Free Rates (RFRs) by the end of 2021. These new interest rate benchmarks are determined on the basis of transactions[2] and are therefore significantly more robust and resistant to manipulation.

Covid-19 will not buy you any time

After the worldwide outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, the world has changed rapidly. Uncertain times have arrived with a looming global economic recession. While many expected the pandemic to postpone the deadline, this does not to appear to be borne out by reality.

UK regulators have indeed postponed the deadline for the cessation of new issuances of GBP LIBOR-referencing loan products maturing after 2021 to the end of Q1 2021, instead of Q3 2020[3]. However, it is widely expected that the deadline for migrating existing LIBOR related contracts to alternative risk-free benchmarks will remain unchanged. Indeed, the FCA even emphasised in July 2020 that the LIBOR deadline is not going to change and that “The time to act is now.”

ISDA agreements and IBOR transition

On October 23, 2020 ISDA (International Swaps and Derivatives Association) finalised the protocols and other documentation by which outstanding derivatives contracts which reference LIBOR can be transformed in order to work with the new RFRs[4]. The FCA has repeatedly urged market participants from all sectors – sell side, buy side, non-financial, to ensure they are ready for the end of LIBOR by adhering to the protocol that ISDA is producing[5].

How will the IBOR transition impact you?

At a basic level, your corporate organisation’s existing IBOR-based interest rates will be replaced by new RFR-based rates. As these depend on a different underlying valuation methodology, any place in the organisation that currently relies on or makes use of an IBOR-based rate could potentially be impacted:

  • Corporates have a variety of products with financial contracts that refer to an IBOR related benchmark. These can be bond agreements, loan agreements, cash pooling agreements, (multi-currency) credit facility agreements, derivatives, intercompany loan agreements and many other instruments. In particular, larger organisations active across multiple regions in the world with more complex non-Euro instruments will be impacted
  • Commercial contracts with e.g. ‘late payment clauses’ with charges involving an IBOR related benchmark will also be impacted
  • Processes and other aspects related to these agreements and contracts across the Treasury functions (such as Corporate Finance, Risk Management and Cash Management & Working Capital) will need to be reviewed, and changed if impacted: Legal, IT systems and interfaces, reporting, accounting (e.g. hedge-accounting), Tax, policies, procedures, valuation models will all require attention
  • Interim milestones intended to smoothen the IBOR transition will lead to a cessation of the issuance of new LIBOR referenced products maturing after 2021. (For example, this will be the case for GBP LIBOR referenced bonds, loans, and derivatives; from Q2 2021, new GBP denominated issuances for these products will already refer to the alternative RFR.)
  • An additional complication is that the IBOR transition is progressing in different stages across different jurisdictions and different financial products
  • And, quite simply, there are many aspects that are as yet unknown, amongst which:
    • what the impact of applying hedge accounting to IBOR referenced instruments will be
    • whether and when alternative reference rate term structures will be available and for which products
    • how compounding daily rates over time will be handled in the absence of a term structure for cash management purposes
    • whether fallback language will be available
    • how liquid the market for (L)IBOR rates will be towards the end date of 31st December 2021
    • whether and when EURIBOR and other IBOR critical benchmarks will be discontinued

The magnitude of change is well-recognised by banks and financial institutions, and they are demonstrating an increasing sense of urgency to address contracts maturing after 2021. Be prepared for a call from your bank in the coming months!

What should you do to prepare?

As the deadline approaches, you will need to know your level of exposure and impact in order to prevent surprises. What will the impact of the IBOR transition be on your TMS and ERP systems, your credit facilities, bank loans, cash pooling, bonds, ISDA agreements and intercompany agreements? What impacts will these have on your processes and supporting systems? Which complexities will need to be managed?

Having this information at hand will enable you to be a proper sparring partner for your banks when they renegotiate contract terms.

Depending on the complexity of your contracts, the IBOR phase out could substantially affect your corporate organisation. Prevent unnecessary loss by preparing yourself, following this three-step approach:

1. Assess impact

The first step you should take is to analyse the IBOR related contracts in use throughout your organisation. Determine which contracts have an IBOR related component and the size of the exposure. Once you have assessed the complexity of your IBOR related contracts, analyse the impact on related areas (ranging from Tax and Legal to IT systems, and procedures, reporting, accounting (e.g. hedge-accounting), and the like).

2. Plan actions

On completing your impact assessment, create a detailed action plan. Define a project team governance to manage this action plan and the status of the transition across different areas, business lines, and geographical locations. In particular, take care to ensure external resource availability regarding e.g. Legal counselling and system provider experts, as demand for these specialists will rapidly increase as the IBOR transition deadline approaches.

3. Act and implement

Step three is the implementation of your action plan throughout the affected areas of your organisation. In this ‘Act’ phase it is important to maintain the conversation with external parties, such as banks and system providers. It is also of vital importance to support the implementation across all relevant business lines and functions, maintaining support for go-live readiness in line with the defined action plan and deadlines.

 

A golden opportunity

The good news is that there is still time to assess the impact of the pending IBOR changes on your organisation and to act upon it if needs be. The sooner you have an idea of the potential consequences for your organisation, the sooner you will be able to mitigate these. This understanding will also give you more leverage in the coming discussions with your bank(s).

Moreover, the IBOR phase out may bring a golden opportunity for corporates to re-evaluate the current contract agreements and look for better deals. Consider this: during the IBOR migration contracts are in fact ‘renegotiated’ and banks will need to come up with a new offer. Will you take that offer as a corporate client? That all depends on your level of understanding and preparation.

IBOR may well be a golden opportunity, but it is up to you as a corporate treasurer to seize it by acting rather sooner than later! Corporates: Caveat IBOR!

If you are interested in how we can help you to assess your IBOR related contract complexity or if you want to understand how we can support your corporate organisation in the IBOR phase out transition, you can contact us on:

dpluta@enigmaconsulting.nl or look at www.enigmaconsulting.nl

Daniel Pluta

 

 

 

[1] A more extensive overview of IBOR benchmarks and related alternative risk free rates can be found on the website of The Investment Association (in cooperation with Linklaters): Table Interbank Offered Rates (IBORs) and Alternative Reference Rates (ARRs), version September 24, 2020

[2] Source: Interest rate benchmark reform – overnight risk-free rates and term rates, Financial Standards Board, July 12 2018

[3] Source:  Further statement from the RFRWG on the impact of Coronavirus on the timeline for firms’ LIBOR transition plans, Bank of England, March 25 2020

[4] Source: ISDA launches IBOR fallbacks supplement and protocol October 23, 2020

[5] Source: LIBOR transition – the critical tasks ahead of us in the second half of 2020, Financial Conduct Authority, July 14 2020

SIDEBAR

Selected Highlights of IBOR Phase Out Related Facts[1]

General

  • LIBOR term rates (1m, 3m, 6m, 12m) for USD, GBP, CHF, JPY, EUR will cease to be published per December 31st, 2021
  • Overnight, transaction based “alternatives” for these currencies are already live: ESTER (EUR); SONIA (GBP); TONAR (JPY); SARON (CHF) and SOFR (USD)[2]
  • EONIA is based on Ester + 8.5 basis points (since October 2nd, 2019). EONIA will cease to be published per December 31st, 2021
  • As of October 2019, EURIBOR is published as a hybrid rate (mix of actual transactions + panel consultation) and will continue to be published. EURIBOR is expected to be continued into the foreseeable future, however discontinuation is still a possibility. At the time of writing, it is uncertain if and when this will happen
  • Various consultation groups are assessing reform proposals and alternatives, such as:
    • Working Group on Sterling Risk Free Rates regarding GBP LIBOR
    • Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC) regarding USD LIBOR
    • Working Group on Euro Risk Free Rates regarding EONIA and EURIBOR
  • Financial institutions have performed a global impact assessment on their financial contracts and have created IBOR migration teams
  • Across different jurisdictions and different financial products, the IBOR transition is progressing in different stages
  • Calculation methodologies across different alternative RFRs could differ and a term structure is still missing for most of the alternative benchmarks

ISDA (International Swaps and Derivatives Association)

  • On May 14, 2020 a summary of the response to the “ISDA 2020 Consultation on How to Implement Pre-Cessation Fallbacks on Derivatives” was published. The majority of market participants support a combination of pre-cessation and permanent cessation fallbacks without optionality or flexibility in the IBOR Fallbacks Supplement and IBOR Fallbacks Protocol[3]
  • On July 21, 2020 Bloomberg and ISDA announced that Bloomberg Index Services Limited (BISL) had begun calculating and publishing fallbacks that ISDA intends to implement for certain key interbank offered rates (IBORs)[4]
  • ISDA launched the IBOR Fallbacks Protocol and the IBOR Fallbacks Supplement to implement the new fallbacks for legacy and new derivative contracts on October 23, 2020. From effective date January 25, 2021, all new cleared and non-cleared interest rate derivatives that reference the definitions will include the fallbacks[5]

SIDEBAR

Central Counterparty Clearing houses

  • On July 27, 2020 LCH, Eurex Clearing and CME Group implemented a discounting switch from EONIA to Ester for cleared OTC EUR denominated derivatives related to Price Alignment Interest (PAI[6]) and Price Alignment Amount (PAA) regarding Settle-to-Market collateral[7]
  • On October 19, 2020 LCH, Eurex Clearing and CME Group implemented a discounting switch from EFFR to SOFR for cleared OTC USD denominated derivatives related to Price Alignment Interest (PAI) and Price Alignment Amount (PAA) regarding Settle-to-Market collateral

USD LIBOR transition and Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC)

  • The ARRC issued a deadline on September 30, 2020, in order to establish RFP processes to facilitate the eventual publication of (a) forward-looking term SOFR rates and (b) the ARRC’s recommended spread adjustment for transition of legacy contracts[8]
  • From September 30, 2020 onwards, new syndicated business loans must include ARRC hardwired fallback language
  • From October 31, 2020 onwards, new bilateral business loans must include ARRC hardwired fallback language
  • From December 31, 2020 onwards, no new Floating Rate Notes referring to USD LIBOR and maturing after 2021 should be issued

GBP LIBOR transition and Working Group on Sterling Risk Free Rates

  • New bonds issuances maturing after 2021 and referring to GBP LIBOR should be ceased after Q1 2021[9]
  • New loans issuances maturing after 2021 and referring to GBP LIBOR should be ceased after Q1 2021
  • Initiation of new linear derivatives linked to GBP LIBOR that expire after 2021 should cease after Q1 2021

 

[1] The list of highlights does not have the intention to give a complete overview of all events and only reflects recent developments

[2] A more extensive overview of IBOR benchmarks and related alternative risk free rates can be found on the website of The Investment Association (in cooperation with Linklaters): Table Interbank Offered Rates (IBORs) and Alternative Reference Rates (ARRs), version September 24, 2020

[3] Source: Summary of Responses to the ISDA 2020 Consultation on How to Implement Pre-Cessation Fallbacks in Derivatives. A pre-cessation announcement would be an announcement that the IBOR benchmark is no longer representative of the interbank lending rate. A cessation announcement would be a public announcement that the administrators of different IBOR benchmarks have or will cease to provide IBOR benchmarks

[4] Calculations published by BISL include the adjusted RFR (compounded in arrears), the spread adjustment and the ‘all in’ IBOR fallback rates for the following IBORs across various tenors: the Australian Dollar Bank Bill Swap Rate (BBSW), the Canadian Dollar Offered Rate (CDOR), Swiss franc LIBOR, EURIBOR, Euro LIBOR, Sterling LIBOR, HIBOR, Euroyen TIBOR, Yen LIBOR, TIBOR and US Dollar LIBOR (see https://www.isda.org/2020/07/21/bloomberg-begins-publishing-calculations-related-to-ibor-fallbacks/ )

[5] Source: ISDA launches IBOR fallbacks supplement and protocol October 23, 2020

[6] PAI is the overnight cost of funding collateral. It is debited from the receiver and transferred to the payer to cover the loss of interest on posted collateral. Imagine an Interest Rate Swap, cleared through a CCP such as LCH, Eurex Clearing or CME Group. At the beginning of the life of the swap the PV is close to zero, so worth little to either party. Over the life of the trade the value of the floating leg will vary leading to an NPV to one of the parties. The change in this NPV from day to day is what Variation Margin is, calculated and moved by a CCP on a daily basis.

[7] LCH Discounting Switch Ester and SOFR

CME Discounting Switch Ester and SOFR

Eurex Clearing Discounting Switch Ester and SOFR

[8] ARRC USD LIBOR Transition Timelines, New York Fed, version September 9 2020

[9] UK RFR Roadmap | 2020-21 intermediate update, Bank of England, September 2020

Partner Interview Series | The deeper dive with Treasury Intelligence Solutions (TIS)

03-11-2020 | treasuryXL | TIS |

2020 is a special year in so many ways. For our partner TIS it has been a great year with an expansion of the BENELUX team and a realisation of a double digit growth.

In this interview we will take the deeper dive with TIS Benelux. What have been the greatest successes in the BENELUX? What are the biggest changes in this market? How do you see the future of corporate payments?

TIS (Treasury Intelligence Solutions GmbH), founded in Walldorf, Germany in 2010, is a global leader in managing corporate payments. The Financial Times named TIS as one of “Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies” for 2019 and 2020. Offered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), the TIS solution is a comprehensive, highly-scalable, cloud platform for company-wide payments and cash management.

AN INTRODUCTION TO

Meet Aderito Duarte, Sales Executive at TIS and responsible for new business in the BENELUX region.

Aderito has spent over 10 years in the SaaS industry working for different vendors in various sales (leadership) roles, both in local and international markets. He is an ambitious sales professional with a record of over-achievement and demonstrated success in a highly competitive market.

He has a strong background in new business sales and relationship building. Performance, development and contribution are the key words that drive his career and enable him to mobilize the team, partners, clients and prospects.

We asked him 7 questions. Let’s go!

INTERVIEW

1. What is your background and why did you decide to join TIS (Treasury Intelligence Solutions)?

For very long time I worked as a sales executive for large organizations like ADP, Oracle and SAP.  Then I decided it was time for something different, something more agile and more entrepreneurial. At TIS I can act as a true entrepreneur and always put my customers first. I contribute to my customers’ success while having fun and developing myself together with other colleagues from the Benelux Team. I cannot wish for more.

2. Tell us briefly about TIS, its solution and the most important benefits for your customers.

TIS was founded in 2010 in Walldorf, Germany. Its core offering is a cloud-based Software-as-a-Service platform for corporate payments and cash management. Currently there are about 180 colleagues working from six offices globally including Germany, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and USA. The TIS solution has been successfully used for many years in both large and medium-sized companies, including Adecco Group, Hugo Boss, Fresenius, Fugro, LANXESS, OSRAM and QIAGEN. More than 25% of DAX companies are already TIS customers. Working with TIS allows customers to significantly reduce cost and manual effort in their payment processes. The risk of manual errors can be mitigated, and treasury teams are freed up to direct their attention to more strategic and value-adding tasks. The TIS platform creates an end-to-end payment experience by connecting to virtually any ERP system and any bank with an extensive payment format library. Instead of a plethora of different E-banking tools, all payments can be made securely through one platform, anytime, anywhere. With such consolidation of payments and accounts information, the clients can have a centralized overview of real-time cash visibility.

3. What have been your greatest successes in BENELUX?

Looking at 2020, a year full of challenges for us all, I am very proud that we will realize double digit growth.  Next to that we are building a diverse team with different competences and skills to serve our customers’ needs. Another important aspect to the TIS Benelux success is the strong partner community we are building to support our customers in the region. For example, recently we formed a new partnership with Cashforce and extended our partnership with Orchard Finance.  Above all these achievements, the feedback we receive from customers in the Benelux explains why we received the 2019 TMI award for outstanding customer experience. For example, Simon Karregat, Group Treasurer at Fugro NV says: “With TIS, we have a central overview of worldwide payments, and now just use one platform instead of different banking tools. This enables us to embed our payment transactions within our ERP landscape and realize straight-through processing.” It is always our top priority to generate true business value for our clients.

4. What in your opinion are some of the biggest changes in this market in BENELUX?

Recently we have received many questions from both Treasurers and IT professionals concerning the digitalization or streamlining of the corporate payment process in the big context of the S/4HANA migration. When it comes to SAP (ECC) ERP migration to SAP S/4HANA, there have been a lot of initiatives in the organizations to guarantee a smooth and on-schedule move. The area of corporate payments is a critical part in this migration due to its impact on the group-wide business continuity. It is important to understand customers current needs and determine the appropriate S/4HANA migration scenarios. For that, TIS has published a Whitepaper to help our customers understand the complexity of such migration and the importance of choosing specialist vendors such as TIS in order to maximize the win with SAP S/4HANA.

Another trend we see is, people are working more from home and need the right tools to manage payments, location independently, which potentially increases the risk of fraud. Our view is that payment security is a much broader topic than just payment fraud. Therefore, payment fraud prevention or detection can only be a meaningful exercise when it is an integral part of a company’s overall payment security strategy. While it is not necessary to centralize all the actual payments’ process to prevent fraud, it is key to bring all functions and information together using a single payments’ gateway. Here you can read more how the TIS platform supports our customers to protect their organizations from payment fraud.

5. The world is changing rapidly especially in financial services, how does TIS stay one step ahead of its competitors?

Our solutions are based on a deep understanding of the market, the customer’s needs and our continuously updated vision for the future. Ten years ago, when TIS was founded, there was almost no bank-agnostic payments platform that allowed Treasurers to manage all accounts, transactions, and balances from one platform. Treasurers lacked transparency and cash visibility to make informed decisions. In-house solutions were expensive and time-consuming to develop. Joerg Wiemer, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of TIS, was then the SVP and Head of Global Treasury at SAP. He knew the problem inside and out because he was living that problem every day. When the company was founded, the market was still skeptical about using a cloud solution for payments. However, Joerg and Erol Bozak (cofounder and Chief Product Officer of TIS) believed that cloud was the answer to corporate payments and cash management with its high scalability, fast roll-out and a centralized overview regardless of the complexity of a company’s payments landscape. As many treasury teams all over the world are working from home nowadays, a cloud-based payments platform has been proven to be a blessing to our customers who have confirmed to us that they did not have to make significant changes to their payments processes. Meanwhile TIS continuously grows its payment format library, connects to more banks worldwide, and invests heavily in adding meaningful innovations to the platform.

6. In 5 years from now, how will TIS look like?

In 2019 and 2020, two years in a row TIS has been named by the Financial Times as one of Europe’s fastest growing companies. In 2019, the total payment transaction volume of the company was more than that of PayPal. We believe that the demand for agile, flexible and scalable cloud-based payments platform will only grow. This year May, TIS received $20 million additional funding from renowned technology venture funds. We are planning to use this funding to accelerate product development and to further scale operations in Europe and in the US, in order to meet growing international demand. It is hard to predict the future, but I would say in five years from now, TIS will grow its footprint in more regions and it will play a much bigger role in the ecosystem beyond corporate payments.

7. What is TIS’ vision for the future of corporate payments?

Rather than one-stop finance solutions, the future of corporate payments lies in Best-of-Breed solutions. We can observe this trend in the consumer market, where consumers expect to pick and choose from solutions that best meet their needs. In corporate payments, this is still a fairly new concept, however, one with great promise. Corporates get the best products and services in the market that are enabled through APIs, most importantly, that fit best to their specific corporate needs. This new Best-of-Breed ecosystem will also allow corporates to share data more easily with their business partners, helping them achieve better information sharing and service offering.

If you want to learn how TIS can help you gain cash visibility and full control over your payments, please reach out to me via aderito.duarte@tis.biz or request a demo at www.tis.biz/en.

Partner Interview Series | This is a must read story about Enigma Consulting

27-10-2020 | treasuryXL | Enigma Consulting |

Get inspired by the extensive and catchy story of Robert-Jan Wekking about Enigma Consulting. Robert-Jan takes you into the warm corporate culture, mission, expertise, innovation and their continues investment in knowledge with great examples.

Enigma Consulting is a revolutionary knowledge hub in the field of Payments, Digitisation, Risk & Compliance and Treasury. They are a connecting factor in the financial sector thanks to our consultants’ engagement with their clients, both banks and companies and solution providers.

AN INTRODUCTION TO

Robert-Jan has more than 25 years of experience in payment transactions and he advises corporate clients in the areas of treasury, risk management and bank connectivity.He understands the solutions in the market, both from the B2B and B2C perspective.

Robert-Jan switches easily between executive and operational level within companies and the banking sector, as he easily combines his strategic vision with substantive process and product knowledge. He has a wide network with contacts at all (international) banks, which can speed up the implementation of corporates connectivity with their banks.

We asked him 11 questions. Let’s go!

 

INTERVIEW

1. Tell us more about Enigma Consulting and its mission

Enigma Consulting has in-depth knowledge of all ecosystems that are relevant in payments, transaction value chains and financial markets. Transactional connectivity and digitization increase the prosperity and well-being of consumers, companies and the public sector and thus serve a social interest. Our mission is to contribute to the development of efficient digital transaction traffic and to ensure that this is done in an innovative, sustainable, honest and effective manner with controlled business operations. Combined with a correct attitude and behaviour, this contributes to the translation of legislation and regulations into ethical business operations and a better market position. We follow developments closely, research, analyse and make connections. Our consultants reflect, structure and help organisations to achieve their goals.

2. What is the core topic Enigma Consulting aims to address and how does it differentiate it from the other players in the market?

Digitalization is all about the exchange of data, whether these are payments, information, identities, contracts, signatures or any other regular consumer or business transactions. The complexity of exchanging transactions is constantly increasing; regulations, fraud and data protection are just three of the factors impacting this complexity.  On the other hand, innovative technology is continuously providing easier interaction between data, leading to better and integrated business propositions and making client journeys faster, more friction less and safer.  This is exactly in this domain where Enigma operates.  We leverage our in-depth knowledge of payments and transactions to advise and implement.

We distinguish ourselves from other players by looking at the end-to-end value chain, not only from the viewpoint of efficiency but also with a perspective on regulations and compliance. We understand the guiding laws and regulations and can translate them into practical advice to make sure that our clients remain compliant. We recognize that laws and regulations applying to financial institutions are becoming stricter and that attention is now also shifting towards corporates.

Our legal consultants are specialised in transaction and data related legislation, and we have strong connection with for example DNB and AFM in relation to our guidance of our clients.

Our consultancy practice focuses on the  financial-,  corporate- and retail sectors, hence we understand the complexities affecting those areas. With our knowledge of the ecosystems and  vendor solutions we play the matchmaking role between individual client wishes and the solutions available in the market.

This combination of end-to-end view, legislation and compliancy, working in different sectors, and the matchmaker role gives us a unique position. The fact that we not only advise but also take responsibility for  implementations during the past 20 years, makes us a trusted and recognized partner for our clients.

3. Why choose customers for Enigma Consulting?

Our knowledge of payments and other transaction processes is often the starting point for customers to reach out to us. Our capability to advise and implement solutions from an end-to-end perspective is the basis for our interaction with our customers.  Additionally, customers also appreciate the fact that we are able to advise at a strategic level, but at the same time are pragmatic enough to look for feasible and not theoretical answers.

We have strong relationships with a number of our clients, some even stretching back over more than 20 years. This is something we foster, not only by delivering more than what is expected, but also by working closely together. For instance, our Treasury Barometer is an example where we cooperate with the Rabobank, whilst at the same time we are participating in a number of their projects.

At the end, it all comes together with trust, in the quality of delivery, in our people and in the overall relation. This is how we ensure that we will be shortlisted again the next time.

4. What has been the biggest challenge for Enigma Consulting regarding customer projects so far?

The most challenging projects are when we are asked to take end-to-end responsibility for delivering a complete project. Quite often, this means that we have a team onboard and the client is looking at us as lead consultant to get the job done. A good example is the setup of a complete bank payments infrastructure. Apart from the fact that these assignments are exciting and demanding, it is always challenging to make it happen in an environment with its own complexities.

For our individual consultants, stepping into a new assignment always has its own challenges.

Customers ask for us for different reasons, and our consultants have to quickly adapt to start advising the client. This means not only understanding the clients’ business, but primarily building trust relations with the client and their stakeholders. Hence for every consultant the adaptability towards the new environment is always an important challenge.

For myself personally, I am proud to have led a number of strategic programs, like SEPA, Instant Payments and iDIN.  Besides building completely new products, the key challenge is always to work and build bridges between internal and external parties (Banks, DNB, governmental bodies) with sometimes opposing objectives. Working with all these parties and ultimately developing a new product is what makes me happy and proud of my role as consultant.

5. Can you tell us in what sector you see the most innovative developments regarding payments and how does Enigma Consulting react to these?

One of the most exciting aspects of payments is the continuous innovation in the field. However, it is never a revolution but more an evolution. An example are the digital currencies. I believe that in the long run, these might become as important as, or even replace, the current way of paying. But it will take many years to get there. Where it started with the cryptos and Facebook’s Libra, the central banks are now seriously embracing it.

Additionally, the technical transitions to APIs and SaaS, Open Banking and Instant are ingredients for completely new business innovation. Through API and SaaS, corporates can select best in class software modules and integrate them, rather than select single platforms that will still sub-optimise their process. The introduction of Instant Payments in Europe will ultimately change the way the treasurer needs to forecast and manage their accounts.

In the B2C or C2C world, the client journey will continuously improve, seamlessly and friction less, with data integration as a key element.

Through our assignments, we are constantly in the middle of this innovation. For example, we are the leading consultancy firm in the Netherlands for supporting FinTechs, cryptos and payment software companies with their PSD2 application. Our role in digital identity and Mobility as a Service provides us with insights in yet other areas of innovation.

In order to keep all our consultants informed, we have a weekly meeting with our consultants to discuss the latest trends.

We also leverage this knowledge to assist our clients with their questions around innovation. For this purpose, we have initiated the Enigma Innovation Lab, an accelerator environment to answer client specific questions around innovation, vision building or technical solutions by injecting are our own knowledge combined with our ecosystem of solution providers and subject matter specialists, all facilitated by various methodologies like Design Thinking.

6. Do you experience differences in the world of payments before COVID19 and the time we live in now? What are the differences?

The differences are not that when you look at the regular payment products themselves. But we do see COVID as a steppingstone for digitalization. E-commerce and e-commerce payments have shown significant growth and people are spending increasing amounts of time online. The volumes of payments facilitated by Payment Service Providers are going through the roof.

Also “Cash is King” is the phrase that everybody uses, but this should now be “Digital Cash is King”. Volume of physical cash is dropping significantly, being taken over by contactless payments.

I believe these are just indicators for a bigger change, which is the acceptance of the consumer to step into a full mobile journey.

Customers are now more familiar with working with a cashless wallet and seem also to be willing to adapt faster to other contactless, digital processes. Examples are registration, ordering food and payments in restaurants (for example via QR). But also using mobile apps to order your groceries. Clearly, this has already been taking place for many years, but I believe that COVID has accelerated this transformation through necessity.  People are therefore more willing to change their attitude. What is interesting is whether this transformation will continue, or whether people will step backwards to the old normal or step forward to a new normal.

For the retail sector and corporates, before COVID they already had to understand how to become more relevant in the mobile cashless digital world.  COVID is demanding corporates to speed up this thought process.

7. How does the future of payments look like in your perspective? And how will it change the world?

Digital currencies will be an important element in our future, adopted stepwise, and will be overlooked by market systems and regulators. There will be a continuous drive for integrating payments in the client journey, seamless, frictionless and supporting the Internet of Things. Hence payments will be a key enabler of future growth towards the digital world. Digitization is also very attractive for fraudsters, money laundering etc, as your counterpart is not always visible anymore. The need for trustworthy digital identities will be an important building block for this roadmap.

At the same time, the pressure of fraud, regulations and compliance will shift from banks to other parties (corporates) in the end-to-end value chain. Where banks are currently the gatekeeper, corporates will have to integrate this responsibility in their own business processes.

Hence the roadmap to digital, whether it is digital payments, or any other data transaction, will demand continuous change from all parties in the value chain. This will be a stepwise change, but fast enough to need to keep an eye on it.

8. What has been the biggest success for Enigma Consulting?

The biggest success for Enigma is that we have made a transformation from payments “only” to understanding the full transaction, risk and data value chain. For example, we have made a transition from bank payments to treasury payments and risk processes, but also from payments to compliance, and to integrated transactions and data models.

During this period, we have also changed our internal organisation.  We have been running a number of Young Professional Programs. These next generation talents bring us a more diverse view of the world, which makes our proposition to the market stronger and our internal culture more diverse. As a result, we believe that we have the foundation for supporting our clients, now and in the future, with a passion for payments and transactions.

9. How does Enigma Consulting keep on innovating and stay one step ahead of its competitors?

Our ambition is to be recognised as a though leader in the domain of payment and transactions. Investing in knowledge is the basis for our current and future advisory services.

This means that we continuously invest in gaining and sharing knowledge with our consultants and clients. We have organised this in a number of ways.

We have introduced the so-called Theme Lifecycle within Enigma. When we expect a theme becomes relevant for our business, now or the future, we start a workgroup to progress this theme from idea through different stages. It starts with writing a one pager based on study and analysis, called the exploring stage. We validate the readiness for every next stage (exploring, campaigning, harvesting) so that we invest time in those subjects that also become relevant for the market. All our consultants participate in one or more themes, which helps keep them engaged with innovation and market developments.

Every week we organise meetings to discuss news and articles. On turn, every consultant is responsible to select a number of articles to be discussed during this half hour meeting.

For our clients, we have regular Breakfast and Brains meetings to share our insights and to have open discussions on a specific subject. The success is that clients that even might compete in a certain sector, are always willing to learn and share from our and other clients’ experiences.

Finally, we also participate in and cooperate with FinTechs. We support them by leveraging our network of solutions, whilst their innovative ideas are a good source for future improvements, leading to a broader ecosystem that benefits our clients.

10. We are heading to the end of 2020, can you give us an outlook on the scheduled developments for the upcoming year?

The best outlook would be that we leave COVID-19 behind us, however I think that COVID will strongly influence the developments and investments in 2021. There are a number of scheduled developments which will impact corporate clients. Corporates will have to put their capacity in the IBOR Migration.  Also, the transition to XML messages will impact the operating architecture and bank connectivity of corporates.  In parallel, the transition to instant payments including batches will have to be put on the calendar of the finance function.

And in parallel, it is recommended to continue to look at the potential of open banking and further integration of payments data in the corporate business processes. An example is how payment data can improve the risk profiles of insurance companies.

In summary, enough subjects to keep an eye on. Sitting still and waiting is not an option.

11. A great initiative is that Enigma Consulting supports charity projects, what kind of charity projects does Enigma Consulting support, why and how?

The why should never be a discussion, the real discussion is what you can do. One of our activities is the ZEPA challenge.  Our consultants do like sports, and a lot of them love to cycle. When the transition to SEPA was going on, some of our consultants took the initiative for this challenge: cycling from Zeist to Paris in 24 hours. We have done this now 3 times, and a number of our clients’ employees have also participated.  This year’s event was cancelled, but we are already “ready” for the next challenge. There is not a fixed charity goal, the last charity was support for the education of young refugees.

Apart from the above, we have a warm partnership with “Goede Doelen” charity organisations in Netherlands and facilitate a free payments helpdesk for them.

It is of crucial importance to us to participate in an open and honest society, in which diversity and inclusion are critical. This is important for our own culture, as as an organisation we benefit from our consultants and they, in turn, foster these values in their personal lives.

Partner Interview Series | More than a decade of Treasurer Search proudness

22-09-2020 | treasuryXL | Treasurer Search |

Treasurer Search is founded in 2009. Treasurer Search recruits candidates for both permanent and temporary treasury positions in industry, trade, services and non-profit. They recruit treasury professionals of all levels, from young graduates to senior treasury professionals, for positions including corporate treasurer, cash manager, treasury controller, treasury consultant, treasury analyst, assistant treasurer and group treasurer.

AN INTRODUCTION TO

 

Pieter de Kiewit, Treasury Aficionado, Recruitment Consultant and Owner of Treasurer Search. His market focus is the BeNeLux and Germany, his clients are mainly corporates, non-profit and consultancy organizations. Pieter holds an MSc. in Organizational Science and has over 25 years experience in international recruitment. In many ways he contributes to the Treasury Community by connecting people, companies, education and events.

We asked him 11 questions and 2 bonus questions. Let’s go!

 

INTERVIEW

1. Can you tell us about Treasurer Search and its mission and vision?

In our vision the professional field of treasury will further evolve and serve a broader group of organizations. It is our mission to listen to treasurers, business and HR leaders and make robust matches taking everybody’s interest into account.

2. What was the main reason to start with Treasurer Search in 2009?

For me as a person, my first professional choice was recruitment. In 2009 I worked in the recruitment industry for 15 years in various roles with two international market leaders. I decided I wanted to recruit in a way that suited my clients, candidates and me best. And that an own organisation was the best structure to do so. Already early in my career I searched group treasurers and liked the job type in so many ways. With the expert combination of both recruitment and treasury, I think we can optimize our added value best.

3.  How would you describe your company in 3 words?

Results, expertise, authentic

4. Can you take us with you into your company culture? How would you describe it?

We take pride in what we do, want to show our added value and like our job. We are Dutch, direct, informal and also very much interested in you and what keeps you busy. We are here to stay and want to build long lasting relationships. And we are not afraid to try or even initiate something new.

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

Understanding the recruitment industry is not hard. What sets us apart from other executive search firms are our treasury expertise which enables us to dig in deeper. And our long lasting relationships. 90% of the candidates we find a position for, we had prior contact with. Over 50% of our revenue is repeat business and we are still growing. Clients like us because we find better candidates, quicker for a fair, market level fee.

6. What has been your biggest challenge since the start of Treasurer Search? And how did you deal with it?

Our USPs are stability and treasury expertise combined with recruitment skills. People who combine these aspects are few. We have taken steps not only forward but also back because new colleagues realized after a while that their motivation did not match the mission of Treasurer Search. By now we have a stable team and cautiously continue moving forward. In recruitment for our own organisation we spent even more time in informing potential colleagues.

7. What is the best learning experience you ever had as business owner of a treasury recruitment club?

The treasury community is an interested and intrinsically motivated group of people. Always willing to brainstorm and join. In order to channel positive input into plans that bring us the results we strive for, we cannot lose focus. That brings best results. Over time I better learned to avoid distractions but are not done learning.

8. In the last 10 years, what are the main differences in the world of treasury & recruitment?

Too many to make a comprehensive list. What strikes me most in treasury is that the professional level of treasurers is going up. Treasurers are nowadays educated at a higher level, better communicators and continue to invest in treasury education. Treasury is getting the platform it deserves.
Also recruitment is constantly changing. The success of a new hire will never be an exact science but we try to avoid risk. New insights and technology in our field resulted in www.treasurertest.com. In my opinion a perfect example of recruitment new style.

9. How do you see the future of the function of treasury?

I hope and expect treasurers will be able to increase their impact. In large corporates they will be able to contribute in strategy, mitigate risk better and save cost. In mid-sized organizations they will find their spot in the CFO team where they are currently not always. The impact of treasury technology cannot be overestimated, one blog is not enough to describe that topic.

10.  How important is treasury in times like these? In times of COVID19….

The cliché “profit is an opinion, cash a reality” is currently felt stronger than ever. The treasurer that cannot show his added value in these times might not be in the right position.

11. Tell us, 10 years from now, what does Treasurer Search look like?

Predicting the future in these times is more daunting than ever, we just celebrated our first 10 years… I hope 10 years from now we can still show stability, treasury and recruitment expertise. Furthermore I hope clients who currently do not have a treasurer are happy we found one for them and also many more clients who are not based in The Netherlands enjoy our services.

BONUS QUESTIONS

What makes you happy in your work?

Results. See that my colleagues are happy in their job and help candidates and clients moving forward.

What are you most proud of in your career at Treasurer Search?

That clients call us again because they like the candidate they hired through us before. That candidates are happy in their job we found them, and for a long time. That we created an organization with employees that like coming to work to a job that pays mortgages and children’s shoes. That the treasury community knows us and knows how to find us.

 

Only 5 days left until the International Treasury Management Virtual Week 2020

| 16-09-2020 | Eurofinance | treasuryXL |

Don’t miss the Treasury Event of the Year! If you haven’t signed up already, here is a reminder to join this great virtual event with incredible speakers and live sessions.

Virtual Event

Now more than ever, we need to learn and engage with other treasury professionals around the world, so that we can navigate and overcome the unprecedented challenges we are facing.

As the current situation unfolds, the role of the corporate treasurer is evolving and becoming more strategic than ever before. The complexities and function of treasury within the business is changing even more rapidly. The question is: What does the future of treasury look like and how will this affect my team? And where can I turn for world-class advice on building resiliency, supporting the business and addressing future challenges?

Look no further than EuroFinance’s International Treasury Management Virtual Week taking place 21-25 September. It will see world-leading treasurers and economists come together to address these issues, deliver big picture global insights and share the essential granular knowledge you and your team need for the path ahead. In the spotlight will be the latest on cash flow forecasting, supply chain finance, tech, liquidity and FX and payments plus much more.

Speakers and Live Sessions

The line-up of speakers is impressive with the likes of Shell, Alibaba Group, HP Inc., eBay, Finnair, Microsoft, Intel Corporation, Schlumberger, Booking Holdings Inc. and Rio Tinto holding centre stage in one of the 75+ live sessions. But don’t worry if you miss a session, they will be available on-demand for you to watch at a time that suits you.

The custom-built virtual conference platform will bring the experience of a live event to life in a virtual world. It offers plenty of opportunities to network and learn from your global peers, plus a smart calendar to build your schedule.

Free Registration

The great news is, the 2020 event comes without a price tag! It is free for corporate treasurers. So, you can get all the world-class expert knowledge and insights you expect from the leading treasury event without the costs of registration, flights, accommodation or even expenses.

What are you waiting for? Set your treasury team up to thrive not just to survive.

Register for free today!

 

EuroFinance International Treasury Management Virtual Week 21-25 September 2020

| 25-08-2020 | Eurofinance | treasuryXL |

The pandemic sent shockwaves through global financial markets and confronted businesses with extreme scenarios.

Virtual Event

Now more than ever, we need to learn and engage with other treasury professionals around the world, so that we can navigate and overcome the unprecedented challenges we are facing.

As the current situation unfolds, the role of the corporate treasurer is evolving and becoming more strategic than ever before. The complexities and function of treasury within the business is changing even more rapidly. The question is: What does the future of treasury look like and how will this affect my team? And where can I turn for world-class advice on building resiliency, supporting the business and addressing future challenges?

Look no further than EuroFinance’s International Treasury Management Virtual Week taking place 21-25 September. It will see world-leading treasurers and economists come together to address these issues, deliver big picture global insights and share the essential granular knowledge you and your team need for the path ahead. In the spotlight will be the latest on cash flow forecasting, supply chain finance, tech, liquidity and FX and payments plus much more.

Speakers and Live Sessions

The line-up of speakers is impressive with the likes of Shell, Alibaba Group, HP Inc., eBay, Finnair, Microsoft, Intel Corporation, Schlumberger, Booking Holdings Inc. and Rio Tinto holding centre stage in one of the 75+ live sessions. But don’t worry if you miss a session, they will be available on-demand for you to watch at a time that suits you.

The custom-built virtual conference platform will bring the experience of a live event to life in a virtual world. It offers plenty of opportunities to network and learn from your global peers, plus a smart calendar to build your schedule.

Free Registration

The great news is, the 2020 event comes without a price tag! It is free for corporate treasurers. So, you can get all the world-class expert knowledge and insights you expect from the leading treasury event without the costs of registration, flights, accommodation or even expenses.

What are you waiting for? Set your treasury team up to thrive not just to survive.

Register for free today!