Meet our Experts – Arnaud Béasse

28-07-2020 | Arnaud Béasse | treasuryXL

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

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

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

We asked him 11 questions, let’s go!

How did your treasury journey start?

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

What do you like about working in Treasury?

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

What is your Treasury Expertise?

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

What’s the most important factor in debt management?

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

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

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

What has been your biggest challenge in your career?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is your best advice for businesses without a Treasurer?

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

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

 

 

Arnaud Béasse

 

 

 

 

Does your business need support in Treasury or a Treasury QuickScan?

We have treasurers available, go to Rent a Treasurer for all information.



Meet our Experts – Vincenzo Masile

21-07-2020 | Vincenzo Masile | treasuryXL

Welcome to interview #9 of the ‘Meet the Expert” series. This time we interviewed our Expert and Treasury Specialist Vincenzo Masile. He is an experienced international finance manager who lived and developed his career in Italy, The United Kingdom, Switzerland and The Netherlands. Currently, he lives in Amsterdam, and enjoys working with people from different countries.

His fields of expertise are:

We asked him 11 questions, let’s go!

1. How did your treasury journey start?

Back in 2008 I was working as a credit manager for a large US agricultural commodities, ADM, at their cocoa operations in The Netherlands and I was asked to spend six months in Switzerland at the newly created treasury hub.

2. What do you like about working in Treasury?

I enjoy the variety of the tasks and the communication with the different company stakeholders.

3. What is your Treasury Expertise?

Cash Management, People Management, Project Management, FX, Reporting, Banks Relationships

4. Do you have examples of risk mitigation, creation of opportunities and/or cost savings?

I was the PMO of a hedging project at Netapp for the EMEA region back to 2012. Cost savings opportunities were identified improving the process accuracy on Oracle 11 and simplifying the reporting to corporate.

At Affidea I changed the cash flow forecast reporting moving from a fully manual version to a partial automated version. This change generated time saving and more accuracy.

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

On April this year I completed an eighteen months assignment at Affidea B.V., a Dutch pan-European medical healthcare and I worked mainly from their finance ops in Budapest and occasionally from their holding office in Amsterdam.

It was a very interesting and valuable experience.

6. What has been your biggest challenge in treasury?

Lack of cash visibility especially at country level has been one of the biggest challenges I had to face to.

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

A treasurer has a watchdog role over all aspects of financial management and indeed cash will be always the King!

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

Treasury evolved from a traditional finance role into a business enabler supporting the company growth. In that respect effective communication & collaboration across different areas of business is the key.

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

My view here is that treasurers should take the following steps going forward:

  • Cash flow management:  This is even more critical as we move beyond COVID-19
  •  Determine cash availability: Enables informed decisions around liquidity and cash flow, debt, FX exposures and payment priorities
  •  Scenario testing: Ensures understanding of preparedness for shocks
  •  Engage with relationship banks: Opportune time to partner with banks to fast track digital adoption of tools that provide visibility, efficiency, fraud control etc.
  •  Digitize manual processes: Ensures enhanced controls are put in place where manual payments remain – to mitigate cyber and fraud risk
  •  Monetize inventory: Inventory may be temporarily surplus to requirements because of demand gluts or supply chain disruption

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

Technology will play a major role in the future and this can be only beneficial to corporate treasury. Payments platforms, Fintech, Trade finance blockchain solutions, outline that the future is already here.

11. What is your best advice for businesses without a Treasurer?

It depends on the size of the company but generally speaking I strongly recommend to have on board a treasurer.

 

 

Vincenzo Masile

Treasury Expert/ Credit Risk Manager

 

 




 

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Meet our Experts – Arnoud Doornbos

14-07-2020 | Arnoud Doornbos | treasuryXL

Our Expert Arnoud is Associate partner at ILFA Group and Managing partner at Smartfunding Haarlem. With over 30 years of experience both as Investment banker and with listed and non-listed corporates, Arnoud is specialised  in Cash Management, Risk Management, Corporate Finance, FX, Interest Derivatives, Consultancy, interim management, financial engineering, and finance arrangements.

We asked him 10 questions, let’s go!

1. How did your treasury journey start?

After studying business economics I started working as an accountant. After a few years, I was able to read balance sheets and had seen many companies inside. My wish was to do something commercial with that knowledge. So after 4 years, I switched to banking and became a treasury sales advisor with a Dutch bank, NCB Bank. That was the beginning of a long career as an investment banker with various domestic and foreign banks. I moved from junior dealer to Head of Sales at Deutsche Bank, Rabo International and BNP Paribas. I became an expert in FX and interest rate derivatives and became a treasury advisor to a number of large corporates. In 2013 I had the opportunity to co-own a treasury consultancy / IT company in Belgium, called Treasury Services. There I was responsible for the marketing and sales of the company. I obtained consultancy assignments and sold the treasury software, a treasury management system called TreasuryMetrics. During that period I gained a lot of treasury knowledge and in combination with my banking experience I was able to give our customers good treasury advice. At the end of 2017 I sold Treasury Services to Ilfa, where I am now an Associate Partner and I am a senior treasury consultant.

2. What do you like about working in Treasury?

Working in treasury is fun and interesting because in that position you actually see everything that happens in the company like a spider in the web. All business matters that generate money flows go through your treasury department. In addition next to cash management a good risk management is very important.

3. What is your Treasury Expertise?

I find it interesting to correctly identify and quantify the financial risks. Then mitigate the risks with the right financial instruments. My banking background with 25 years dealing room experience makes me an expert in pricing and executing of financial instruments. I really like the pricing and execution of hedging products. Specially FX and interest rate derivatives and loan pricing.

4. Do you have examples of risk mitigation, creation of opportunities and/or cost savings?

One of my relations took over a company in the UK. This investment was paid in GBP. A translation risk EUR/GBP therefore arose. The customer asked what is the best to buy the GBP. I advised him not to buy the GBP but borrow it from the company’s EUR liquidity through FX swaps. If he had bought the GBP, a FX risk would have been created 100% by the GBP amount on top of the newly created risk of a subsidiary in the UK. Translation risk on foreign assets is NOT a FX issue but instead a finance issue. For another large corporate, i executed the unwind of a large CCIRS portfolio in EUR/USD. Due to my banking dealing room background, I was an equal counterparty to the banks in the negotiations and I was able to make significant savings on transaction costs.

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

My best treasury experience is that I have been involved in a M&A case where the customer made a major acquisition in the USA and I had to hedge the currency component of that transaction. More than a billion USD were involved. I was on the customer’s deal team, behind the Chinese wall. First all secret discussions internally and with the banks involved. The credit facilities had to be arranged before we could do the execution. At the end the large execution was done with Algo trading with the banks. Algorithmic trading is a method of executing orders using automated pre-programmed trading instructions that take into account variables such as time, price and volume.

6. What has been your biggest challenge in treasury?

There are a lot of regulations hitting our banks and us, and the financial arena is changing. In Europe, we are now facing the challenge of negative interest rates that, apart from lowering our interest payments, has other effects. A treasurer need to be light on foot and quick to react to these challenges, and understand their importance. My biggest challenge is being able to navigate in an ever-changing world.

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

The Treasurer’s area of ​​activity consists of supporting the company / CFO in managing and controlling the company’s balance sheet (Corporate Finance Management), managing and controlling financial resources (Treasury operations) and managing and controlling financial risks. of the company (Financial Risk Management). The role of a Treasurer has become more and more a strategic business partner of the CFO and teams such as Control, Tax, Accounting and Legal, and provides support to business units, sales teams, etc.

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

The corona crisis has a major impact on our daily lives. A lot will change in the coming period, both business and private. Orders and appointments are canceled, customers cannot pay (on time) and purchasing and sales are difficult. As a company or organization, it is now more than ever important to know how your company is doing in the coming months. It is important that you have a clear financial overview. In good times this helps you to manage your money wisely and in uncertain and bad times you know where you stand and where to adjust. Liquidity management is simply the systematic management of money that enters and exits your company. You systematically look ahead to your cash balance. For many companies it is an integral part of the business, but how do you ensure that you can manage your liquidity as well as possible? A solid and proper cash flow forecasting will assist you in this.

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

The last few years have been eventful for treasuries. We have had to react to a number of regulatory changes and a vibrant macro environment, while operating in the shadow of the 2008 global financial crisis and more recently the Corona crisis. We have also had to respond to changing working practices, as automation and digitization have enabled easier and faster transaction and communication processes. With organisations seeking to introduce leaner, more efficient and increasingly automated operations, it may seem logical to suppose that treasuries will assume a progressively transactional role. However there is still a significant amount of wariness regarding the stability of the world’s capital markets — a concern that feeds into many treasury priorities, such as liquidity, hedging of risk and bank relationships. With these key concerns top of the mind in the treasury, many businesses are looking to their treasury departments to act as internal advisers and provide strategic input on funding requirements and how best to limit exposure.

10. What is your best advice for businesses without a Treasurer?

Every organization has to deal with treasury. Even if it only has 1 bank account, treasury actions must still be performed. Ilfa makes it possible for any organization to have its own professional treasury function, regardless of the size of the organization and the experience in the treasury field. Our service and systems give you quick and clear insight. Consider the course of your liquidity, interest rate and currency risks. In addition, you know which financing is best suited and we help you reduce your bank costs. A treasury does not aim to beat financial markets, but systematically monitors the money flows of your organization and the development of financial risks. This way you can identify in time and then act. A company without its own treasury can rely on Ilfa’s special services, Treasury as a Service (TaaS). Many organisations are too small to have their own treasury department. On an ad hoc or continuous basis, Ilfa takes the companies concerns about the execution of treasury tasks off their hands in a way that suits their organization and wishes best.

 

Arnoud Doornbos

Interim Treasury & Finance | Consultant

 

 

 

 

Does your business need support in Treasury or a Treasury QuickScan?

We have treasurers available, go to Rent a Treasurer for all information.



Meet our Experts – Interview François de Witte

07-07-2020 | François de Witte | treasuryXL

After having worked for more than 30 years in banking, our expert François de Witte launched his own consultancy activity, FDW Consult, specialized in 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 co-founder and CFO of SafeTrade Holding. Key areas of expertise:

We asked him 11 questions, let’s go!

1. How did your treasury journey start?

My roots are not really in treasury, because I have spent 30 years in banking with ING. Mid-2013, I made a major career move to treasury & finance. I could thereby leverage on the expertise I acquired in both Corporate Banking and Payments & Cash Management.

2. What do you like about working in Treasury?

The diversity of topics and people with whom you are in contact. The treasurer monitors the cash & finance, and is in the frontline of the circulatory system of the company. In addition, in view of the technology developments and the globalisation, treasury is a fast moving discipline,

3. What is your Treasury Expertise?

Based upon a gap analysis, during the first couple of years, I strengthened my expertise in the other areas of treasury by self-training. I also started training in some subject matters, at the university and at other training organisations, and this is a good way to keep yourself updated on the latest developments.

4. Do you have examples of risk mitigation, creation of opportunities and/or cost savings?

I have done quite a number of consultancy assignments. In one of them, thanks to a complete review of the processes, including also the business, we managed to gain some 10-15 days working capital management. In another project, we reviewed the account structure and the bank lines and could generate substantial savings. During a treasury scan, I was able to identify foreign exchange risks, which had not been spotted by the management.

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

In my current assignment, we have selected a TMS-solution (Kyriba) and are currently finalising the implementation. Simultaneously we created a cash pooling and an In-House bank and streamlined the processes.

6. What has been your biggest challenge in treasury?

When starting in treasury, I did not have experience on the field, and needed to switch from a banker’s approach to a corporate approach. If you want to be successful, you need to also have operational experience. I have spent at the start quite a lot to train myself and to get up to speed in treasury.

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

Cash is and remains king. It is very important to make the management aware of the importance of cash, even if a company is in a cash-rich position.

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

The Treasurer is becoming a business partner of the whole group. As a treasury, you get a good transversal view of the business flows. This is very nice because you are in the cockpit of the finance department.

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

The COVID crisis was a wake-up call. It reminds us that it is important to keep the focus on cash and working capital management. It also highlighted the importance of good well-balanced banking relationships. During the last years, some corporates did not put the right attention to this.

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

Cash will remain dominant. In addition, we have the automation enabling to work more efficiently. I also see AI (Artificial Intelligence) as enabler, e.g. for cash forecasting. Blockchain will also add value in some areas, such as documentary trade.

11. What is your best advice for businesses without a Treasurer?

 Even if you do not have the critical mass to justify a treasury department, give it the right attention. Try to understand the drivers of your cash generation and to identify the risks. I would also recommend to invest in a treasury management scan.

 

 

François de Witte

Founder & Senior Consultant at FDW Consult

 

 

 

 

Does your business need support in Treasury or a Treasury QuickScan?

We have treasurers available, go to Rent a Treasurer for all information.



Meet our Experts – Interview Ger van Rosmalen

01-07-2020 | Ger van Rosmalen | treasuryXL

Our Expert Ger van Rosmalen has over 45 years of global Trade Finance expertise (Letters of Credit, Documentary Collections, Bank guarantees) mainly working for international banks. In addition, he is also frequently asked to conduct trainings for companies like EvoFenedex and Vesting Finance, as well as for Chambers of Commerce, and Professional Higher Education programs. His drive is to assist companies with Trade Finance solutions. To help companies to achieve their business objectives through a better understanding of profitable Trade Finance solutions and instruments, and to promote efficient cooperation between Sales, Finance and Logistics. Get to know him better:

We asked him 11 questions, let’s go!

1. How did your Trade Finance journey start?

My first job started 46 years ago at the Letter of Credit Department of a Dutch bank. I applied for the job of junior and when I answered the question of the HR manager “do you have bank blood?” with YES he hired me.

2. What do you like about working in Trade Finance?

Not one day, not one transaction is the same. I like to be challenged, finding solutions, be creative but always within the guidelines of compliance/AML rules. Assisting customers to close their deal. Education and training of Trade Finance solutions so customers understand the risk before signing a contract.

3. What is your Trade Finance Expertise?

I have a lot of knowledge and expertise in the field of Letters of Credit and Bank guarantees. How to apply those instruments, explain to people with different levels of Trade Finance knowledge about these products and how to be able to understand the risks and to avoid or exclude certain risks.

4. Do you have examples of risk mitigation, creation of opportunities and/or cost savings?

Risk Mitigation in Trade Finance can be the use of “confirmed” Letters of Credit, it means (if possible) that the bank of the exporter is taking over the (country/bank) risk of a foreign unknown bank. If the exporter can fulfill the conditions of the Letter of Credit his risk is his own bank. Creation of opportunities is my passion, drive and reason for being is this business for such a long time.

5. What has been your best experience in your Trade Finance career until today?

The change of UCP500 to UCP600 (Rules for Letters of Credit) was a big improvement for companies dealing with L/C’s. It is not that black and white anymore. My experience is how companies adapted to these new rules if you take them through these rules. People felt more confident in using these instruments and will be used for some time. Since UCP600 is already in force from 2007 it is expected that new rules are on their way. I hope my very best experience is yet to come when new rules will be launched. Trade has evolved and rules should adopt to that.

6. What has been your biggest challenge in Trade Finance?

My biggest challenge is every day being able to convince people to use these well established instruments.

7. What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned as a Trade Finance expert?

To trust my instinct. Some deals are too good to be true or I just miss the logic of the transaction. My instinct has let me down only once in 46 years.

8. How have you seen the role of trade finance expert evolve over the years?

On the Sales side of the Trade Finance Expert I noticed corporates appreciate direct contact with an expert who has all the knowledge of Trade Finance from a sales perspective as well a from a operations perspective. You have become their trusted advisor in this field.

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

The use of Trade Finance instruments will be more important now that we are facing the Corona crisis, which will force exporters to look for other sometimes forgotten alternative solutions. High tech innovative solutions such as FinTech or Block Chain is still under construction and exporters do not have the time to investigate those solutions. They need to generate turnover and need quick available products such as Letters of Credit to support their business. I embrace those new techniques but that will not have my priority the coming period of uncertainty. People tend to say Letters of Credit are old fashioned, time consuming and too much risk. I disagree if you understand what is expected of you as exporter. If you know how to communicate with your buyer and your bank you will experience the comfort of those almost forgotten products. It is imperative that you understand and educate yourself in this field or hire experts to support you.

10. What developments do you expect in corporate trade finance in the near and further future?

It will depend on how the financial world will be able to join forces and create workable solutions. Not several small groups of banks developing their system so still fragmented but one solution workable for all parties involved in Trade Finance. If you look at the Bank Payment Obligation (BPO) it is the example how we missed the opportunity to develop one unique system. Corporates dealing with different banks and other counterparts needed several systems offered by different banks or other parties. If suppliers of the Fintech or Blockchain solutions are learning from the BPO adventure they now have the opportunity to change the world of Trade Finance significantly. Digitalisation of Trade Finance is the future whether that will be the near future or somewhere in the future is the challenge of all parties involved.

11. What is your best advice for businesses without a Trade Finance expert?

In my opinion you cannot rely on knowledge outside your company only. It will make you vulnerable. Outsourcing is not the magic word. Educate and train yourself and your staff so you understand the impact of your decisions and take responsibility.

 

 

 

Ger van Rosmalen

Trade Finance Specialist

 

 

 

 


Does your business need support in Trade Finance, Treasury or a Treasury QuickScan?

We have treasurers available, go to Rent a Treasurer for all information.



Meet our Experts – Interview Olivier Werlingshoff

23-06-2020 | Olivier Werlingshoff | treasuryXL

Our Expert Olivier Werlingshoff specializes in the following fields:

His focus is to help the business improve their working capital and cash management processes to release trapped cash, to reduce costs and to be “in control”. Get to know him better:

We asked him 9 questions, let’s go!

1. How did your Treasury journey start?

After working at banks as cash management consultant for several years I was asked to set up a treasury department at a corporate.  The company was a combination of retail, real estate and development and active in the whole of Europe. Besides the set up of a new department they also wanted to optimize different working capital processes and increase the cash awareness. Coming from banks this was a total different environment. Instead of telling companies how to optimize their working capital, I had to do it myself together with different departments. My sales experience helped me to increase the internal cash awareness and to promote optimization of working capital processes.

2. What do you like about working in Treasury?

Treasury is the oil in organizations where all cash related departments comes together. By optimizing those processes you can get a grip on your cash, decrease risks and release trapped cash.

3. What is your Treasury Expertise?

Operational cash management, liquidity forecast (direct- indirect), risk management, (international) bank account structure,  cash pooling, working capital optimization.

4. Do you have examples of risk mitigation, creation of opportunities and/or cost savings?

Yes, a lot of cost savings examples and also release of trapped cash. Decrease bank transfer pricing, introduction of new payment methods to increase the turnover, implementation of cash pools and optimize working capital processes to release trapped cash to mention a few.

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

By showing the benefits of treasury to colleagues by increasing the cash awareness. By doing so, new ideas comes out of the organizations itself and are more easy to implement.

6. What has been your biggest challenge in treasury?

The implementation of a new payment system in a complex organization. You have to focus on stakeholder management and get the operational department behind you with support of the board members.

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

Treasury is a supporting function. You have to help other departments and the CFO to achieve their targets.

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

In a lot of sectors the sales dropped due to the Corona lock-down. Companies need to have a clear view on their cash and be able to pay their invoices on time. Forecasting is more than ever very important and key to be able to forecast funding needs on time.

9. What is your best advice for businesses without a Treasurer?

Not all companies need a dedicated treasurer. Controllers need to have more focus on cash related items and risks (liquidity, FX, Interest and audit). Furthermore it will be good for controllers to focus more on forecasts instead of the reporting of past activities.

 

 

Olivier Werlingshoff

Owner at WERFIAD | Working Capital | Cash Management |

 

 

 

 


Does your business need support in Treasury or a Treasury QuickScan?

We have treasurers available, go to Rent a Treasurer for all information.



Meet our Experts – Interview Michael Ringeling

16-06-2020 | Michael Ringeling | treasuryXL

Meet our Expert Micheal Ringeling, an experienced Treasurer with a unique combination of corporate treasury, corporate control and banking expertise. A solid base in finance (Stork, TenneT) and banking (ABN AMRO Bank) contributed to his specialisation in treasury. Being hands on, trustworthy and creative with a can-do mentality, Michael worked as independent interim treasurer in the past nine years for various companies like TNT, Vion, TomTom and Unit4.

Knowing all the ins and outs in the world of treasury, he will hit the ground running and provide efficient and effective solutions on every operational and strategic level in the following areas:

Treasury and Cash Management

  • Cross border cross currency cash pooling, efficient banking infrastructure
  • Finance agreements
  • Intercompany loans, in house bank and intercompany netting
  • Interest rate and foreign exchange (FX) risk management and deal execution (hedging)
  • Treasury policies
  • Cash flow forecasting
  • Establish an optimal relationship between organisation and financial institutions

Treasury Control

  • IFRS, financial instruments and disclosures in the annual report
  • Alignment between Treasury and Control.

We asked him 11 questions, let’s go!

1. How did your treasury journey start?

I started my career in controlling and worked as a corporate controller for the national high voltage grid operator in the Netherlands (TenneT) when the finance director asked me if I would be interested in arranging a bridge loan facility for the acquisition of a company. The answer was obviously yes and that is how my treasury journey started.

2. What do you like about working in Treasury?

The interaction with various people in the business, managing liquidity and funding, finding smart solutions to optimise payment processes, deal with foreign exchange risks. In short, all different aspects of treasury that contribute to the company’s success.  

3. What is your Treasury Expertise?

I am an experienced treasurer with a unique combination of corporate treasury, corporate control and banking expertise.
Finance agreements, Liquidity management, Cash pooling, Efficient banking infrastructure, Intercompany loans, In house bank and intercompany netting, Interest rate and FX risk management, Deal execution, Treasury policies, Cash flow forecasting, IFRS, Financial instruments and disclosures in the annual report and establishing an optimal relationship between organisation and financial institutions are the core of my expertise.

4. Do you have examples of risk mitigation, creation of opportunities and/or cost savings?

For multiple companies, I have advised and executed numerous FX, interest rate and commodity hedges, mitigating the underlying business risks. I have arranged finance agreements enabling companies to pursue new business growth opportunities and implemented cash pools, optimising the cash positions and reducing finance costs.

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

I would say the entire journey is one big experience.

6. What has been your biggest challenge in treasury?

Being an interim treasurer, every assignment has its challenges that need 100% attention. The biggest one was a time critical refinance to safeguard business continuity.

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

As a treasurer you are responsible for safeguarding one of the most valuable assets: cash. So be trustworthy at all times, communicate and make sure to always have access to sufficient liquidity.

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

Yes and no. The most important role of a treasurer is safeguarding liquidity. That has not changed much since the concept of money was invented in ancient history. What did change is that we no longer need well armored knights to physically protect the cash. Today’s defense mechanisms are more and more about automation, digital security and regulatory frameworks.

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

Disruptive events like the COViD-19 crisis increase focus on business continuity. Protect your people and your liquidity! Many companies obtained additional (stand-by) credit facilities to make sure sufficient liquidity is available should the business be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Cash is king again.

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

Increasing importance of automation, digitalisation and regulatory frameworks to safely operate corporate treasuries.

11. What is your best advice for businesses without a Treasurer?

Contact treasuryXL and call me.
Most small and mid-size companies will not have a full-time treasurer on board. That does not mean they don’t have treasury risks. Think about finance agreements and their terms and conditions, interest rate risk, foreign exchange risk, payment processes, electronic banking, bank guarantees and bank relationships. Some of these can be efficiently managed by the controller or finance director. However, some treasury topics can be handled better by a specialist. Ad interim, part-time, on a project basis or in an advisory role to support the finance director. Interested in how I can support? Please contact me, I’m just one phone call or email away.

 

 

 

Michael Ringeling

Treasurer

 

 

 


Does your business need support in Treasury or a Treasury QuickScan?

We have treasurers available, go to Rent a Treasurer for all information.



My ethics are better than yours

| 12-06-2020 | treasuryXL | Pieter de Kiewit

In these corona times I work just as hard as before. Regretfully we have less assignments (Treasurer Search), but as a team we prepare for better times. Especially not traveling results in extra time in which I am finally able to structurally read Het Financieele Dagblad (the Dutch Financial Times) and contemplate what is happening and what people have to say. Inspired by a column of Matthijs Bouman I connected a number of articles. Bouman writes about “foute bedrijven” (wrong companies). People condemn Booking.com for asking for government support because they made a huge profit and bought their own shares and still ask for support. So, Bouman states, we should punish their employees. The same way we should punish companies that would not survive anyways, supermarkets that sell wrong products or aviation companies that pollute the air. I like the way he shows us how arbitrary our thinking is.

So what do you think about the following?

  • Flow Traders had an excellent quarter because they thrive on market volatility;
  • FX traders of Citibank, BoA and Goldman recently made huge profits.

Is their business model legit? Or are they the proverbial lawyers that chase the ambulance? At the end of the day I make a living finding staff for companies. Also death, sickness and crisis results in searches for new treasurers and I do not lose sleep over picking up these assignments. Demand and supply, simple as that.

We constantly see how the banking industry struggles with what is good and what is right. A string of scandals over the last years led to new legislation and a lot of work in solving derivatives contracts between banks and their clients (UHK). A new support industry rose and fell. Currently a new one is being built to fight money laundering and other dubious transactions, that will be a KYC industry. Bankers already knew what is wrong and ignored the rules so new control mechanisms had to be build. The one thing I learn from this is that external legislation is not a way to improve morality of bankers. Is the solution hidden in their reward system or their upbringing?

For the opponents of tax evasion, a topic that is in the heart of business ethics, there is good news. The number of entities in The Netherlands that are founded for this purpose is quickly getting smaller. This after extensive public discussion and potential policy changes. I like to think that the powers that be started thinking about the purpose of their companies and these entities, and decided that there are better ways. And not solely money driven, but also because it is the better way. I prefer being hopeful & positive over being cynical.

Listening skills and wanting to compete in the championship of ethics are rarely combined in one person. Being sure and loud regretfully often are. I will make a reminder to follow up on this blog in five years or so.

 

 

Pieter de Kiewit

Owner at Treasurer Search

Meet our Experts – Interview Aastha Tomar

09-06-2020 | Aastha Tomar | treasuryXL

Aastha Tomar has joined treasuryXL at the beginning of 2020 as expert and already published 3 great blogs:

Aastha has been responsible for setting up of Treasury teams for her organizations from scratch and has been a founder member of FX Treasury in a Bank. Being in front office role throughout her career has made her indispensable for her organizations due to her business development and stakeholder management skills. She has single handed led transactions to the tune of USD 5Bn.
Aastha is an Electrical Engineer and master’s in finance, both from premier institutes in India. Her inquisitiveness to learn something new and accept challenging work is responsible for her stints in Software development, Investment banking, Banking and Entrepreneurship.
In her free time Aastha loves to write blogs/ articles on various topic ranging from leadership, life experiences and sustainability, her latest love.

 

We asked her 9 questions, let’s go!

1. How did your treasury journey start?

My first exposure to how Treasury actually works was quite early during my internship in my MBA. I was lucky enough to do internship in one of India’s largest Corporate Treasury. It was then I decided that I want to make my career in Treasury. Therefore my career choices after MBA were always made while keeping in mind that I have to move towards being a corporate Treasurer.

2. What do you like about working in Treasury?

Treasury is a very fascinating department, there doesn’t goes even a single day where you don’t learn something new. Every day brings a new aspect to the profile. You have to be on your toes always to be up the curve which is the best part. You are always on top of what is happening in the world and how it is impacting the business. You can always make a positive impact on organisation’s bottom line by being always ready with action of any kind of impact.

3. What is your Treasury Expertise?

I have worked in Corporate finance, fixed income financing through loans and capital markets and have worked in FX Treasury which included risk management, interest rate risk management and FX risk management.

4. Do you have examples of risk mitigation, creation of opportunities and/or cost savings?

I was responsible for ISDA negotiations where we always made sure that default covenants for the counter party are strict and always made sure that the covenants are adhered to and did frequent monitoring for the same. This always kept us informed and saved us from any shocks from covenants default which in turn would have led to default in the derivatives done with the counter party.

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

I was the founder member of Treasury in my previous organisation. I joined the organisation before the bank was formed. The initial few months were very demanding as it involved infrastructure set up, documentation, informing corporations about our bank.  After much hard work and after few months I cracked one of the biggest deal for that year for my bank. It was such a nice experience where all your efforts which you put in finally bore fruit.

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

Time is for essence for a Treasurer, we have to take actions swiftly and seamlessly. Each day is different and bring new challenges therefore a Treasurer should be ready to face them  . Always think out of the box- what new products can be used, how to make most use of technology, how make a team which is self motivated and work towards a common goal.

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

The corporations with strong risk management approach, with clear understanding potential risk on business through risk evaluation tools, such as sensitivity analysis, shall be the best place during the current scenario. They would have their foreign currency exposure hedged to an optimum limit, sufficient cash to work with and therefore, during these times, would be able to direct their efforts to improve operational efficiency, carry out M&A evaluations  rather than trying to learn swimming after being thrown in the waters. Business Continuity Management came into play and the organisations which has BSM only in theory in their policy books took lot of time to adjust to the new normal. Thus, COVID 19 brings additional responsibility of treasury towards ensuring corporations not only survive but thrive during the new normal.

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

One thing has been proved that there is no running away from the Technology. You may be in finance field but you got to know the technology as well. The major development which now will take place will be to reduce as much human intervention as possible in the working of Treasury which will make sure that if at all any such scenario is faced in future work can go on without much impact.

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

I answered this question in my article “The Missing Part of a Treasury Job Description“:

” Gone are the days when a Treasurer was just involved in risk management and ensuring liquidity. In current scenario of news going viral each action creates a ripple effect. As famous Jane Goodall once said : “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make”. A Treasurer has to take an active role in policy making and lead her organization towards sustainability and protecting consumers  ”

 

Aastha Tomar

FX & Derivatives | Debt Capital Markets | MBA Finance |
Electrical Engineer | Sustainability





 


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We have treasurers available, go to Rent a Treasurer for all information.



Meet our Experts – Interview Wim Kok

02-06-2020 | Wim Kok | treasuryXL

This week you will meet Wim Kok, a Trade Finance Specialist with decades of experience.

Wim started his financial advisory company recently after a long career in the banking industry (> 40 years). During his banking career his interest and focus was always connected to the commodity & trade finance industry both in sales and product innovation. Activities in various senior roles, including relationship management, head of department, change management and start up business (internationally).

Nowadays Wim is involved as independent advisory in supply chain management and digitalisation of the logistic industry. Building bridges, simplifying (trade) finance and logistics. Closing the gap between procurement and finance (treasury).

We asked him 11 questions, let’s go!

1. How did your treasury journey start?

I started working in Treasury (assistant treasurer) during the late 70 ties i.e. my 1st job was with Continental Grain  a New York based grain trading company with a strong foothold in Europe.

The Rotterdam Harbour, at that time, was the physical entry point for US grain coming to Europe.

I worked with 3 merchant banks (Slavenburg, Bank Mees & Hope & Albert de Bary) pooling and netting bank accounts (manually) to optimise currency and debit/credit interest positions for the Rotterdam company.

2.  What do you like about working in Treasury?

I see the treasury operations as a pivotal function within an organisation meaning that you have to know the cash generating mechanics of the company inside out. Seamless use and coordination of cash contributes to a seamless treasury function and an added value for the company.

3,  What is your Treasury Expertise?

I started my career in the late 70ties as assistant treasurer with an American global grain trading company in the Netherlands – My main task was to streamline and optimise the money flows in 8 different main currencies between 3 banks. This was the early start of the cash management development. Later on I moved into the trade and commodity structured finance direction.

4.  Do you have examples of risk mitigation, creation of opportunities and/or cost savings?

Very simple netting and pooling arrangements (interest risks). Discounting receivables, Bills of Exchange, Documentary L/C’s or insurance arrangements, making use of swaps and FX derivatives (currency risks) etc. on the payable side – supplier finance structures making use of the rating of the corporates.

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

That’s difficult to mention as my treasurer career was rather short, but I have seen the position and function grow over the years bridging the silo’s within a company (especially within the bigger corporates).

6.  What has been your biggest challenge in treasury?

At my time with Continental Grain is was the perception of the people. Hugh silo’s between booking /audit and sales / marketing we started to change the perception and managed to bridge the different worlds of finance and commerce by showing that a good treasury function earned additional income.

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

My most important lesson learnt (and that seems a bit odd having worked within banks for almost 40 years) is: as a larger corporate always make sure you keep your independence in other words select more providers to support you.

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

Very much in such way that in the bigger Corporates you see nowadays a lot of inhouse banks and for mid & large corporates a treasury function is more or less the standard.

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

In this respect I would like to refer to the article I recently wrote for TreasuryXL: ”How to simplify procurement and finance in the supply chain” – I think a lot of companies will have to reconsider their current (disrupted) supply chains and financial systems. Companies going into 2021 will have to adopt to the fast changing pace in any discipline or a combination be it digitalisation, IoT, Blockchain, AI, robotics or the Cloud

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

Definitely transparency, efficiency and speed will improve dramatically due to interconnectivity of systems and transactions, data protection (and use) and cybersecurity will become a more important factor.

11.  What is your best advice for businesses without a Treasurer?

Try one because a good treasurer will always earn (at least) himself back for the company.

 

Wim Kok

International Business Consultant

Trade Finance Specialist

 

 

 


Does your business need support in Treasury or a Treasury QuickScan?

We have treasurers available, go to Rent a Treasurer for all information.