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Start your journey on September 22: International Treasury Management and Corporate Finance course

03-09-2020 | by Kendra Keydeniers | Francois De Witte | ATEL

Start your Treasury Management and Corporate Finance journey on September 22! This is your last reminder before the registration will be closed.

Invest in yourself, invest in knowledge

The treasurer is the custodian of the company’s daily liquidity. He manages, anticipates and secures cash flows by ensuring that financial needs are covered.

This cursus will give the ability to assist directly and practically the treasurer of large corporates or to take over the treasury responsibilities in a SME.

The various modules will allow acquiring an in-depth knowledge of the various areas of the “Corporate Treasure” profession.

Registration

This course will start 22 September 2020. It includes 13 training modules and 5 intermediary exams. It is necessary to complete this form before your official registration. Registration will be closed early September 2020.

Objectives

At the end of this programme, the participant will able to:

  • assist directly and practically the treasurer of large corporates
  • take over treasury responsibilities in a SME.

The various modules will allow to acquire an in-depth knowledge of the various areas of the “Corporate Treasurer” profession.

Programme

Module 0: Introduction to Treasury Management
Speaker: Benjamin Defays / Treasury Manager

  • Corporate Treasurer’s responsibilities
  • Cash management (bank account opening, closing, KYC, Cash pooling, Payments and bank connectivity)
  • Liquidity management (importance of working capital management,
  • Risk management (foreign exchange, fraud, credit risk)
  • Trade finance (general context, intro to bank guarantees and letters of credit)

Module 1: Financial Maths (Focus on treasury & corporate finance)
Speaker: Hugues Pirotte / Professor of Finance at Solvay Brussels School

  • Focus on treasury & corporate finance
  • Time Value of Money
  • Vocabulary
  • Compounding intervals
  • Discount and annuity factors

Module 2: Advanced Excel workshop for treasurers (Dedicated to treasury)
Speaker: Hugues Pirotte / Professor of Finance at Solvay Brussels School

Module 3: Corporate Finance
Speaker: Mikael Pereira / Associate, Finance

  • Valuations
    • M&A’s
    • Portfolios
  • Corporate Financing
  • Corporate Investments

Module 4: Cash Management (domestic and international)
Speaker François De Witte / Consultant

  • Payments (Process, Tools)
  • Liquidity Management
  • Cash-Flow Forecasting
  • In-House Banking
  • Banking Relationship

Module 5: Trade Finance
Speaker: Benjamin Defays / Treasury Manager

  • General contact, cultural aspects
  • Why trade finance in treasury
  • Bank Guarantees, Burgschafts, Surety Bonds, Letters of Credit, Cash against Documents
  • Alterative security instruments
  • Disruptive technologies

Module 6: Credit Control
Speaker: Anca Vasiliu / Counterparty Risk Manager

  • Concepts & Practices/Types of Credit Risks
  • Understanding Financial Statements and Ratios
  • Credit Scoring/Ratings – S&P, Bloomberg models
  • Collecting overdue receivables – setting priorities
  • Strategies dealing with overdue invoices
  • Debt collection services development

Module 7: Pension / Insurance 

  • General introduction on insurances and pensions
  • Typology of insurances
  • Risk management via insurances
  • Saving via insurances

Module 8: Compliance

  • KYC, GDPR, EMIR, Bale III
  • International sanctions and their impact on transactions & overall business activities
  • Anticorruption (FCPA, UK Bribery Act)
  • EU competition law compliance
  • INCOTERMS
  • Drafting a contract (main considerations)

Module 9: Risk Management
Speaker: Patrick Verspecht / Group Treasurer

  • FX, Interests
  • Counterparties
  • Others (Reputation, etc…)

Module 10: Regulations / Accounting
Speaker: Quentin Bodart / Senior Finance Engineer

  • Emir, Mifid 2, Basle II and III,
  • Dodd Frank, GDPR, Fatca, Section 385…

Module 11: Treasury Accounting
Speaker: Quentin Bodart / Senior Finance Engineer

  • Accounting for Derivatives
  • Hedge Accounting, IFRS9 (all from a treasury side)

Module 12: Technologies
Speaker: Patrick Verspecht / Group Treasurer

  • New Technologies
    • Blockchain, Crypto-currencies, Smart Contracts
  • Treasury Console (Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters)
  • TMS, Fintechs

Module 13: Cyber Fraud

  • Why Cyber fraud needs to be considered as a major risk
  • Identify the consequences of a cyberattack
  • Main fraud schemes
  • How to protect against fraud

Some homework might be proposed for some modules, there will be continuous control in the form of intermediary exams (under the form of QCM) and a final exam will be sanctioned by an attestation delivered by ATEL (The Luxembourg Association of Corporate Treasurers).

There might also be one or two “extra-activity”, such as a visit in a bank trading room or/and a special guest speaker addressing the cursus participants on a specific subject (still to be defined, optional events).

Target Audience

Anyone willing to acquire an in-depth knowledge in corporate treasury and wishing to exercise this knowledge in practice.

Prerequisites

  • Basic background in finance or accounting
  • For the Advanced Excel workshop, a preliminary (good) knowledge in Excel is required

Course Material

The course material can be downloaded free of charge via your portal the day before the start of the course (download the Client Portal User’s Guide here).

Certificate

At the end of the programme, the participants will receive a “Certificate of Attendance” delivered by the House of Training, and an attestation of “Exam Success Pass” delivered by ATEL.

In order to get certified, an 80% rate of attendance and a 60% average score on the examinations are required.

The participants will also receive a one-year free membership to ATEL (www.atel.lu) giving a number of advantages.

Register here

 

 

 

 

 

 

The global FX market, do you want to be a part of it?

02-09-2020 | Niki van Zanten

The straightforward answer is ‘No’. Unfortunately, saying ‘No’ does not imply that you don’t play a part in the global casino named: The FX market. It could be a sane procurement, sales or investment decision that brings you a seat at the table. Unless you are a in this market to make commissions or in some rare instances a (successful) prop trader, you will most likely lose more then you gain when willfully playing the game.

The FX market is by far the largest market in the world easily exceeding equity, bonds markets or any other asset class. Estimates in daily turnover are north of 6 Trillion USD. The vast majority of trades have a USD leg and EUR is coming at a good second place making EURUSD the most traded pair. Comparing this to the Global Domestic Product (GDP) of let’s say 140 Trillion USD as a ballpark figure, the FX market monthly turnover exceeds the world’s annual GDP. Taking into account that not all global GDP related transactions in the world have a FX component, this tells us that a large percentage of the FX are not real money flows.

So what are they? For a part these are institutional investors like pension funds. Pension funds can choose to allocate in different currencies, but the more likely explanation is that a large part of the FX transactions are of a more speculative nature. Hedge funds for instance do not have a functional or group currency and therefore can freely take currency decisions when allocating assets.
So in summary, the largest market place in the world is driven by forces which are extremely difficult to predict by any form of scientific research or even looking into economic data like monetary flows. Not to imply that economic indicators and central bank policy don’t have its influence, but in the end, a market is primarily driven by supply and demand and there is vast speculation in buying and selling of currencies.

Switching to the corporate point of view, companies usually don’t want to be a part of the FX market. It’s the same story as you might wish to procure and/or sell in different currencies than your own for a variety of reason. It’s an open door to mention that this can be very beneficial but all cost need to be factored correctly before taking a decision. With Foreign Exchange this can be a difficult task and considering what is mentioned above, the FX market does not actually make things look better.
A basic example of why it’s hard to get a grip on the currency markets is available when looking at CNH (offshore RMB) forward markets in 2015 and 2016. Although there are structural differences between CNH and CNY in both spot and outright forwards, typically the pricing is at comparable levels (for the majority of us, at least the large China interest does not apply this). Yearend brought a liquidity squeeze and the forward markets showed huge spikes in volatility as well as extreme differences between the CNH and CNY yield curves. There are many more stories like this to share and recently even G10 doesn’t seem excluded from Emerging Market (EM) like volatility, particularly when looking at Brexit and the Swiss Franc peg release of January 2015.

So a few basic assumptions can be helpful when participating in the FX market for real money requirements

• Don’t think you can predict or beat the market
• Price in risk
• Risk can go both ways but spreads are by definition a cost
• If you choose to hedge make sure you get your exposure right and hedge to mitigate this exposure (in other words don’t use derivatives which don’t offset the hedged item)
• Be aware there is a difference between advise on a financial product and actually risk mitigation on a more holistic basis
• It’s hard to beat years of market experience, don’t hesitate to reach out to seasoned professionals who will prevent you from making expensive mistakes

Hope this was a good read and for any questions or feedback please share and keep things interactive.

 

Niki van Zanten

FX specialist

 

Large platforms mainly invest in stones: social value decreases

31-08-2020 | Lex van Teeffelen | treasuryXL

Due to the corona crisis, loan volume shrank by 37% for corporate loans with crowdfunding platforms. Unique, because since the foundation of crowdfunding platforms there has only been growth. The first half of 2020 was so bad that a number of platforms made use of the NOW scheme. Yet there is also good news. A number of platforms are growing rapidly. Five platforms have also been admitted to the SME Corona Guarantee Scheme. What are the main developments? And where are the largest platforms?

(Blog in Dutch)

Het goede nieuws

Het gaat een aantal platforms voor de wind. NLInvesteert neemt de koppositie over als marktleider in het eerste halfjaar 2020. Onderscheidend door de sterke risicobeoordeling en de lage default. Maar ook SameninGeld voor particulier vastgoedfinanciering en LenderSpender voor consumentenleningen groeien door.

Eindelijk toegang tot overheidsgaranties

Na veel lobbywerk in Den Haag is de kogel door de kerk. Ook crowdfundingplatforms kunnen overbruggingskredieten met staatsgaranties aanbieden. Het gaat om BMKB-Corona regeling tot 1,5 miljoen euro met een aflosvrije periode tot 18 maanden en een maximale looptijd van 4 jaar. Een aantal platforms heeft concessies moeten doen. Naast de crowd dienen ook professionele/grote investeerders mee te doen. De website van het RVO is wat traag met alle partijen te vermelden, maar de volgende crowdfundingplatforms zijn geaccrediteerd: GeldvoorelkaarVoordeGroeiOneplanetCrowdCoöperatie NLInvesteert en October. Vreemd genoeg krijgen ook de flitskredietverstrekkers Swishfund en Yeaz toegang tot de staatsgarantie. Die trekken ondernemers qua kosten en rente het vel over de neus. En dat met staatsgarantie!

NOW-aanvragen

Het Europees opererende platform October van Franse origine, is de grootste aanvrager van de platforms in de eerste NOW-ronde met 151K. Maar ook marktleider 2019 Geldvoorelkaar voelde de pijn en ontving 136K. De derde grootste aanvrager was DuurzaamInvesteren (Crowdinvesting BV) met een toegekend bedrag van 83K. Deze partij heeft onder meer de Triodos Bank als aandeelhouder. Flitskredietverstrekker Swishfund spant echter de kroon met 313K.

Het is natuurlijk toegestaan, maar het staat niet chic. Deze platforms behoren bepaald niet tot de kleintjes. Dat kleinere non-profit platforms als VoordeKunst en Kentau de NOW aanvragen, is meer vanzelfsprekend.

DuurzaamInvesteren krijgt navolging

Bij DuurzaamInvesteren gaat het al een tijd niet goed. Niet alleen scoort dit platform hoog op het aantal ondeugdelijkheden, ook blijft het volume achter bij de concurrenten sinds begin 2019. Een doorn in het oog is dat DuurzaamInvesteren proposities van de eigen aandeelhouders YardEnergie en Greenchoice plaatst. Hoe kan het platform daarbij objectiviteit garanderen? Helaas volgt aandeelhouder Lambert Kassing van KapitaalopMaat dit slechte voorbeeld op met deze propositie. Ook KapitaalopMaat kent weinig transacties met daarbij ook een hoge (loss giving) default. De aandeelhouder is tevens actief voor de Stichting Zekerheden KapitaalopMaat. Wederom ongewenste verstrengeling van belangen. Belanghebbenden kunnen melding doen bij de AFM.

Vastgoedtransacties zonder heldere risicobeoordeling

Waar de platforms voorheen vooral werkkapitaal verschaften, groeit nu de objectfinanciering – meer specifiek de vastgoedfinanciering – snel. Bijgaand ziet u een indicatief overzicht van de Onroerend Goed (OG) proposities van de drie grootste platforms (2020 YTD) op 18 augustus 2020 om 00.00 uur.

Tweederde of meer van de verstrekte leningen (in volume) is nu vastgoedfinanciering. Hoewel Geldvoorelkaar de meeste proposities post (66%), wordt zij in volume voorbijgestreefd door Collin Crowdfund en NLInvesteert. Dat investeerders wat te kiezen hebben blijkt uit de ranges in Loan To Value (LTV) en de geboden rentes. Op het eerste gezicht lijkt NLInvesteert het betere risico/rendement aan te bieden. Let wel, het aantal waarnemingen is beperkt. De proposities binnen en tussen de platforms wijken sterk van elkaar af. In een enkel geval wordt niet eens onderpand gevestigd, soms een tweede hypotheek (= lastig uitwinbaar), veelal een eerste hypotheek met (te) hoge LTV.

Er ontbreken veel indicatoren om OG proposties op waarde te kunnen schatten: de beoordeling van de locatie, de courantheid en verhandelbaarheid van het pand, de staat van onderhoud (binnen- en buitenkant), de kosten van achterstallig onderhoud of bouwkundige gebreken. Taxatierapporten worden niet bijgevoegd.

Investeren in vastgoed met eerste hypotheek is niet risicoloos. In een crisis komen meer bedrijfspanden leeg te staan. Daarmee daalt de waarde. Geen huurder, betekent sowieso een zeer lage waarde. Excecutieverkoop levert een fractie van de getaxeerde waarde op. Wachten op de juiste koper meer, maar gaat gepaard met doorlopende kosten. Bij particuliere woningen is dat risico minder groot. Maar in ontvolkte en sterk vergrijzende regio’s zeker aanwezig. Meer dan 65% LTV bij courante bedrijfspanden en 80% LTV bij particulier vastgoed voor investeringsdoeleinden is onverstandig. Vooral Geldvoorelkaar en Collin Crowdfund overschrijden die grenzen regelmatig. Geen van de drie platforms hanteert overigens expliciete pricingscriteria voor vastgoedproposities. Andere beoordelingscriteria zijn nodig.

Investeren in de reële economie of meedeinen met speculanten?

Naarmate er meer gehandeld wordt in particulier onroerend goed, zullen de platfoms meebewegen. Daar waar nieuwe panden en projecten worden gerealiseerd via aan-, ombouw en nieuwbouw, zie ik toegevoegde waarde. Daar waar ondernemers hun kosten gelijk kunnen houden met verwerving van het bedrijfspand niet. Investeren in stenen is – zeker nu – slecht voor de liquiditeit van een onderneming. Cash is King in crisistijd.

Maar wat is de toevoegde waarde van opkoop van particuliere panden? Die worden gesplitst of voor drie tot vijf personen ingericht. Huurprijzen worden flink verhoogd, stedelijke omgevingen worden onbetaalbaar voor starters en mensen met lage en midden inkomens. In plaats van honderden euro’s, stijgen de huren naar duizenden euro’s. Niet alleen het snel groeiende platform SameninGeld specialiseert zich hierin. Ook de grote platforms doen mee.

Economen in 17e eeuw noemden grond- en huizenbezitters de steriele klasse, omdat zij niet herinvesteren in directe economie en productiviteit. Adam Smith – schrijver van The Wealth of Nations – noemt hen zelfs parasieten, omdat zij “love to reap, where they never sowed”. Ook Nobelprijs winnaar Joseph Stiglitz, waarschuwt voor de ontwrichtende werking van de toenemende ongelijkheid en de accumulatie van kapitaal en bezit. En u kent vast de econoom Thomas Pikkety, die pleit voor het zwaar belasten van bezittingen en het licht belasten van arbeid?

Kleur bekennen

Met het verstrekken van overbruggingskredieten BMKB-C kunnen platforms hun rol herpakken. Banken laten steken vallen en beperken zich graag tot financieringen van 1 miljoen euro en meer.

Ik ben benieuwd waar de grotere crowdfundplatforms nu voor staan. Blijft het bij het oppikken van de restjes die de banken achterlaten? Zoals het er nu naar uitziet, lijken de grootste platforms veel op elkaar. Tijd voor fusies? Er mag wel wat meer kleur in het landschap komen*. Waar zit de toegevoegde waarde? Wat is hun Why en aan welke maatschappelijke doelstellingen dragen deze grotere platforms meetbaar bij?

 

Lex van Teeffelen

Professor Entrepreneurial Finance and Firm Acquisition

Cash is The Whole Royal Family!

26-08-2020 | Olivier Werlingshoff | treasuryXL

Can the treasurer be the linking pin between different departments within organizations?
For cash related topics he or she has to be the linking pin to understand the cash flows within the company and to be in control. When you understand how all departments work and how the financial information is produced by controllers, you can help them and give advice on how to lower trapped cash.

Cashflow

To me the cash flow forecast is the basic of all treasury related items. When setting up the forecast (direct/indirect), it gives you the possibility to dive deep in the risk of FX and take actions to lower them or even better, to develop a guideline on how to handle FX risks in the future. The same can be done for IR risk, debtor risk and all other cash flow related risks. When making the cash flow forecast, you can literally make visual what the effect of a change in payment behavior of your customers or a change in FX rates will be.

The Treasurer’s task

The treasurer has to be in constant contact with all different departments to receive the most actual information. As treasurer, you also have to challenge the different departments on cash related topics. The reason for this is that most of the colleagues are not always cash focused. You have to set up an internal marketing plan to reach all necessary stakeholders (organize meetings, develop reports, mailings, organize events where colleagues can come with cash optimization related idea’s etc…).

Supply chain departments are focusing on delivering on time for production or sales. It is very interesting to focus on the ins and outs of world of supply chain. All goods can be categorized based on the time they will stay in the warehouse as well as the time needed to replace them and the cost of a reorder. When you combine all variables, an optimum can be reach. The information that supply chain and purchasing department can provide you is the order book. This can help you to extent the reliable period of the direct cash flow forecast.


By sitting close to the financial department or the shared service center you can have a better understanding of the payment behavior of clients but also the payment behavior of the company. Is there enough focus on the debtor collection process and is the sales department also aware of the payment behavior of their customers? Are the invoices send on time? Do they use direct debits or are balances on bank accounts swept daily to a master account?


Financial control is a department which is also related to the cash flow forecast. Most of the time they will make budgets of balance sheets and P&L and will make (monthly/ quarterly/yearly) estimations of the working capital parts such as inventory, accounts payables and receivables. By doing so they will be able to predict an indirect cash flow forecast. Are their presumptions for the working capital parts correct? Are they based on the budget sales, or based on the previous years? Most of the time the presumptions explain the difference between the direct and indirect forecast and difficult to track down.

Conclusion

Financing activities such as project financing, supply chain and trade finance can be set up based on a reliable forecast. By increasing the cash awareness in different departments, you will be able to release trapped cash, lower costs and have better control of all cash related items.

Olivier Werlingshoff

Olivier is an operational treasury manager who likes to connect and get in touch with different departments. By doing so he gets the treasury department and the awareness of cash in the picture, gets grip on the cash flow and releases trapped cash as well as lowers costs.
He is available for a permanent/interim position and you can reach him on

+ 31683629427

o.werlingshoff@ziggo.nl.


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