Optimising Liquidity Management
A BNP Paribas Cash Management University Panel Discussion
Effective liquidity management is an ambition for every treasurer globally. During the 5th Cash Management University, hosted by BNP Paribas, workshop participants discussed some of the ways that they had optimised liquidity management, with both a regional and global view. The panel comprised the following:
- Niels van Popta, Director Global Treasury, Heineken;
- Sirkku Markula SVP, Corporate Treasurer, KONE Corporation;
- Tom Cools, Director, Corporate Treasury Solutions, PricewaterhouseCoopers;
- Jan Rottiers, Head of Liquidity Management Products, BNP Paribas
- Helen Sanders, Editor, TMI (chair)
Tom Cools, PricewaterhouseCoopers provided some interesting statistics on trends amongst corporate treasuries globally (figure 1). These were derived from a survey that PricewaterhouseCoopers had conducted during 2011, including 583 respondents. He illustrated that while funding was the primary concern for treasurers (73%), 60% of treasurers indicated that cash and liquidity management were priorities. Just over 30% of respondents also indicated that treasury technology and automation was a key issue.
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ research, and the experiences of both BNP Paribas and corporate participants, emphasised that it can be very challenging to establish cohesive liquidity structures due to the significant differences that exist between regions. With no single bank covering every country, a co-ordinated approach is required, with strong regional banks that may also work with key partner banks. There are also differences that need to be considered from a regulatory perspective. For example, both notional and physical (zero balancing) cash pools are achievable in Europe, with a choice of locations for the header account, although there are some countries that may not be included. In North America, notional pooling opportunities are far more limited. In Asia Pacific, while both notional and physical cash pooling are frequently employed, the countries that can be included are limited.