A Decade of Corporate Recognition and Editor’s Choice Awards: the 2015 Results
by Helen Sanders, Editor, TMI
It is hard to believe that TMI’s Corporate Recognition and Editor’s Choice Awards, which I introduced soon after I became editor of TMI, are now a decade old, while the awards for banks, technology companies and consultants are now in their seventeenth year. Few awards programmes, and indeed few specialist publications, are able to demonstrate the same degree of resilience, flexibility and agility in which TMI has excelled over this period. This is entirely due to the combination of a marvellous team at TMI, our readers, our banking, technology and consulting partners and in particular, the treasurers from around the world who share their experiences and expertise through articles, interviews and case studies. Once again, we would like to thank BNP Paribas for sponsoring the 2015 awards, reflecting the bank’s commitment to promoting best practices and innovation across the treasury profession.
A great deal has changed over the decade since the Corporate Recognition Awards were first introduced, but the measure of innovation and excellence remain the same: what value are treasurers contributing to the enterprise? Corporate finance, risk management, and cash and liquidity management have always been crucial to the role of most treasury functions, but the importance of liquidity and risk in particular has become more widely recognised. In addition, treasurers’ influence is expanding into related areas such as working capital and financial supply chain management, and increasingly commodities risk management.
As these awards have become more widely recognised and respected, they have also become more hotly contested. Not only are all the articles submitted by corporate treasury and finance professionals published during the course of 2015 eligible for awards, but we have received a remarkable number of submissions and nominations from corporate treasurers, their banks, vendors and consultancy partners. As usual, the calibre has also been very high, and we would like to thank everyone who entered, either on their own behalf or on behalf of customers.
Corporate Recognition Award for Risk Management
Awarded to: Borealis
Represented by: Koen Timmermans, Group Financial Risk Manager, Borealis AG
Treasurers are increasingly taking responsibility for commodity risk management, but Borealis was a pioneer in this regard, having taken direct responsibility for commodity risk management since 2009. In this article, Koen Timmermans, Group Financial Risk Manager, outlined the five-step process that his team take to managing commodity risk, consistent with other forms of risk such as foreign exchange. As he explains,
“Bearing in mind the significant market volatility, commodity risk management should be high on the treasury agenda for companies that have a heavy reliance on traded commodities. Production companies should fully understand the risks and rewards of the commodities used in their supply chain and focus specifically on financial price risk management as a distinct activity outside the scope of a normal procurement or sales process.”
“Treasury is well-equipped to take on this responsibility, bearing in mind its expertise in managing complex, high value financial risks, and policies, processes, systems and reporting capabilities. As its role has developed over time, treasury also has the ability to build connections and encourage dialogue between related departments. By doing so, the ability for treasury to add value to the enterprise, and limit the company’s vulnerability to price volatility can be enormous.”
Corporate Recognition Award for Treasury Centralisation
Awarded to: Menarini Group
Represented by: Alessandro Nesti, Financial Activities Corporate Director, Menarini Group
Pharmaceutical company Menarini Group has worked extensively with partner bank UniCredit since 2012 to rationalise bank relationships, centralise cash and liquidity management, and streamline financial processes, including in key markets of Eastern Europe as well as Italy. The aim was to establish timely, accurate visibility and control over cash, to increase financial efficiency and reduce risk. As a result of its partnership with UniCredit, Menarini has rationalised its accounts, centralised balances through a zero-balancing cash pool and achieved visibility and control over cash. Menarini is now working with the bank to explore opportunities to expand the reach of the cash pool further, including Russia, as well as building an efficient pan-European payments factory.
Corporate Recognition Award for Cash Management
Awarded to: World Vision International
Represented by: Ashwin Ramji, Global Assistant Treasurer, World Vision International
In 2015, global humanitarian, relief and advocacy organisation World Vision International launched a bank rationalisation project across 58 countries, and appointed a strong, committed banking panel of eight international banks with extensive correspondent banking networks and innovative cash management solutions that were complementary to World Vision International’s operations. Treasury had a very clear and precise list of requirements that would equip the organisation to meet the challenges of humanitarian and emergency relief operations from highly efficient electronic payment solutions, products to support local employees, cash investment solutions and full cash visibility and control, with a view to developing a standardised global scorecard. We look forward to featuring a more detailed article on World Vision International’s project during 2016.