Integrating Cash and Risk: A Next Generation TMS
By Eleanor Hill, Editor
In April 2018, TMS vendor GTreasury acquired Visual Risk, a leading risk management and treasury software company based in Australia. The goal of the acquisition is nothing less than to create the most comprehensive TMS in the market. Eleanor Hill, Editor, TMI, catches up with three senior GTreasury executives to discuss how the integration of the two companies is going, and what unique benefits treasurers can expect from the new offering.
Eleanor Hill (EH): GTreasury has had a busy year: could you provide a quick recap of some of the major milestones?
Orazio Pater, CEO, GTreasury (OP): We have had a very exciting 12 months, kicking off with a $42m investment from Mainsail Partners, a well-known growth fund, in September last year. On the back of that, we have made a number of investments, particularly in senior talent – people and expertise are absolutely fundamental to the success of our business.
Importantly, the investment from Mainsail has also supported us in the acquisition of Visual Risk, which has functionally rich, innovative technology for forward-looking risk analytics, asset-liability management, and hedge accounting, as well as cash and treasury management.
From a strategic perspective, Visual Risk has not only extended our geographical coverage, but has also enabled us to strengthen and differentiate GTreasury’s offering, to the point where we now have a leadership position. Our focus for the near future will be making the most of the integration of the two companies, but we will also continue to look at additional opportunities through both acquisitions and growth in our sales and marketing and services. In short, we are investing in all areas of the company.
EH: With Visual Risk now part of the GTreasury family, what is the company’s overall vision and what is driving this?
Terry Beadle, Global Head of Corporate Development, GTreasury (TB): By bringing Visual Risk into GTreasury, we want to create the most complete and innovative treasury management system (TMS) available. As well as providing a cutting-edge software-as-a-service (SaaS) product, we want to be functionally complete from the treasurer’s perspective and lead in the future of TMSs.
So, what does all that mean? Well, if you look at the history of the TMS market, there were monolithic on-premises systems that were very expensive and difficult to implement, although functionally quite rich. Then the SaaS products arrived, in a second wave of development, which were perhaps less functional but easier to implement and run. We see ourselves as the third generation TMS, offering both SaaS and the rich functionality that treasurers want – in a way that reflects how they see the world. After all, no treasurer separates their cash management from their risk management – the two are interlinked.
In addition to bringing these functionalities together in a complete TMS solution, we want to exceed the needs of the digital treasurer. We are keen to help transform the treasury function – moving the department away from the purely operational focus of today – into a more strategic role.
EH: On the topic of SaaS, what cloud technology do you use? And how secure is it??
Alok Tyagi, Chief Product and Technology Officer, GTreasury (AT): Both GTreasury and Visual Risk use the Microsoft Cloud stack. From a customer perspective, this means we have a global reach, since Microsoft Azure has data centres across the globe. We can also deliver a solution more locally to customers who are concerned about using a data centre within their own geography. It is worth noting that Microsoft has a very high bar for security, compliance and infrastructure. In fact, it is a gold standard in the cloud world.
EH: How will the integration of GTreasury and Visual Risk address some of the challenges treasurers currently face with existing TMSs? How do corporates stand to benefit from this tie-up?
TB: By combining cash management and risk management capabilities in one TMS, treasurers have a single view of their entire workflow. This is far preferable to having risk management as a separate system, since that means two systems, two sets of numbers and double the workload. A great deal of time is often lost reconciling data from one system to the other – and the more time you spend on the production of information, the less you spend on the analytics. Our new offering simplifies this workflow.
What’s more, on the risk side, systems have historically looked at risks in a siloed way. We, however, like to bring all the risks together and create a picture that treasurers can analyse. They can see the correlation and interplay between a variety of risks and see how levels of stress on the company’s cash flows is impacted by the entire risk landscape, not just individual risk scenarios.
EH: Are there specific risks that you would highlight? What functionalities can treasurers expect from a risk perspective?
TB: Our risk offering is broad. For example, it enables treasurers to calculate and forecast exposures to foreign exchange, hedge those effectively, and perform the downstream hedge accounting of those.
Interest rate risk is also taken into account in our TMS, and we expect more and more clients to seek these kinds of capabilities going forward as the management of debt becomes an increasing focus for treasurers.
Finally, cash flow risk is another important aspect of the solution, together with analytics that allow the treasurer to calculate hedging ratios, for example. These types of functionalities will be more important as treasurers become increasingly strategic in their thinking, and as CEOs and CFOs focus more on what the company’s financial risks really are.