The Bombardier/Deutsche Bank Partnership: A Global Solution for a Multinational Client
by Debra Hinds, Global Cash Management, Bombardier Inc. and Ali Agha, Corporate Cash Management Sales Manager and Americas Head of Asia Desk, Global Transaction Banking,Deutsche Bank
Bombardier Inc., a world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from commercial aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, systems and services, that is headquartered in Montreal, Canada. With revenues of $17.5 billion for the fiscal year ending January 31, 2008, Bombardier maintains a centralized treasury from the point of view of foreign exchange trading and investing in Montreal. Bombardier employs a workforce of 59,760 people worldwide with more than 96% of revenues generated outside of Canada. Bombardier is a global provider with a presence in more than 60 countries on five continents, including manufacturing facilities in 21 countries. With two back offices, one based in Zurich, which handles the European and Asian entities, and the other in Montreal, Bombardier is required to tackle the many regulatory initiatives that are happening worldwide.
Challenges around the globe
In 1999, Bombardier established its Treasury Center in Zurich. The Zurich back office is most affected by the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). Therefore, the treasury team in Zurich was charged with the responsibility of leading the way forward on this initiative for the rest of the organization. In early 2008, Bombardier conducted a review of all systems to ensure that they could handle the use of bank identifier codes (BICs) and international bank account numbers (IBANs), which would be required for SEPA. The payments platform that was used in Zurich did not accept the additional field requirements for BICs and IBANs so an upgrade was on the horizon. As Bombardier was leveraging multiple SAP platforms, efficiencies needed to be created as some of these platforms became outdated.
With a lack of personnel to manage ongoing developments internally within the corporate and externally such as SEPA and other changes to bank regulations in the eurozone, Bombardier was looking for a more efficient way to manage its cash management business in Europe. In addition, there was concern about more efficiently handling investment of excess funds and country-specific regulations.