Innovation for Change
by Lars Millberg, Head, Global Transaction Services Corporate, SEB Merchant Banking
The sands of the financial landscape continue to shift, and treasurers must continue to manage risk and liquidity, and maximise financial and operational efficiency within this changing environment. A strong relationship between the treasurer and his banks has never been more important, both to make sense of this often confusing picture, and ascertain the best way of achieving the company’s financial objectives. As Jesper Ahrgren and Robert Pehrson outline in the article that follows, no longer can banks focus on lending and payments processing alone. Instead, their customers are relying on them to find more integrated, efficient and cost-effective means of delivering the products and services they need, taking into account the entire scope of the relationship and the full range of financial processes.
The importance of innovation, and what this means in practice, is the topic of this special SEB Guide, to reflect the shifting dynamics of the corporate-to-bank relationship. But is innovation important? Innovation for its own sake has little value if a new way of doing something delivers no greater value than its predecessor. However, in an intensely competitive environment, with our clients constantly seeking to lower their costs, accelerate and automate processes, and exploit new commercial opportunities for growth, innovation is essential to create competitive advantage and address today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.
SEB is pioneering the banking industry in leveraging new technology, methodologies, approaches and solutions to support a changing financial landscape. This commitment to innovation impacts every aspect of our business, from the way that we interact with our customers to the design and delivery of solutions. For example, as Patrik Havander and Håkan Aldrin illustrate, leveraging social media is just one of the ways that we are facilitating information, interaction and service delivery to our clients. Erik Zingmark considers innovation from another angle, looking at the way in which bank partnerships, the success of which is critical to achieving a company’s global financial objectives, will be conducted in the future.
SEB is pioneering the banking industry in leveraging new technology, methodoligies, approaches and solutions to support a changing financial landscape.
Pivotal to SEB’s strategy, past, present and future, are our clients, and how we can support them in innovative ways that enable them to achieve their current and future financial objectives. We are delighted to feature a variety of our clients in this Guide, each of which has embraced innovation in various ways. In the Roundtable discussion, four companies: Ericsson; Holmen; Niscayah and ASSA ABLOY discuss some of the challenges of maximising operational efficiency. David Flory, Head of Group Cash Management at HeidelbergCement highlights the company’s fresh approach to selecting a banking partner in the UK, while Björn Gerhard of Corporate Centre Finance at Hoyer Group describes the company’s innovative approach to centralisation.
Producing new ideas is not difficult, but delivering on them can bring many challenges, and few banks can adapt quickly to new opportunities. With a banking landscape that is vastly different from two years ago, companies are no longer seeking global solutions from a single banking partner; rather, they are seeking best-in-class banking partners in each region of operation, who can work together as part of a global strategy. Consequently, regional banks such as SEB are proving increasingly appealing to corporates of all sizes and levels of complexity. For example, SEB has 150 years’ experience in supporting the increasingly global aspirations of our clients. To achieve this, we have leveraged new technologies, formed more efficient, cohesive partnerships, and adopted a fully customer-centric approach to solution design and delivery, enabling us to meet our clients’ regional and global objectives. With a culture, commitment and organisational flexibility to anticipate and respond to changing market dynamics, SEB is innovating for change, to provide the solutions and delivery channels that will support our clients’ business strategies and enable their current and future success.