EMEA Perspectives: Foreword
by Ather Williams III, Head of Global Transaction Services, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
The economic and political landscape in EMEA has not been a restful one for the corporate treasury profession over the past year. Conflict in the Middle East and on Europe’s borders combined with the near-miss of Greece’s refinancing and continuing uncertainty over the UK’s future in the European Union have created a kaleidoscope of risks.
At the same time, treasurers are taking on an even more strategic role as they work more closely with other business functions such as procurement to manage payments and optimize working capital.
Taken together, these changes add up to a challenge for treasurers – one which promises a more rewarding future for those who embrace a new perspective on what the limits of corporate treasury should be.
This special supplement addresses just these issues, starting with Jennifer Boussuge’s overview of the EMEA region and continuing with an examination of the latest developments in liquidity and investment policies by Suzanne Janse van Rensburg. There is also a focus on the benefits of centralisation by Jonathon Traer-Clark and Bruce Meuli.
In Europe, as elsewhere, the role of banks is changing alongside that of the treasurer. Today’s global banker should act as a trusted advisor to treasury clients, able to provide thoughtful expertise to help the treasurer make efficient use of the resources at his or her disposal, and insightful perspectives into innovations that can help treasury become a center for value creation in the enterprise. Matthew Davies’s article on payments and receivables illustrates some of the ways that banks can support their clients by providing more integrated end-to-end solutions.
This evolving relationship between bank and treasurer is reflected in Joanne Gill’s analysis of the increasing integration of the previously separate areas of treasury and capital markets; a shift which is rightly being reflected by a more holistic offering by banks. Lesley White and Paul Taylor explore the steps companies can take when growing internationally to help them pave the road to successful expansion.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s role as a global bank is to help our clients understand and profit from regional and global challenges and opportunities. The articles in this supplement are a small contribution towards that end. I hope you find them informative and thought-provoking.