Adding Value through Cash Management
by Pierre Fersztand, Global Head of Cash Management, BNP Paribas
“In this new world order and disorder, it is important to distinguish between the trend and the trendy. The former has real, long-term implications that affect the fundamentals of the way that we live and work; the latter may be glamorous and rapidly-moving, but is less important to our society. Over the past few years, it has become increasingly difficult to distinguish between the two.”
- Dr Dominique Moïsi, co-founder and senior advisor to the Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI), Pierre Keller Visiting Professor at Harvard University and visiting professor King’s College London, speaking at BNP Paribas’ 7th Cash Management University
In a fast-changing environment of geopolitical shifts, regulatory change, market volatility and technology innovation, it is often difficult to identify where treasury professionals should focus. Which are the initiatives that will help to create long-term value and which will have only a short-term impact? A regular treasury theme in recent years has been the growing importance of cash and liquidity management for multinational corporations. No longer is cash management considered simply an administrative activity, it is recognised as an essential treasury function on which the day-to-day existence, and long-term ability of the company to invest in growth, is founded.
Navigating the complexities of a global marketplace demands a renewed cash management approach in order to create long-term value. Corporations of all sizes need creative cash and liquidity strategies to support their strategic development, comply with regulations across the countries in which they do business and take advantage of evolving opportunities. Whatever the nature of their business, treasurers are looking to optimise the potential that SEPA offers in the Eurozone, anticipate and leverage RMB liberalisation, accelerate secure international payments and automate their reconciliation process. Clients expect higher levels of security and convenience in the way that information and transactions are exchanged with their banks than ever before, which continue to be pivotal to
BNP Paribas’ investment and innovation priorities. Senior management increasingly recognise the value of effective liquidity management, leading to ever-higher demands on treasury. Treasurers are therefore working closely with their bank, technology vendors and finance teams within the business to centralise cash flows and balances, standardise processes, improve working capital metrics and enhance counterparty risk management.
In summary, cash and liquidity management strategies are recognised as essential to creating sustainable value, which in turn translates into corporate investment, innovation and increased market share. To help cash and treasury management professionals navigate through complexity and change, BNP Paribas was once again proud to host the Cash Management University 2014 with the theme of ‘Cash Management: More Valuable Than Ever’. Over 250 corporate delegates from around the world participated, supported by BNP Paribas and its partners, Ace, Bottomline Technologies, SWIFT, PricewaterhouseCoopers, SAP and Worldline.
Since it was first launched in 2006, the Cash Management University has gone from strength to strength and attracts many of the world’s most respected treasurers and CFOs who share their expertise and insights on a wide range of cash management issues and priorities. This year, as a reflection of BNP Paribas’ focus on harnessing innovative technology to create solutions that address our customers’ needs, we used iPads for the first time at the Cash Management University to enable delegates to participate in the interactive forums and polls, and provide real-time feedback, opinions and questions.
While we cannot predict the events of the future, and may only be able to influence them in a small way, BNP Paribas is a stable, dependable partner for our customers through changing times in which cash management will continue to be key. The Cash Management University is an essential and unique demonstration of BNP Paribas’ long-term commitment to meeting the evolving needs of our corporate customers and providing a forum to understand and shape industry trends and best practices.