The Role of Today’s Treasurer
by Claudio Camozzo and Ernst Ohmayer, Co-heads, Global Transaction Banking, UniCredit
The two co-heads of GTB discuss the challenges faced by treasurers every day
What is the environment treasurers have to cope with today?
Claudio Camozzo: More than ever before, treasurers have to operate within a challenging and complex environment. Certainly, they have to work under pressure: on the one hand aiming to reach ambitious personal goals while helping their companies compete at a global level. They therefore need to carefully follow developments in their own sector. On the other hand, they are highly dependent on global economic developments, as well as the ever-changing regulatory backdrop, in all their relevant markets. A treasurer’s role is to be on top of all of these various environments, and to source concrete answers to often complex questions.
You mentioned regulations – SEPA, Basel III (LCR) and PSD 2.0 is still to come – which one has the most important and mutating impact on treasury?
Ernst Ohmayer: All of the quoted regulations have an impact on treasury. Their significance differs depending on the size and purpose of the company. Of course, SEPA is probably the most time- and money-consuming. It is also a game changer. Corporates need to plan the migration well ahead and must take into consideration various aspects, such as IT and customer communications. They need an expert by their side – a partner able to manage, together, such a demanding project. UniCredit is a SEPA bank. We have successfully accompanied many clients through the required SEPA migrations. Of course, this is also an opportunity for treasurers. Tackling these regulatory issues comes with a review of the monitoring and reporting landscape and helps them find further synergies within their operations.
What are the synergies treasurers are looking for?
Claudio Camozzo: Our clients are in a highly competitive environment. Success requires quick decisions they can have faith in. Treasurers must have the right information available immediately. The tools they seek, therefore, are the ones that can help them efficiently meet regulatory requirements as well as manage their processes and resources in a way that adds transparency to their operations. One way of achieving this is through centralising their treasury and cash management operations – for instance, through payment factories or shared service centres. Furthermore, treasurers need near-time information to get a real-time overview on liquidity at any moment and in any location. And of course, risk management is essential. Be it credit risk or operational risk, the treasurer must be able to manage their risks properly.
And which solutions are available for treasurers here?
Ernst Ohmayer: Global Transaction Banking can offer many solutions that help optimise working capital management. For instance, in order to meet the requirement to rationalise bank accounts we have developed an innovative solution that helps account structures benefit from a reduction in bank accounts and increase matching rates and STP at the same time. Also, treasurers preferably want to access information from their mobile devices in order to gain an overview of a company´s liquidity – worldwide – at any one moment. Apps or other mobile eBanking tools solutions using the latest technology – relying on global ebanking interfaces – can be the solution here.