9 April 2020

My conference speech, from home...

Written by

Niels van Daatselaar

Photography by
Niels van Daatselaar

The world has changed enormously in the last few weeks. Still unbelievable that most people around the whole world are sitting at home, working, taking care of their children, making the best of it.

It made me think of what I would normally have been doing around this time of the year: visiting many banks around the world and attending conferences. Not doing this really changed my agenda. Fortunately, the people that I normally meet with at banks and conferences are quite tech savvy and for them meeting over video is not the biggest challenge. Next to that, my carbon footprint has declined to very nice low levels.

So, in between all these daily video conferences I thought, let’s reach out to the people who I would have loved to meet and show them the presentation that I could have given on any of the conferences, via LinkedIn. For you to consume/digest whenever you like!

 

The importance of online treasury, especially now

Even though treasury is not on top of most minds these days, global activity on foreign exchange hedging has grown substantially and it is not only video conferencing tools like Zoom being heavily used. The activity on our FX hedging platform has grown significantly now that dealing rooms have far less capacity for phone trading.

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For confidentiality purposes, we cannot show the y-axis numbers

How corporates look at TMS (Treasury Management System)

TreasurUp has interviewed tens of corporates in the Netherlands and held an online survey which was filled in by >100 corporates. Most corporates have an annual turnover of EUR 20-300 million.

What came out:

  • Many companies with a turnover EUR <300 million would like some treasury management tooling but do not have/get the budget for it.
  • Companies that do use a TMS platform only use a small part of its functionalities.
  • Due to the fact that TMS is (1) expensive for many small- and medium sized corporates and (2) sometimes difficult to connect to ERP and bank accounts, many corporates still use Excel and bank portals for a large part of their treasury operations. This offers opportunities for banks!
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TMS step 1: Liquidity insights and management

This is regarded as the basis: a company needs to know what their liquidity position per currency is even with multiple entities, located around the world.

  • Around 70% of the small- and medium sized companies are interested in liquidity insights.
  • More than half of this group would use a liquidity insights tool from their bank straight away.
  • Around 40% of this group of 70% would first need to be convinced that the offered tool is better than their current Excel setup.

 

TMS step 2: Cash flow forecasting

Companies that grow in terms of turnover, people and professionality will at some point engage into the next level in finance: cash flow forecasting.

  • Medium and large companies with a CFO and treasury department consider it as a necessity:
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  • 75% of the larger mid cap companies were interested in a bank offering a cash flow forecasting solution (N=20 interviews).
  • When asked to >80 small and medium sized companies, this percentage was ˜50%. Ie. for many small companies, this is something for the future.
  • A good cash flow forecast depends on the quality of data input and preferably with some historical data.
  • The process of updating the forecasts and learning from the delta’s is crucial to get better at it.
  • Software can help make the data upload from different sources, the data validation & structuring and the output analysis much easier.

Conclusions

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Corona should not be a reason to put projects on hold. That is classic cyclical thinking. Now is the time to get things right online for better times to come. And they will come. Fortunately, most banks that we work with are acting in this way.