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ATEL Winter Conference: Treasury Dynamics

ATEL’s Winter Conference took place on the 12th of December at Arendt House. This was a great occasion to take stock of trends and solutions in the treasury world.

Treasury Trends are not Just Technological

Cyrille Oudard and Jérôme Brun with kyriba described the journey from treasury functions being primarily reactive, to where it is creating value through enterprise, insight and intelligence. While they say technology optimizes treasury functions, the strategies and processes overlaying the technology heighten the fuller integration of treasury functions including payments, working capital, and risk management workflows. Stew Cofer, Head of EMEA Local Payments Products and Priyanka Rath, EMEA Liquidity Solutions Lead at J.P. Morgan said treasurers need to manage uncertainty in the macro environment, capture value from the hype surrounding technology. By embracing the changing payments landscape they will facilitate cost reduction, yield enhancement, automation and better risk management.           

“IBOR is the most important number in the world.” Philippe Förster, Director, PwC


Philippe Förster of PwC told the conference, “IBOR is the most important number in the world.” That will change by the end of 2021 when it is replaced by ARR. He says the change will require the identification and renegotiation of legacy LIBOR debt contracts; evaluation of existing hedged exposures for their transition to potential ARR exposures and monitoring the timing of transitions to ARR to mitigate risks. François Masquelier Chairman of ATEL spoke about the increasing and negative effects of KYC regulation. He concluded that KYC costs are increasing for corporates because of a lack of standardization as the level of regulation increases. Paul Gerhard Haase from Cinfoni concurred adding that Cinfoni’s network – a P2P solution based on distributed ledger technology - as a single point of contact with banks and corporate clients could achieve standardization and automation. Jan Becker then showcased Cinfoni’s intuitive onboarding interface, which manages to reduce onboarding of corporate clients from 6 weeks to an impressive 2 days.


Technology and Cybersecurity

Cyrille Oudard and Jerome Brun from Kyriba’s questioned what treasurers can expect from new technologies. Over 60% of respondents to a survey see the potential in data analytics, RPA and AI in the next 2-3 years. However, only 1% or 2% are optimizing the treasury functions based on connected real-time data, advance predictive liquidity/working capital management and cloud-first strategies. He highlighted the benefits of technologies in reducing risk; increasing forecast accuracy to optimize working capital and drastically reducing the effort in reconciliations. Ravi Rao, Vice President, Information Security at J.P. Morgan stressed how, in the event of cyberattacks, treasurers need to protect critical payables including payroll, supplier payments, intercompany loans and margin payments using such tools such as a “Response Playbook.”

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