François Masquelier (Simply Treasury): “Treasury Transformation”
François Masquelier, Simply Treasury’s CEO, presents the company’s three activities: strategic consulting, training and thought leadership. Interview.
Could you describe Simply Treasury in brief?
Simply Treasury is more than just a treasury and an ERM (Enterprise Risk Management) consulting firm for companies, financial institutions, alternative investment funds and FinTech’s – it is also a concept. Simply Treasury is a “thought leader” which aims to promote trends and best practices in treasury. Its objective is to promote treasury management in Luxembourg and to share new techniques and technologies with the financial community, not only with companies but also with other kinds of organisations which manage treasury, often in a less sophisticated way than multinational companies.
“Treasury is transforming itself into fully digital.”
What challenges and opportunities do you identify in treasury in the next 5 years?
Treasury faces a wide range of challenges so I’ll mention some of the main issues. Firstly, treasurers are facing major technological challenges with innovative products (including RPA, robotics and, potentially, artificial intelligence), less expensive alternatives offered by FinTech’s, solutions which break with traditional practices; treasurers will have to integrate these elements into the various IT tools which are already in place. Treasury departments use the most IT tools of all the company’s financial departments. The right solutions must be carefully chosen, integrated and interfaced to increase productivity, something which is required of treasurers. Doing more with less requires technology and the good news is that the technology is there and accessible. Treasury is transforming itself into a “fully digital” treasury. The second challenge lies in compliance with new regulations, which are finally slowing down, fortunately! The economic context is also an issue. For example, how can income be generated from excess liquidity when interest rates are negative and will continue to be so for a very long? Counterparty, political, compliance and other risks are relatively new and, in any case, are more intense than before. Treasurers also have to comply with constraints such as KYC/AML rules, which often impose very significant manual work. Market volatility, globalisation and the stronger correlation between markets make daily management more complex. Lastly, the hunt for talent and new skills is key to success in a world in which the scope of activities has greatly expanded and simultaneously become more complex. This role requires ever more diversified skills, which makes it both appealing and challenging. Simply Treasury is there to help with this digital transformation and to establish the right strategies.
How do you help companies to meet these challenges?
Simply Treasury tries to help companies to decide on their objectives, to determine their roadmaps for the next few years and to implement the techniques, products and innovative solutions which will help them to adapt to the numerous challenges they face. But it also tries to roll out these “best practices” to other financial organisations, including alternative funds, for example, which need them to improve their efficiency and productivity in this area. Simply Treasury also helps financial start-ups to develop an offer which is better tailored to the needs of companies, to promote products and to offer innovative communication strategies to make their solutions known. Despite these many activities, I remain more active than ever as president of ATEL and vice-president of the European Treasurers’ Association.