• Monday
    21 September
  • Tuesday
    22 September
  • Wednesday
    23 September
  • Thursday
    24 September
  • Friday
    25 September
  • Centre stage
  • Stage 1
  • Stage 2
  • Stage 3
  • Stage 4
  • Lab 1
  • Lab 2
Keynotes
  • 9:00am BST
    4:00am EST
    4:00pm SGT
    The bigger picture: after the bailout what next?
  • First there was the shock, then the bounce; and now a new uncertainty. Financial markets are back to pre-pandemic levels but what about businesses and people? If this is recovery is it a V, a W or a ‘reverse tick’? Or is this just the prelude to a recession that was predicted before we’d ever heard of Covid-19? Will there be a second wave? Have government bailouts have created a new bubble or a debt bomb or both? What will the return to work look like and how will it differ region by region given the role of demographics in mortality? And overlaying these imponderables, the key trends of the last 10 years are coming to a boil. Technology, nationalism, and the big one – the planet. So where do businesses start? What practical steps can they take to survive this level of uncertainty?

  • 10:00am BST
    5:00am EST
    5:00pm SGT
    Winners and losers in the new abnormal
  • At the peak of the panic, it looked like the end for airlines, hotels, cruise ships and conferences. The entire hospitality and live entertainment industry looked doomed. A few months and many big bailouts later, the picture is not so clear. Governments have pivoted toward re-opening faster than the science has indicated, but the complexity and variety of the rules and advice just on social distancing will have unpredictable results — let alone the vagaries of populations’ response to new scares. This makes prediction hard. One thing though is clear. Covid-19 has drawn a line. In a world in which individuals can use the internet to create global brands and street-food stalls in Asia can leverage mobile payments and web food-delivery apps to build country-wide businesses, companies must grapple with how to benefit from and compete with omni-channel digitalization and its overlays of personal brand power, video, mobile, sustainability and customer experience. This is the decade in which governments, companies, markets and society more broadly will have to fully come to terms with the digital trends of the past 10 years. What does real digital thinking look like? And is it a realistic ambition for every business?

  • 12:00pm BST
    7:00am EST
    7:00pm SGT
    The perfect storm: Covid-19 through a treasury lens
  • Faced with collapsing top-line revenues, uncertain costs, a spike in cash collection problems, extreme financial market volatility and the need to prepare balance sheets for a prolonged economic storm, treasuries around the globe have battled to keep on top of a fluid and dangerous situation. On the upside, extreme stress tests reveal what works and what doesn’t, and can act as a powerful lever for additional resources or strategic change. Our panel of three treasury professionals reveals what they found most challenging; where normal treasury assumptions, systems and dependencies held up and where they didn’t and how those lessons are already reshaping the treasury agenda.

Best to be brilliant at the basics

Being brilliant at the basics has always been at the core of corporate success. Surviving sudden, unprecedented and unexpected disruption has only emphasised the importance of strong foundation and rigorous processes. And nowhere is this more apparent than treasury. But post-pandemic which basics are the most important and what can go on the backburner? And what does being brilliant at them look like?

  • 2:00pm BST
    9:00am EST
    9:00pm SGT
    Visibility, visibility, visibility
  • As the crisis has shown, without visibility, companies are robbed of the information they need to make critical decisions. Working with relationship banks to improve and standardise multi-bank connectivity is part of the answer, as are open banking, SWIFT’s GPI initiative, APIs and new third-party platforms dedicated to improving information flows in cross-border banking and payments. And as the building blocks of a real-time financial system start to come on-line, instant visibility becomes a more realistic objective. But in this complicated ecosystem, with a leap in visibility now seemingly possible, what is the best way to get there? Should treasurers now try to outsource the visibility problem completely or should they get involved in the nitty-gritty of, for example, integrating bank APIs within ERP systems, treasury management platforms and other portals? This treasurer aimed for the 80/20 rule and exceeded expectations: how did they do it cost-effectively?

  • 3:00pm BST
    10:00am EST
    10:00pm SGT
    Liquidity, liquidity, liquidity
  • The pandemic has stressed every treasury pain point, from cash visibility to managing the credit risk on receivables to managing the treasury team remotely. But for most treasurers the single biggest concern has been securing liquidity from the banking and capital markets to bridge this period of extreme uncertainty. This has fallen to treasury as debt issuance and conducting capital markets activities, once seen as the responsibility of the CFO, are now undertaken by treasury. While the C-suite still determines overall parameters for capital structure and, particularly, any equity-related changes, bond and loan negotiation and execution are very often left to treasury staff. Even where there is CFO input, treasury is usually responsible for the planning, projections, interest rate modelling and cash flow analysis that precedes debt issuance. This treasurer has led a recent series of financings over the past months and in this session they explain their view of the role of treasurer, CFO and the board in capital raising and finance structure optimisation.

  • 5:00pm BST
    12:00pm EST
    12:00am* SGT
    Working capital harder
    • Iñaki Castañón Orue Corporate Treasurer Telefónica Spain
  • A downturn in consumer demand is leading to increased inventories that are getting more difficult to clear; suppliers are struggling to shift components through supply chains causing WIP and payment issues; and everywhere receivables are becoming unpredictable as cash-strapped customers delay cash outlays. At the same time, banks face more difficult credit decisions and traditional sources of liquidity are drying up. This is where the best treasuries step up and look to unconventional sources of working capital as well as the old stalwarts. They have quickly accessed all the government funding on the table; they have deferred any tax payments they can; they have identified the lenders most likely to back them through the crisis and raised cash from them; and they are on top of the terms of their existing facilities and have renegotiated interest timings; they are looking at CAPEX and swapping fixed to variable costs through sale and leasebacks. This treasurer takes us through their working capital crisis checklist.

    Iñaki Castañón Orue Corporate Treasurer Telefónica Spain
Treasury at the frontline of another normal: exploring new remits

Many of the critical developments in modern commerce have been felt first, or most keenly, in treasury. Think about the revolution in payments, the radical changes in foreign exchange and derivatives markets caused by algorithmic trading, blockchain, card virtualisation and wallets, and automation. The Covid-altered world will accelerate these trends but reverse others. Again, treasury will be at the frontline of the business response, as these sessions will show.

  • 1:00pm BST
    8:00am EST
    8:00pm SGT
    Research insights: Building a resilient treasury
    • Melanie Noronha Senior Editor The Economist Intelligence Unit UAE
  • No sooner had treasurers started to implement strategies for 2020 than the economic picture for the year changed irrevocably. Treasurers have had to balance managing short-term risks with longer-term priorities. They have reassessed macro and financial risks that impact investment plans and corporate strategy and are preparing for negative interest rates and regulatory changes. Against this backdrop, treasurers are increasingly relying on advanced technologies to navigate the changes and stay ahead. In this session, we will highlight the forces that will define both the priorities of the future and the corporate treasury function itself over the coming decade. We will open with insights from The Economist Intelligence Unit, exploring attitudes among corporate treasurers towards the drivers of strategic change and delve deeper into the experiences of senior treasurers across industries.

    Melanie Noronha Senior Editor The Economist Intelligence Unit UAE
  • 2:00pm BST
    9:00am EST
    9:00pm SGT
    A treasury stock check: where we are and where we need to be- priorities in a world of too many choices?
  • Given the levels of uncertainty from the biggest big picture to the minutiae of process and regulation, how can treasurers set priorities – and for how long in advance should they? One approach is simply to focus on traditional priorities: strengthening enterprise risk management, driving balance-sheet efficiency, improving liquidity and funding management, and ensuring robust governance and controls. In this paradigm, as the demands of the business change, treasury adapts, devoting resources to whatever is required as and when. This essentially reactive role may make sense in a fast-moving and unpredictable environment but it forgoes the opportunity to get ahead of key trends: data and technology are critical differentiators; treasury needs the staff and skillsets to get the infrastructure, the privacy and the security right; the liquidity and interest rate environment are far more likely to deteriorate than improve – again treasury can anticipate and plan for these contingencies; and most firms will need to do more online, more on mobile and give customers and suppliers the widest possible range of ways to interact financially with them. These are the projects treasury can initiate now. These treasury teams have a plan for the next 24 months. In this session they explain what it is and why.

Treasury masters share all: benchmark your treasury against top performers

Are you an SME or a global MNC? Is your priority managing rapid growth, hedging against political and economic uncertainty, digital transformation or international expansion? Regardless of where your company is in the treasury journey, these fireside chats and case studies with the world’s leading treasurers will give you valuable insights into the ways in which you can improve your core treasury operations and add real value to your business.

  • 2:00pm BST
    9:00am EST
    9:00pm SGT
    What type of treasury and treasurer are you?
  • The path from boutique business to successful corporation may look different for every firm but there are critical, definable stages and the leaps from one to the next are not straightforward. At each stage, firms need different strategies, staff and financial infrastructure and developing a dedicated treasury at the right time is a key moment in that journey. So when is it the right time to create a treasury function? What are the key indicators that flag up that necessity? In today’s digital-first environment how does a de novo treasury differ from traditional structures? And how do different business strategies around debt, cash and the P&L influence treasury development?

  • 4:00pm BST
    11:00am EST
    11:00pm SGT
    Maintaining access to growth markets
  • The challenges of entering new markets swiftly and efficiently are largely a function of era: those who can remember a Europe before the euro, the old Soviet Union and an emerging Asia will recall the problems in even the most straightforward cross-border cash transactions. As globalisation has advanced, most problems around bank accounts and payments these days centre on new technologies and platforms, with some residual regulatory snaggles. But with the apparent reversal of trends towards frictionless trade, we may be returning to a more complex time. In emerging markets, the devil is in the local detail. The availability of particular banking and cash management services, the rules around cross-border payments and currency convertibility and the legal and accounting rules governing liquidity management, hedging and other financial transactions all depend on often volatile and unsophisticated regulatory regimes. So how can treasury ensure that when the business wants to enter new markets, it can still easily access local banking and capital markets, make and receive payments and manage cross-border liquidity and cash balances? This company had developed a best-in-class domestic treasury operation but has found that replicating that as they expanded has been a steep learning curve.

Transforming treasury technology and all things digital: a reality check

The rapidity of technological change is overwhelming companies’ ability to digest it. Manual processes and Excel-based workflows are ubiquitous and often linked to established counterparty and supply chain practices and relationships as much as to legacy ways of working. To change this, treasurers must isolate the improvements that will deliver the most value, and then choosing strategies and solutions to achieve those improvements, is a less risky path to treasury transformation – and easier to sell to senior management. In this stream see how your peers are easing core treasury pain points cost-effectively and without undue disruption to business as usual.

  • 3:00pm BST
    10:00am EST
    10:00pm SGT
    New partners for a new world
  • With underlying technologies changing so fast, it can be daunting to press the button on a potentially transformative investment in new systems and platforms. And B2B and B2C requirements and expectations mean a move to real-time payments and collections is likely to become the norm. How do you understand which tech to choose? This company has built a strong relationship between its internal FinTech and Treasury Teams in order to make the right choices to ensure they meet the needs of their customers. In this presentation, Delivery Hero’s FinTech and Treasury Team will talk about how they collaborate and define strategies in order to select the right technology going forward and why, particularly on the e-commerce front.

  • 4:00pm BST
    11:00am EST
    11:00pm SGT
    Open banking and APIs – the treasurers’ friends
  • Open banking may have seemed a retail rather than a corporate revolution but that is not how it is turning out. The ability to access and use data more freely, and to use APIs to provide corporate customers with direct access to bank systems is transforming payments, bank account management and liquidity management. For mid-size companies banks are creating multi-channel solutions that function as miniature ERPs. And by allowing for the creation of apps to service different types of user, open banking is creating new payment channels and opportunities to expand businesses. The next wave of innovation will deliver a new generation of products and services that use APIs as the glue to integrate traditionally separate offerings in new ways, creating more comprehensive solutions that meet corporate treasurers’ needs faster, better and more cost-efficiently. In this case study, one company shows the innovations they have been able to achieve within the treasury with APIs and open banking.

Payments & FX

Payments sit at the intersection of pretty much every significant treasury concern: fraud, cyber-risk, technology transformation, real-time transactions, and the tensions between globalisation and de-globalisation. In this Lab get the latest on the key technical and regulatory initiatives changing the payments ecosystem and on the big picture drivers that may upend the conventional assumptions.

  • 1:00pm BST
    8:00am EST
    8:00pm SGT
    Reaping the benefits of real-time payments
  • With around 45 schemes currently live and a further 13 in planning stages, the question about real-time payments is no longer about ‘how?’ and more about ‘why?’. In other words, with Mastercard launching its UK RtP solution and the EBA developing a pan-European RfP infrastructure going live in 2020, what benefits can treasury bring to the business by adopting RtP and the associated overlay services such as request for payment (RfP)? It’s not just about working capital either (most payers are also receivers. So the benefits of RTP accrue to them too), real-time payments networks will deliver real-time transaction data from which they can derive financial and CRM insights that can be utilized across the business faster than ever before. There are downsides too: better security and controls are needed when systems do not contain built-in delays that give staff time to spot problems. This treasury has been an early-adopter of real-time payments. This is how they see the pros and cons.

  • 5:00pm BST
    12:00pm EST
    12:00am* SGT
    Coping with payments growth
  • Despite recent headwinds, corporations are doing more cross-border business with more customers in more currencies than ever before. M&A volumes continue at near record levels, further boosting cross-border activity. Keeping pace with the business and delivering a treasury that can cope with these levels of payments while offering third-parties seamless connectivity with the portals, accounts, formats, and clearing systems they demand, is a key treasury headache. Technology is a critical part of the solution, but which technology? SWIFT, Ripple, EBICS, H2H, WorldPay, Western Union, Alipay, WeChat, Venmo, Stripe, Earthport, Transfa…the list of payment channels, platforms and providers is endless. So is the list of fintech startups, the M&A deals and the different payment models targeted at different segments of the market. And what about APIs? While the choices facing treasurers depend partly on size, sector and region, all treasurers must now evaluate their traditional payment solutions against the relevant newcomers if they are to drive costs down and keep up with new technology, their suppliers and customers. This treasurer takes us through their payment ecosystem, explaining what they chose and why.

Working capital & supply chain finance

Covid-19 turned the supply chain world upside down. And although supply chain finance has developed rapidly over the past few years becoming cloud-based and ERP-integrated with new platforms that can aggregate buyers and suppliers globally, the pandemic brought home weaknesses in companies’ technology, transaction information flows, working capital strategies and many other things. The need for digitisation is now critical. Companies need to look much more closely at risks and develop the tools to ensure adequate working capital. This lab will help you review and problem solve.

  • 1:00pm BST
    8:00am EST
    8:00pm SGT
    Discovering faults in the supply chain: lessons learned and what will the future look like
  • The coronavirus virus highlighted many of the faults in global supply chains. Take the food industry as one example where panic buying caused supermarket shortages yet restaurants and hotels’ food buying slumped because of mandatory closures. Add to that distribution challenges because of travel difficulties and many companies in the industry had to repurpose or face large-scale disruptions. Banking and tech partners faced challenges too. The pace of digitalisation, particularly development of APIs became a priority in order to streamline processes in onboarding new suppliers, opening bank accounts and dealing with KYC issues. The need to have more robust and diverse supply chains certainly emerged as a key lesson learned. What challenges did other industries face? Invoice settlement times have also increased reversing a trend towards quicker settlement times which is impacting SMEs in particular. So what are the key moves to ensure stronger, more diverse supply chains for multinationals. What can we expect from supply chains going forward? Has there been a shift away from China? Is production moving closer to home? How far have companies and banks come in the digitalisation of the paper trail that accompanies global supply chains? This keynote will look at how the next few years will shape up in terms of global trade and supply chains.

  • 3:00pm BST
    10:00am EST
    10:00pm SGT
    A comprehensive risk-based review of the supply chain
  • Abrupt disruption in the supply chain, for example from Covid-19, left many companies with mere weeks or a few months of cash to run their business. Those that could drew down liquidity from bank facilities, but others took action such as postponing paying suppliers which in turn caused risk throughout the financial supply chain. There are many ways to mitigate disruption in supply chain but companies were caught off-guard. Post-Covid it makes sense to have a thorough review. Have you done a proper business continuity plan for the supply chain? Do you know who your suppliers’ suppliers are? Does your company understand the data and financial flows in your supply chain? Where can technology like AI and blockchain play a role in creating visibility and smarter options for both the physical and financial supply chain? How can you conduct a thorough review to understand a complex, integrated structure in order to ensure adequate flows amongst all partners involved? This company, in the face of Covid-19, conducted a thorough review, embraced smart technology and have created a more robust process for the future in making both physical and financial decisions in the supply chain.

  • Centre stage
  • Stage 1
  • Stage 2
  • Stage 3
  • Stage 4
  • Lab 1
  • Lab 2
Keynotes
  • 6:00am BST
    1:00am EST
    1:00pm SGT
    Asia’s diverse economies: directions for the next decade
    • Simon Baptist Global Chief Economist & Managing Director, Asia The EIU Singapore
  • The diversity of Asia’s economies is myriad, defying simple definitions as countries across the APAC region move up and down the gears of growth, with surges in sectors and markets, and dips due to factors including trade wars, economic cycles, political events, and most recently, public health concerns that have disrupted business continuity and supply chains. At the centre sits China, where slowdown in GDP growth has been dramatic in recent years, whilst smaller economies such as Vietnam are rising. So what are the predictions for Asia in the next 10 years? Is the Asia Century economic narrative stalling, or will the region become resurgent as trade deals finally materialise and markets mature? For corporate treasurers, both in MNC APAC and regional companies, what indicators are flashing on the corporate dashboard that will impact operations in the year ahead?

    Simon Baptist Global Chief Economist & Managing Director, Asia The EIU Singapore
  • 9:00am BST
    4:00am EST
    4:00pm SGT
    The power of partnership
  • In a crisis, relationships matter. And in a business environment of ever-multiplying dependencies, the reliability of partnerships and of partners themselves was and remains critical. Treasurers relied upon banks to provide new lines of credit and enable access to government support programmes, but they also simply needed to know that their banks were resilient enough to continue to provide critical payment, risk management and cash management services despite their own exposures to the crisis. They relied on third-party tech platforms, SaaS solutions and Cloud providers, managed service providers and other suppliers to stay online. So, with the initial shock largely absorbed, what worked and what didn’t? And heading into an uncertain future, which relationships or technologies need to be re-visited? In this session treasurers share what their banks and tech partners did and didn’t do and how relationships became critical.

  • 10:00am BST
    5:00am EST
    5:00pm SGT
    How treasury must move from customer to collaborator
  • There have certainly been periods in which corporate demands for products and services have driven bank behaviour: treasurers’ need for centralisation and efficiency may have helped push banks away from single-dealer platforms. But banks’ own needs just as frequently dictate their approach to corporates – the Basle-driven changes to deposit economics, for example. So, who is leading whom today? Treasury needs are certainly changing. End-to-end solutions incorporating real-time status updates and complete transparency require tighter corporate bank connectivity and better functionality; customised products and services to suit unique industry and business needs are starting to be taken for granted. Larger treasuries have been effective in building their own solutions in key areas and will continue to de-emphasise bank solutions. One example: as firms try to eliminate non-standardised payment channels internally, they are dismantling all but essential e-banking tools for the execution of payments. Smaller treasuries too are looking outside the banks and may find specialised solutions and superior digital capabilities in the fintech ecosystem. On the other hand, banks’ ability to invest in technology and their deep understanding of market infrastructure is enabling the creation of new solutions, like the global multi-bank Trade Information Network (TIN), which may push corporates into using specific pieces of technology. So, is technology actually leading? Are banks and corporates on a shared journey towards a common digital future? And will the bank-treasury relationship ultimately become a truly collaborative partnership in the development of tech that serves both?

Best to be brilliant at the basics

Being brilliant at the basics has always been at the core of corporate success. Surviving sudden, unprecedented and unexpected disruption has only emphasised the importance of strong foundation and rigorous processes. And nowhere is this more apparent than treasury. But post-pandemic which basics are the most important and what can go on the backburner? And what does being brilliant at them look like?

  • 8:00am BST
    3:00am EST
    3:00pm SGT
    Changing the ratio: how to get more science and less art in forecasting
  • People whose day jobs involve arguing with suppliers in Indonesia or understanding Generation Z’s buying habits have little time to focus on cashflow statements – and they’re not paid to do so either. Analysts are often stumped by the seemingly low forecastability of businesses once they start to dig down. So how to bridge the gap? One first step is to accept and define the boundaries of forecast accuracy and to omit data with no proven value in previous forecasts. A second is to investigate correlations outside the normal MIS data. A third is to focus on probabilistic ranges, as much risk management does, rather than point forecasting which is all too common still. At that stage, automation is an option. In a world of low predictability, data analytics, particularly enhanced by machine learning, is likely to perform at least as well (and much faster) than human forecasters, especially when identifying new external correlations. So how can treasurers make practical use of some of the new thinking in the forecasting of complex systems? How can business manage the forecasting function? And can better forecasts be used to steer businesses towards more stable states and avoid real-world problems?

  • 12:00pm BST
    7:00am EST
    7:00pm SGT
    A bigger picture view of risk management: business resilience
    • Toby Shore Senior Director, Group Treasury, Risk and Insurance Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC UAE
  • Financial risk management is, of course, at the core of treasury’s remit. But in the wake of the pandemic, in which conventional business continuity planning and disaster recovery playbooks met a global, correlated disruptor that has put backup facilities out of bounds and has lasted longer than most incident response scenarios, some firms are looking to treasury as a possible source of operational resilience management. So are treasurers an untapped source of resilience planning? To what extent have treasurers been involved in the critical decisions around workplace and business restructuring? And given the lessons of Covid-19, and the likelihood of other complex disruptions that fall outside traditional short-term, localised incidents, is treasury a good place to build the next generation of BCP/DP/OpsRes?

    Toby Shore Senior Director, Group Treasury, Risk and Insurance Emirates Global Aluminium PJSC UAE
  • 1:00pm BST
    8:00am EST
    8:00pm SGT
    Making forecasts flexible
  • Uncertainty around cash collection is a significant cause of forecast inaccuracy and smart combinations of historical data and detailed knowledge of payment behaviour can improve this. In normal times. But what happens when your historical data has no value? What happens when that 13-week or even 30-day forecasting cycle is overtaken by events that move dramatically day by day and other key forecasts (GDP growth, FX and interest rates) vary wildly? So real-time data with constant feedback from the business, used to create a weekly or even daily rolling forecast, and setting different forecast horizons for different periods of the crisis, is key. This treasurer broke down their forecasting process to suit the changing stages of the crisis from initial shock to restructuring for the restart and a new BAU.

  • 3:00pm BST
    10:00am EST
    10:00pm SGT
    Pooling goes digital
  • With visibility and cash concentration so vital, the digitalisation of cash pooling, and in particular direct remote access directly to banks’ own (or third-party) treasury management solutions, has become even more important. And given the increased interest in pooling structures shown by both the OECD’s BEPs initiative and local revenue authorities, the ability to change transfer pricing parameters, inter-account lending limits, and SWIFT message descriptions, for example, is not just a more agile way for treasures to gain visibility over their cash concentration structures and to make more informed and faster funding decisions globally, it is also a real-time control mechanism for adapting structures to the changing regulatory environment. This treasurer has adopted a digital pooling solution in order to ensure continued compliance with regulations whilst ensuring efficient use of capital.

Treasury at the frontline of another normal: exploring new remits

Many of the critical developments in modern commerce have been felt first, or most keenly, in treasury. Think about the revolution in payments, the radical changes in foreign exchange and derivatives markets caused by algorithmic trading, blockchain, card virtualisation and wallets, and automation. The Covid-altered world will accelerate these trends but reverse others. Again, treasury will be at the frontline of the business response, as these sessions will show.

  • 12:00pm BST
    7:00am EST
    7:00pm SGT
    Rethinking the supply chain
  • Global supply chains have been relatively stable for longer than many treasurers and CFOs have been employed. This stability has underpinned huge changes in manufacturing, logistics and finance. But the drive for efficiency has compromised resilience as first, China-US trade and technology disputes, and then Covid-19 showed. A hard Brexit, increased border frictions globally, cybersecurity and climate change increase the risks of running hyper-extended, just-in-time supply chains and the financial structures that sit atop them. Can treasury lead in helping to balance the need for resilience with that for efficiency? And what are the impacts on critical treasury tasks, locations, structures and inputs of a radical pruning and shortening of global supply chains?

Treasury masters share all: benchmark your treasury against top performers

Are you an SME or a global MNC? Is your priority managing rapid growth, hedging against political and economic uncertainty, digital transformation or international expansion? Regardless of where your company is in the treasury journey, these fireside chats and case studies with the world’s leading treasurers will give you valuable insights into the ways in which you can improve your core treasury operations and add real value to your business.

  • 7:00am BST
    2:00am EST
    2:00pm SGT
    Case study: The new Asian treasury
  • Asian treasuries are rapidly evolving. The new breed of treasurers are smart tech savvy finance professionals, embracing the new and casting off the old. But that picture is not universal; in the past, local companies were perhaps cautious adopters of new treasury management systems and many companies are still to embark on their digital transformation. Yet for the early technology adopters, developing systems to keep pace in an ever digitising world of payments, virtual accounts, fx and cash management and process automation, the advantages to treasury are clear, not least greater internal controls of capital and cash. Now, TMS is being revolutionised by a new crop of fintech plug and play solutions for every treasury function, with APIs spinning ever more efficient process engineering in the business. In this session we hear from a treasurer who has implemented new systems and solutions locally, and evaluates the benefits accrued to treasury operations in the region.

  • 2:00pm BST
    9:00am EST
    9:00pm SGT
    The politics of procurement and treasury
  • Procurement professionals have long moved away from a simple focus on price reductions. As they have looked more closely at performance versus price point, the total cost of ownership and the bigger picture of purchases within the business process, they have concentrated on setting procurement goals better aligned with the overall objectives of the organization. But as CPOs strive to become more cross-functional and to achieve ownership of the full source-to-pay process, they may argue that it makes sense for accounting and accounts payable departments to merge and join the procurement team to make cross-functional alignment easier. At the same time, treasury is approaching the task from the other end of the process, arguing that it should take a more significant role in supplier management and financing and in procurement decisions that could disrupt key hedge or cash positions. Ensuring co-operation and not competition at the treasury/procurement interface is critical. This CPO explains how they did it.

  • 3:00pm BST
    10:00am EST
    10:00pm SGT
    Treasury transformation first
  • It’s not simply a question of skills and mindset. Treasury’s ‘run treasury, change treasury’ conundrum is first and foremost an issue of resources. Treasurers, already struggling to do more with less, need to escape from the burden of manual processes and reconciliation of incompatible systems in order to devote time to adding value to the business. Without an unlikely hiring spree, the answer to this dichotomy is a technology-driven treasury transformation. With cloud-based TMS and ERP systems now available, and with the option to outsource most basic treasury tasks to payment platforms, bank systems and other SaaS applications, automated end-to-end processes are becoming a realistic goal. Add robotic process automation and AI-driven ERPs, and the time spent on basics such as daily global cash positioning can be reduced by up to 90%, allowing for more value-added and strategic activities. That’s what this treasurer has achieved. This is how they did it.

  • 5:00pm BST
    12:00pm EST
    12:00am* SGT
    Geography lessons for treasurers: coordinating treasury globally best practice
  • Global companies face global financial challenges. However, their finance functions are often scattered across different geographies and embedded in different types of structure: there may well be a central finance and treasury function, setting global policies and driving global governance. But innovations such as OBO, accidents of business evolution, such as acquisitions, and previous attempts at rationalisation can leave a patchwork of regional treasury centres, shared service centres, global business services centres, in-house banks, payment factories and in-business financial functions. In this presentation this company’s Americas, Asia and European treasurers get together to explain how they are using a mix of technology and more traditional treasury practices to strip out duplications and inefficiencies to build a lean, modern and globally coherent treasury organisation.

Transforming treasury technology and all things digital: a reality check

The rapidity of technological change is overwhelming companies’ ability to digest it. Manual processes and Excel-based workflows are ubiquitous and often linked to established counterparty and supply chain practices and relationships as much as to legacy ways of working. To change this, treasurers must isolate the improvements that will deliver the most value, and then choosing strategies and solutions to achieve those improvements, is a less risky path to treasury transformation – and easier to sell to senior management. In this stream see how your peers are easing core treasury pain points cost-effectively and without undue disruption to business as usual.

  • 1:00pm BST
    8:00am EST
    8:00pm SGT
    Forget forecasting, start modelling
  • Cashflow forecasting in the next decade will be as critical and as difficult as it has ever been. With political and economic uncertainty high and unanticipated events disrupting businesses and consumers almost daily, absolute forecasts are unlikely to be right no matter how frequent. Treasurers must look to more dynamic cash modelling tools and more rapid scenario analysis to generate ranges of probabilities for different outcomes and to develop contingencies for them. However, this kind of forecasting process depends on real-time data visibility. It is also dramatically enhanced by intelligent analytical tools and advanced visualisation software to extract insights from the results. This treasurer adopted a solution that uses machine learning to identify hidden patterns, trends and anomalies across a broad range of data to generate both forecasts and unprompted analytics. In this session learn how they selected the tool that suited them best, how they integrated into their existing systems and what the outcome has been so far.

  • 2:00pm BST
    9:00am EST
    9:00pm SGT
    The true promise of virtual accounts
  • Do you know your Virtual IBANs from your Virtual Accounts? Do you need to combine Virtual Account hierarchies with Virtual IBANs? Can’t your ERP system do this stuff anyway? It is not just the conceptual complexities nor the differences between banks’ offerings that impede virtual account/IBAN usage, there are practical issues too. Corporates need easy to use in-house solutions that offer the synergies between Virtual Accounts and other banking products that would make in-house banking solutions stand out from ERPs. And the banks need ways to deliver virtual accounts without needing impossible levels of knowledge of client processes and without causing their own legal and compliance issues. Just giving clients the tools to set up their own in-house bank is not enough. Who is then responsible if a suboptimal Virtual Accounts structure is implemented? Will banks allow clients to open Virtual Accounts for different divisions or entities? Will they allow clients to make intercompany loans on their own? This treasurer believes that done properly, Virtual Accounts can go far beyond the functionality of ERPs, and far beyond a simple reconciliation tool. So what is their vision and what technology and banking partnerships does it require?

  • 3:00pm BST
    10:00am EST
    10:00pm SGT
    Transforming the legacy treasury
    • Claudia Jaramillo VP & Group Treasurer Schlumberger USA
  • How do you go from spreadsheets and multiple ERPs to automated reporting and AI? Dealing with legacy technology is frustrating and costly in the strive to digitise the finance function and be a modern treasury. And then it isn’t just about treasury technology choices, it is about upskilling the workforce so that they are trained to think digitally. Schlumberger rolled out its ERP and standard TMS system many years ago while keeping the use of spreadsheets as norm for a number of processes. Now they have financial hubs in four locations with standard processes and an in-house bank. Currently they are embarking on newer projects to improve business intelligence by migrating to new platforms, leveraging API and developing BOTs for repetitive tasks. They have also developed innovative dashboards for things like commercial paper and bonds and visibility of all their cash from the over 3000 bank accounts they need to operate in over 120 countries. If you are still dealing with legacy technology, this session will help you envision how to start your transformation today to enable a “Digital Treasury” organization that can support more real time and insightful decisions.

    Claudia Jaramillo VP & Group Treasurer Schlumberger USA
  • 6:00pm BST
    1:00pm EST
    1:00am* SGT
    Tailored strategies for digital treasuries
  • It is all too easy to generalize about digitalization. Yes, there is an increasing tension between the real-time transactional world experienced by customers and clunky treasury technology. Yes, developments in technology across the full spectrum of treasury activities have given treasurers unprecedented choice over who supplies them with core products and services. And yes, it is clear that digitalization is an opportunity for treasury to develop real-time capabilities and to begin to deliver genuinely strategic insights to senior management. But one size does not fit all and many of the structures and solutions being proposed today are unsuited to the resources and needs of mid-sized, fast-growth companies. How much of their treasuries should be on-premises versus in the Cloud? Instead of enduring the costs and lead-times of difficult legacy integrations, maybe it’s better to start again? This treasurer gives their perspective on building the right digital treasury for you.

Payments & FX

Payments sit at the intersection of pretty much every significant treasury concern: fraud, cyber-risk, technology transformation, real-time transactions, and the tensions between globalisation and de-globalisation. In this Lab get the latest on the key technical and regulatory initiatives changing the payments ecosystem and on the big picture drivers that may upend the conventional assumptions.

  • 11:00am BST
    6:00am EST
    6:00pm SGT
    Optimizing accounts payable
  • Centralisation of accounts payable is still a core treasury objective. But treasurers now have more options in creating this payments hub than ever before. As well as payment factory structures and SSCs, treasurers can focus more broadly on creating a defined global workflow and a set of controls that harmonize payment processes more stringently; or they can choose from a range of in-house (TMS, ERP) or cloud applications, some of which now incorporate machine learning to identify the most effective timings and channels for making payments. These options all take different approaches to reducing costs and risks and improving efficiency. But which are best for which types of corporate? This treasurer explains their approach.

  • 1:00pm BST
    8:00am EST
    8:00pm SGT
    Taking the lead in payments and collections
  • As digital transformation continues to alter fundamental customer behaviours, the shift from an ownership model of goods and services is giving way to a rental or subscription model. This shift radically changes the nature of many companies’ cashflows from lower volumes of higher value payments to more continuous streams of low value payments coming in over an increasing number of digital channels. Because different parts of the business may well have pushed forward with new initiatives without liaising with finance, firms can end up with a fragmented set of systems, processes and controls managed in different parts of the organisation, with no central ownership of strategy. This presents obstacles for treasurers trying to establish cash visibility of cash, manage working capital and understand cash flow dynamics. So how can treasurers re-assert control and take the lead in defining payment and collection strategies in concert with the business? And how can the central finance function help the business evaluate new business models and the associated new payment and collection challenges?

  • 5:00pm BST
    12:00pm EST
    12:00am* SGT
    The reality of real-time payments: what's in it for treasury?
  • In this moderated session, our expert panelists will explore the new payment trends and advances in the US and globally, including which developments are important for a corporate treasury. Learn from a bank, fintech and corporate perspective about impacts to the global marketplace from real-time payments. How will the reality of real-time, cross-border payments impact working capital, systems and processes within a company? How will APIs and new standards benefit corporates? What are the advancements in cloud technology in this space, how safe are they, and how real is their potential for adoption?

Working capital & supply chain finance

Covid-19 turned the supply chain world upside down. And although supply chain finance has developed rapidly over the past few years becoming cloud-based and ERP-integrated with new platforms that can aggregate buyers and suppliers globally, the pandemic brought home weaknesses in companies’ technology, transaction information flows, working capital strategies and many other things. The need for digitisation is now critical. Companies need to look much more closely at risks and develop the tools to ensure adequate working capital. This lab will help you review and problem solve.

  • 2:00pm BST
    9:00am EST
    9:00pm SGT
    Working capital harder
  • A downturn in consumer demand is leading to increased inventories that are getting more difficult to clear; suppliers are struggling to shift components through supply chains causing WIP and payment issues; and everywhere receivables are becoming unpredictable as cash-strapped customers delay cash outlays. At the same time, banks face more difficult credit decisions and traditional sources of liquidity are drying up. This is where the best treasuries step up and look to unconventional sources of working capital as well as the old stalwarts. They have quickly accessed all the government funding on the table; they have deferred any tax payments they can; they have identified the lenders most likely to back them through the crisis and raised cash from them; and they are on top of the terms of their existing facilities and have renegotiated interest timings; they are looking at CAPEX and swapping fixed to variable costs through sale and leasebacks. This treasurer takes us through their working capital crisis checklist.

  • 4:00pm BST
    11:00am EST
    11:00pm SGT
    Does digitalisation change the working capital calculus?
  • Today’s digital marketplace is an interesting laboratory for working capital management. Customers expect almost instant fulfilment in exchange for instant payments, with the right to instantly return. So inventory levels must be sufficient to cope. Those same customers are much more likely to buy if the seller lends them the money to do it. So accounts receivable may balloon. The classic view of working capital in treasury, that inventory and A/R are usually too high and need to be reduced, may align worse with new business models than previously, and there has long been an argument over the contribution of good working capital management to shareholder value in any case. That’s why working capital management requires a company-wide approach: it’s not simply about current DSOs or DIOs. This treasury recognised the increasing importance of enterprise-wide working capital management and headed an initiative to pull together a team of key business heads and central functions. Working together they identified several significant opportunities to work together to improve overall working capital metrics. Here’s how.

  • Centre stage
  • Stage 1
  • Stage 2
  • Stage 3
  • Stage 4
  • Lab 1
  • Lab 2
Keynotes
  • 9:00am BST
    4:00am EST
    4:00pm SGT
    The EuroFinance Award for Treasury Excellence: a new roadmap for treasury
  • “If I were to tell my boss, ‘here’s my five-year plan’, he would just shake his head and think, ‘what planet do you live on?’”. That’s how one treasurer sums up this new world in which “everything is questions” and planning seems something old-fashioned that no longer makes much sense. How does treasury organise and operate if it must constantly re-prioritise as the business, or treasury technology, or treasury service providers, change? Is this effectively the end of proactive treasury? And if it is, where does that leave things that really do require long-term planning, like large technology projects? This treasurer has accepted that a change of mindset is needed. In this session the EuroFinance award winner for treasury excellence explains how they have sat down with every department to re-map internal treasury relationships with the business. They discuss how they have balanced the need for strategic vision with flexibility and how they have had to change to deliver much greater flexibility. And they look at how treasury must change when businesses that have traditionally been slower-moving have to respond to today’s environment.

  • 11:00am BST
    6:00am EST
    6:00pm SGT
    The rise of responsible treasury
  • In August 2019, almost 200 CEOs of the world’s largest corporations did an about-face with an updated “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation” from the Business Roundtable. They rejected the idea that corporations exist solely to serve their shareholders and must maximize shareholder financial returns to the exclusion of all else. The rise of the notion of responsible corporations means a treasury rethink, but has the Covid-19 crisis postponed the reckoning or accelerated it? Hear from three companies at the forefront of sustainability in the treasury and what that means in practice.

Best to be brilliant at the basics

Being brilliant at the basics has always been at the core of corporate success. Surviving sudden, unprecedented and unexpected disruption has only emphasised the importance of strong foundation and rigorous processes. And nowhere is this more apparent than treasury. But post-pandemic which basics are the most important and what can go on the backburner? And what does being brilliant at them look like?

  • 2:00pm BST
    9:00am EST
    9:00pm SGT
    Streamlining banking: virtual accounts and other structures
  • Reducing bank account complexity is a core treasury goal and virtual accounts, in one form or another, have long been available to help. Large non-bank financial institutions have adopted VBAs to help allocate client monies and very large collections businesses such as utilities have sufficient scale to VBAs to simplify reconciliation, but broader MNC treasurers have been more sceptical, but that is changing. It may be that the complexity of choices available is off putting (virtual IBANs for customers, virtual IBANs for in-house entities, sub-ledger virtual account numbers for OBO and pooling, virtual account management platforms). It may be that accounting and regulatory issues are a problem with inconsistencies across markets. Or it may simply be that the variations in different bank and platform offerings make choosing a solution too difficult. So, what kind of treasury should view these structures as a priority? What technology is required – do treasurers need to join external platforms? Can their banks provide the infrastructure? Or can they leverage TMS or ERP/in-house bank systems? And how can the combination of virtual accounts with multi-currency accounts create a structure where businesses can reduce FX costs and enable cross-region cash optimization, while keeping a simple local operating banking structure?

  • 3:00pm BST
    10:00am EST
    10:00pm SGT
    Non-stop change in foreign exchange
    • Rene Krack EMEA Senior Manager Liquidity Management The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Luxembourg
  • FX markets continue to change. New regulated trading venues, further multiplication of platforms and rapid means that FX liquidity and execution now vary widely depending on location and instrument (spot, forward, NDF, swap, option). For corporate treasurers, a once simple marketplace has become a tangle of choices. Banks are doing their best to provide liquidity and a single point of access to both regulated and off-venue liquidity pools, as well as a choice of execution algos depending on market and the purpose of the trade. But how can treasurers know that they are getting the best price and service? Where do they get transaction cost analysis tools and quality market data? Do they need to re-examine counterparty relationships and selection criteria – in this new marketplace is it better to use more or fewer counterparties? And how can technology help treasurers with transparency and efficiency in accessing FX liquidity?

    Rene Krack EMEA Senior Manager Liquidity Management The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Luxembourg
  • 4:00pm BST
    11:00am EST
    11:00pm SGT
    Are we overcomplicating the forecast?
  • In the pursuit of ever more granular certainty, are treasurers and indeed the suppliers of treasury technology losing sight of the big picture in cash forecasting? It is true that uncertainty around cash collection is a significant cause of forecast inaccuracy and that smart combinations of historical data and detailed knowledge of payment behaviour can improve this. But in the focus on technology and detail, have we lost sight of core principles and processes like the 80/20 rule, the integration of budgeting and forecasting processes, the intelligent blending of real-time and historical data and a real partnership and shared process with the business? This treasurer looked at the inaccuracy of the 30-day and quarterly cash forecasts and focused on improving the most significant drivers of accuracy, analysing the internal and external metrics that had the largest effect on the overall forecast. This is what they discovered, and what they did about it.

  • 6:00pm BST
    1:00pm EST
    1:00am* SGT
    What to do with the cash: investments
  • Corporate cash piles at US non-financial companies are down from all-time highs but still around $1.7 trillion; their EMEA counterparts are building up cash and now hold around EUR1 trillion. In the US tech firms are the big cash holders; in EMEA energy firms make up the top seven spots. It was hard enough to get yield before Covid-19! Given the uncertainty for both the political and economic outlook, what do European and US money market funds offer? Are there any higher-yielding alternatives? We talk to treasurers and industry experts in this live round table which looks at what the investment mix should look like now.

  • 7:00pm BST
    2:00pm EST
    2:00am* SGT
    Privacy on parade: good risk practices for complying with data requirements
  • Responsible businesses, it should go without saying, do not lose their customers’ or suppliers’ data. They put in place robust digital security processes and technologies to prevent this. They also understand the difference between security and privacy, and so only use their customers’ data in ways those customers have explicitly authorised. The problems arise when those compliance issues collide with BAU processes and the needs of digital transformation. Is it OK to use fragments of card data, plus location data plus partial addresses to target marketing to customers? No, it clashes with PCI DSS and probably GDPR. But some of this data is held by treasury, and treasury also often knows what kinds of sensitive data are being used by the business before the security teams. Treasury adoption of cloud solutions and third-party payment platforms also exposes treasury systems to security and privacy risks. So, to what extent are treasurers on the hook for the increased regulatory burden of data security and compliance? And how can they ensure that the data for which they are responsible, is itself responsibly used and secured?

Treasury at the frontline of another normal: exploring new remits

Many of the critical developments in modern commerce have been felt first, or most keenly, in treasury. Think about the revolution in payments, the radical changes in foreign exchange and derivatives markets caused by algorithmic trading, blockchain, card virtualisation and wallets, and automation. The Covid-altered world will accelerate these trends but reverse others. Again, treasury will be at the frontline of the business response, as these sessions will show.

  • 2:00pm BST
    9:00am EST
    9:00pm SGT
    Digitalise or die
  • The Twitter joke is that Covid-19, not the business or the CTO, has forced companies to realise that digitalisation will differentiate the swift from the dead far more quickly, and across a far wider range of businesses, than seemed possible just months ago. While digitalisation means radically different things in different sectors – e-Commerce and the customer experience is key in B2C retail, less useful in cement – it is usually the case that treasury and the finance function are well placed to aggregate and analyse the data needed to build the relevant digital strategy, to fund it, risk manage it and collect the revenues it earns in the most efficient way possible. They can work above and across business and organisational silos. And since a key part of its job is measuring risks and returns, and developing actionable insights from complex datasets, treasury and finance are ideally placed to develop the metrics needed to underpin strategic initiatives. That’s the theory. But what happens in practice? Has treasury been involved in the extremely rapid digital pivots companies have made in response to the crisis or do businesses act and treasury follows?

  • 3:00pm BST
    10:00am EST
    10:00pm SGT
    I, Treasurer?: Adding value to the business by automating
  • For all the talk of strategic treasury, poll after poll shows that many treasurers still spend a majority of their resources on manual, transactional or cash accounting and reconciliation activities. For these treasurers, escaping from this burden, and breaking out of what may have become a narrowly-focused silo remote from the business, is a prerequisite for moving to more value-added activities. In this context, automation seems a solution to the problem of treasury stasis – a path from the basic functions of processing, cash collection and cash management to a more advanced partner to the business. But there is also a legitimate fear that, with its core functions automated, treasury is a function that may simply disappear and the transition to delivering business insights and service will not occur. In this session see how one company’s automation journey let them expand and change treasury into an internal consultancy team for the business on everything from tax to payments to risk.

Treasury masters share all: benchmark your treasury against top performers

Are you an SME or a global MNC? Is your priority managing rapid growth, hedging against political and economic uncertainty, digital transformation or international expansion? Regardless of where your company is in the treasury journey, these fireside chats and case studies with the world’s leading treasurers will give you valuable insights into the ways in which you can improve your core treasury operations and add real value to your business.

  • 10:00am BST
    05:00am EST
    5:00pm SGT
    Meet Alibaba and their Treasury team
    • Randy Ou Treasurer Alibaba China
  • In this interactive, day in the life of the Alibaba treasury team, you will meet the Treasury Vice President, Randy Ou, and his team, who will show you the people side of treasury organization. You may get some ideas how his team work together and what organizational structures they use and why? What are the team’s background and skill sets? What key projects and works get them excited? What technology is behind their operations? And you will have the opportunity to ask questions on their approach to people and team, or other areas of treasury responsibilities.

    Randy Ou Treasurer Alibaba China
  • 2:00pm BST
    9:00am EST
    9:00pm SGT
    Agile finance processes: the backbone of the business
    • Anna Motruk CFO Parimatch Cyprus
  • Today the ability to overcome unexpected challenges while exploiting new opportunities is a matter of business survival. And the foundation of that rapid response capability is an agile finance function. This company’s beginnings as a high-growth start-up in complex markets highlighted the importance of core treasury functions, of adapting treasury and compliance processes to new jurisdictions quickly, and of ensuring that critical documentary processes and software systems are ready for the unexpected – both positive and negative. By focusing on liquidity, forecasting and anticipating problems upfront, this treasury has found that the template it has used to help the business push into new and ‘exotic’ markets has also worked well to protect the business from many of the challenges of Covid-19 and lockdown. Listen to the CFO’s deep-dive into how they did it in this session.

    Anna Motruk CFO Parimatch Cyprus
  • 3:00pm BST
    10:00am EST
    10:00pm SGT
    The future of the retail industry and its changing finance function
  • Join this panel of three treasurers from the luxury goods and retail sector as they review best practice for the industry. How is treasury run? What is on the agenda? What will the future of the industry look like and how will that impact treasury operations? From payment issues to risk and liquidity to funding, to sustainable practices, hear three top retailers share their insights. Our expert analyst opens this session to look at the industry outlook.

  • 4:00pm BST
    11:00am EST
    11:00pm SGT
    The future of the automotive sector and its changing finance function
  • Join this panel of three treasurers from the automotive sector as they review best practice for the industry. How is treasury run? What is on the agenda? What will the future of the industry look like and how will that impact treasury operations? From payment issues to risk and liquidity to funding, hear three automotive companies share their insights, opportunities and challenges. Our expert analyst opens this session to look at the industry outlook.

Transforming treasury technology and all things digital: a reality check

The rapidity of technological change is overwhelming companies’ ability to digest it. Manual processes and Excel-based workflows are ubiquitous and often linked to established counterparty and supply chain practices and relationships as much as to legacy ways of working. To change this, treasurers must isolate the improvements that will deliver the most value, and then choosing strategies and solutions to achieve those improvements, is a less risky path to treasury transformation – and easier to sell to senior management. In this stream see how your peers are easing core treasury pain points cost-effectively and without undue disruption to business as usual.

  • 1:00pm BST
    8:00am EST
    8:00pm SGT
    Beyond RPA: the true story of an automated future
  • Most realistic analyses of automation work on the basis that for quite some time computers will do things humans find hard, like complex calculations, repetitive manual and/or data intensive tasks and staying awake all year, and humans will do the things computers find hard, like caring for the elderly and hairdressing. On the face of it, treasury is largely process, and process can be automated. The strategic functions treasurers believe they could be freed up to do could just as easily be done by the business or by the office of the CFO. But this level of automation requires levels of data integration, investment and scale that most companies will take years to achieve. For most, automation would have to be delivered off-premise, with treasury effectively outsourced. How many firms will be comfortable with that in the near future? For corporate leviathans the story may be different. Treasury there can be a complex human-to-human interaction and size creates strategic complexity that may well need its own function. In this session, the treasurer of a global MNC reveals their vision of cybernetic future.

  • 2:00pm BST
    9:00am EST
    9:00pm SGT
    Supercharge your shared service centre
  • SSCs have come a long way from simple process outsourcing and labour cost arbitrage. Regional SSCs have developed sophisticated data aggregation and analytics capabilities, allowing them to move beyond cost cutting to delivering value-added insights to the business. The next stages in SSC optimisation will revolve around three technologies: automation, cloud and machine learning. RPA will increase efficiency in processes including accounts payables, cash applications and supplier collaboration, delivering better data to the business at the same time. Wide-spread cloud adoption will allow firms to build business-process-as-a-service to deliver global business services without huge upfront costs. And as machine learning is applied to initially dumb RPA algorithms, the emphasis in SSCs will shift further towards delivering better business insights and enabling faster go-to-market for digital strategies. But to what extent are these benefits only available to the very largest firms? And how do they relate to financial functions?

  • 3:00pm BST
    10:00am EST
    10:00pm SGT
    Don’t just jump on the bandwagon: identifying the right processes for machine learning
  • Not every task is suited to machine learning and those that are can only successfully be handed over to ML algorithms if there is enough relevant data to train those algos. Even in those cases datasets must be carefully selected to avoid building unwanted biases into the ML models. Treasury tasks that fit these criteria include cash flow forecasting, credit control, payment/receivables anomaly rectification and liquidity management optimisation. Beyond core treasury, predictive analytics performed by AI could also automate regulatory compliance and help improve procurement processes, supply chain management activities and sales forecasts. But is now the right time for treasurers to be spending time and resources evaluating AI and ML solutions amongst all the other technologies they are faced with? Is this one area where waiting for ready-made third-party solutions is the obvious choice over in-house build? See how this treasurer evaluated ML and implemented it effectively.

Payments & FX

Payments sit at the intersection of pretty much every significant treasury concern: fraud, cyber-risk, technology transformation, real-time transactions, and the tensions between globalisation and de-globalisation. In this Lab get the latest on the key technical and regulatory initiatives changing the payments ecosystem and on the big picture drivers that may upend the conventional assumptions.

  • 8:00am BST
    3:00am EST
    3:00pm SGT
    Asia’s payments promise
  • Asia is a payment pioneer. Alipay came first, 10 years before Apple. Bitcoin originated in Japan. China’s central bank is leading the region with digital currency testing. GrabPay is new on the block in Singapore. For the treasury, the promise of a real time multi-currency ‘faster’ payment infrastructure in Asia is tantalisingly close. Whilst the proliferation of payment solutions present greater choice and convenience for suppliers and customers, the plethora of protocols requires orchestration in the treasury. SWIFT is now weighing in with GPI roll-out, targeting mandatory adoption of the new standard by 2020, with features including ‘incoming funds notifications’. For international treasury, new payment technologies are under constant evaluation as to their potential benefits. Regionally, the picture is more patchy. So how are Asia treasurers developing payment infrastructure across the region, and internationally? What is the treasury technology fix that makes it all simpler for all? Here we hear from treasurers who pull payment levers daily.

  • 1:00pm BST
    8:00am EST
    8:00pm SGT
    Always-on FX: automation and integration options for treasury
  • Integrating FX into payment, receivable and hedging activities is another area in which APIs and other technologies are making an impact. To satisfy treasurers’ ever-present demands for centralisation and efficiency, digital solution providers are lining up with products and APIs for consolidating international sales, purchasing, payment, and receivables information, executing spot payments and forward contracts in multiple currencies, managing cash flow and FX risks and delivering multi-currency cash management solutions. It’s also critical that FX hedging tools more generally are constantly updating hedges in line with pre-specified risk appetites. However, it’s only recently that smart, automated FX hedging products have become available, with APIs allowing both integration with the banks on one side and corporate back-end ERP systems on the other. What technologies are available and what practical benefits do they bring the average treasury?

  • 5:00pm BST
    12pm EST
    12:00am* SGT
    What about event risk?
  • Low FX market volatility has subdued corporate hedging activity despite the volume of losses in publicly announced results. Volatility by itself is a poor indicator of FX risk because trending currencies can produce heavy gains/losses without significant volatility. But is there an opportunity now for treasurers to lock in cheap hedges against just the kinds of unforeseen events that can cause truly material business losses? Despite Brexit, bushfires, trade wars and the coronavirus, FX volatility is still low, meaning that options are cheap. So are treasurers, always hard to persuade of the merits of paying premiums upfront, missing out on the chance to buy cheap tail risk hedges? These two treasurers disagree.

Working capital and Supply chain finance

Covid-19 turned the supply chain world upside down. And although supply chain finance has developed rapidly over the past few years becoming cloud-based and ERP-integrated with new platforms that can aggregate buyers and suppliers globally, the pandemic brought home weaknesses in companies’ technology, transaction information flows, working capital strategies and many other things. The need for digitisation is now critical. Companies need to look much more closely at risks and develop the tools to ensure adequate working capital. This lab will help you review and problem solve.

  • 1:00pm BST
    8:00am EST
    8:00pm SGT
    Going digital in the supply chain world
  • Globalisation has created sprawling multi-country supply chains which create a variety of risks and challenges. This was felt keenly during the recent pandemic. Relationships in the supply chain world often remain paper based. Digitizing those and the associated transactions is now a priority post-Covid. Technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain can help improve efficiency and therefore liquidity within the supply chain. But what does this mean in practice for treasury in choosing a modern supply chain financing solution? Ensuring suppliers can access financing at decent rates while maintaining required levels of DPOs, trade payables and debt, is getting easier but it is still not seamless. With global multi-bank platforms, some incorporating integrated multi-currency payments, vying with established non-bank providers and newer Fintechs, and choices to be made over how to incorporate existing e-invoicing and other legacy technology with SCF programmes, increased choice means more complex evaluation and decision-making for treasurers. In this session, three treasury teams outline three different paths to significant and sustainable improvements in the cash cycle, the obstacles they overcame and the results of their work in going digital.

  • 4:00pm BST
    11:00am EST
    11:00pm SGT
    SCF 3.0: supply chain finance goes smart
  • Suppliers have been providing invoices to SCF platforms for a number of years now, creating vast databases of pricing and payment behaviour data. The platform owners have realised that by applying machine learning or true artificial intelligence algorithms to this data they can, for example, forecast the likelihood of a purchase order or invoice being approved and signed off and how long that process will take. The supplier can receive their money earlier upon purchase order issuance or invoice booking, because the algo has calculated the risk and can track changes or deterioration in the suppliers’ creditworthiness. Better still, because the risk level of each invoice can be calculated instantly and accurately, the buyer is no longer required to give Irrevocable Payment Undertakings to a financial institution, potentially solving the issue of buyers using SCF facilities to reclassify debt.

  • 6:00pm BST
    1:00pm EST
    1:00am* SGT
    Transforming order-to-cash with AI and ML: case study
  • Rather than focus on one or two headline metrics in any working capital optimization programme, another approach is to break down the entire order-to-cash process into its component parts to see where new technologies can have a positive impact. Such components would include order processing, billing, payment terms, collection, credit control and cash application. Artificial intelligence (AI) engines can be built to scan through the invoice details, customer emails, contracts, and other unstructured data and significantly reduce the manual effort while improving the execution time for collections, deductions, dispute resolutions and cash posting. In the process, visibility is significantly enhanced throughout the cash conversion cycle. The challenge is in the integration of data and systems, and in connecting siloed businesses, onto a single platform, or at least a unified dashboard.

  • Centre stage
  • Stage 1
  • Stage 2
  • Stage 3
  • Stage 4
  • Lab 1
  • Lab 2
Keynotes
  • 9:00am BST
    4:00am EST
    4:00pm SGT
    Crossfire debate on payments: three’s a crowd in blockchain
  • Has Covid-19 accelerated your investigation of new payments solutions? If so, get ready for a long and complex journey to understand a rapidly changing landscape. SWIFT’s gpi initiative has more than 3,500 financial institutions signed up, allowing customers to make payments in nearly 150 currencies. Almost 100% of the payments on gpi travel end-to-end, from originator to end beneficiary, within 24 hours, 40% are reaching the end beneficiary in under five minutes and 50% under 30 minutes. With increased transparency, gpi has also allowed banks to identify and remedy many of the traditional bottlenecks. But that hasn’t stopped the rush to blockchain. First, Ripple? Is it a rival to Swift as it once claimed, or is it ‘complementary’ as it now describes itself. Is xCurrent (200 clients and climbing) just a different messaging service than Swift designed to lure people to the real gamechanger, xRapid (now known as On Demand Liquidity)? And do the working capital arguments surrounding cash in nostro-vostro accounts stack up? And what about JPMorgan Chase’s Interbank Information Network (IIN®) initiative? By starting its own cryptocurrency, the bank is acknowledging Ripple’s fundamental message that cross-border payments can be handled faster and more cheaply if they’re conducted as crypto transactions rather than as messages between correspondent banks sent via Swift. Of course, as a correspondent banking middleman the bank is also threatened by the real-time execution enabled by digital currencies. So is the bank’s new stablecoin, with a stable value and clear ownership, running on its Ethereum-based Quorum blockchain the best of all worlds for customers or just a defensive play by JPMorgan? Will other large banks want to use a competitor’s platform or will they start their own coins? Where does that leave smaller institutions? And does it leave treasurers, only just solving problems of bank agnosticism in other areas, facing a new wave of bank system fragmentation?

  • 10:00am BST
    5:00am EST
    5:00pm SGT
    It’s all in the name: forget fintechs, start thinking providers
  • If you wanted to know how resilient the fintech and new platform ecosystem was, then the crisis has put the sector through more of a stress test than you ever could. From those who passed the test, treasurers can now start to differentiate between the many hundreds of start-ups too small or too new to be realistic partners for corporate treasuries and companies that are now more than five-years old, well-funded and have clear product offerings and strategies. Globally there are now 58 fintech unicorns with a total value of around $214 billion. Moreover, in each of the last five years, more than half the money invested in fintechs has gone to firms founded between 2011 and 2014. So, while there may be treasuries willing to work with start-ups, or with start-ups in partnership with banks, which are the sectors in which firms large enough to rely on are now available? In this session hear from treasurers at each end of the spectrum, from cautious to cutting-edge, explaining their methods and reasoning, followed by a panel discussion on the best ways for treasury to approach new non-bank providers.

Best to be brilliant at the basics

Being brilliant at the basics has always been at the core of corporate success. Surviving sudden, unprecedented and unexpected disruption has only emphasised the importance of strong foundation and rigorous processes. And nowhere is this more apparent than treasury. But post-pandemic which basics are the most important and what can go on the backburner? And what does being brilliant at them look like?

  • 8:00am BST
    3:00am EST
    3:00pm SGT
    Cash is king: cash strategies for these times
    • Miho Kumazawa Head of Regional Treasury Centre Tokyo Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. Japan
  • The year started with US and EMEA corporate cash piles high and a ‘borrowers’ paradise in which even junk issuers could achieve low-yield, low-covenant financing. Several large treasuries had achieved significant returns on cash by using total return funds investing in equities, commodities and even volatility. And more generally, liquidity management worries revolved around the risks of investing in longer-dated and/or credit sensitive securities (some large treasuries have and the pros and cons of government versus prime money market funds. Today, cash conservation is king. For the FTSE All-share, the MSCI Euro and the S&P 500, the just 16.5 per cent, 16 percent and 14 percent of non-financial companies respectively are net cash (versus 52% of Japan’s Topix and 33% of the CDAX). So most firms need aggressive action on costs, receivables management, expenditure deferments and core cash management. And, for now at least, the hunt for yield is over. Principal protection at a time of heightened corporate credit risk and negative yields in some government markets is the name of the game. These treasurers share their Covid-19 cash strategies.

    Miho Kumazawa Head of Regional Treasury Centre Tokyo Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd. Japan
  • 12:00pm BST
    7:00am EST
    7:00pm SGT
    Making the best of a bad job: solving KYC
  • In a study carried out with Eurofinance, over 90% of treasurers report that responding to KYC requests is more challenging today than it was five years ago. In addition, over 50% reduced the number of banks they work with to avoid lengthy KYC processes. Having to provide KYC data in multiple formats to meet the regulatory requirements of each partner, often repeating the process as part of regular mandated reviews, is a resource drain with which many corporates continue to struggle. A number of KYC due diligence platforms exist, of which SWIFT’s KYC Register is the best known, and these platforms are increasingly making APIs available that allow banks and others to directly embed the functionality into their own KYC platforms. So, for the majority of corporates, how have these initiatives helped smooth their KYC interactions with bank and other suppliers? Have processes around supply chain finance become easier? And how can banks and treasurers help each other improve things further?

  • 1:00pm BST
    8:00am EST
    8:00pm SGT
    Are you ready to leave Libor?
    • Frances Hinden VP Treasury Operations Shell UK
  • Lost in all the big-picture political and pandemic news, a technical market development with huge implications for almost every corporate worldwide is fast approaching a critical deadline. Libor, and a number of other ‘IBORs’, are being phased out and replaced with new risk-free rates (RFRs) which are calculated differently and significantly affect the cost and structure of debt facilities. Regulators have given some leeway on interim milestones but banks are now ramping up their Libor transition processes and do not want the risks of writing any more new Libor-linked paper than they have to. Corporates have been slow to react but treasurers need to move now to ensure that they are not disadvantaged by the transition: with sophisticated dealers leading the changes there is a significant information asymmetry between banks and their clients; there are complex legal issues especially around fallback provisions and multi-currency facilities; there are issues around new term rates and the potential for synthetic Libor; treasury systems need to be re-configured; and client profitability will be altered, with banks potentially needing to reprice or reject certain client types. This is what you need to know and do now.

    Frances Hinden VP Treasury Operations Shell UK
  • 3:00pm BST
    10:00am EST
    10:00pm SGT
    Seeing the wood from the stress in FX hedging: a strategic approach
    • Todd Yoder Global Director Treasury Flour Corporations USA
  • In the current environment, it is more important than ever that hedging is focused on specific business objectives, and then to the P&L and actual cashflows, and not simply accounting ‘noise’. Optimal FX hedges should be tied to strategic planning as well as to the granular details of forecasted transactions, cashflows, assets and liabilities, with care taken not to create real economic exposures in attempts to remedy accounting concerns or to solve perceived issues of earnings volatility. This also means understanding what core stakeholders in the debt and equity markets want from their investment in the company. What exposures are they buying and which ones do they not want hedged? Ultimately best practice hedging boils down to ensuring that hedge activity is true risk transformation not arbitrary percentage-based, not siloed into individual project hedges, and focuses on exposures that have real business impact. This treasurers looks at the good and the bad in FX hedging and explains their own strategic approach.

    Todd Yoder Global Director Treasury Flour Corporations USA
  • 7:00pm BST
    2:00pm EST
    2:00am* SGT
    Innovations in Risk Management: Optimising CFaR and EaR
  • Many treasuries hedge a fixed percentage of their cash flow exposures at predefined percent thresholds documented in policy. This approach is often justified on the basis that it is what a firm’s peer group does, rather than because it actually manages true exposures at a consolidated level. It also runs contrary to how senior management think about business risk – the risk to cashflows and the P&L. This type of hedge can become more of a box-ticking exercise than a true risk management process. But abandoning the fixed percentage method means finding a new risk measure against which to hedge, and here treasurers are faced with a complex set of choices. Should they use Value-at-Risk (VaR), or perhaps, Conditional value at risk (CVaR), a derivative of VaR models that provides insight into the tail risk, or Cash Flow at Risk, which is VaR applied to your forecasted cash flows or Earnings-at-Risk (EaR), which includes measures of potential impacts to the P&L in consolidation? This treasurer, dissatisfied with their traditional hedge policies, investigated these alternatives. This is what they decided.

Treasury at the frontline of another normal: exploring new remits

Many of the critical developments in modern commerce have been felt first, or most keenly, in treasury. Think about the revolution in payments, the radical changes in foreign exchange and derivatives markets caused by algorithmic trading, blockchain, card virtualisation and wallets, and automation. The Covid-altered world will accelerate these trends but reverse others. Again, treasury will be at the frontline of the business response, as these sessions will show.

  • 1:00pm BST
    8:00am EST
    8:00pm SGT
    Building today’s treasury team
    • Pradipto Bagchi Treasurer Zimmer Biomet USA
  • Changing business models and the new requirements of resilience places new demands on treasuries not set up to deliver them. As well as the technology and resource issues, the talent and hiring requirements of the finance function will be altered. Before Covid-19, treasurers pointed to an immediate need for more data scientists and business analysts and a longer-term requirement for confident communicators, able to build compelling stories around complex data and win over internal and external stakeholders. In the new Covid-affected environment, different mid- and skillsets will also be needed. So how are current treasury leaders the right people to drive the changes required? How do they get comfortable hiring and working with people with unfamiliar skillsets? And who else in the organisation (e.g. HR) should they turn to for help?

    Pradipto Bagchi Treasurer Zimmer Biomet USA
  • 6:00pm BST
    1:00pm EST
    1:00am* SGT
    Maintaining rapid growth?
    • David Watt Head of Treasury Sonder inc. USA
  • Most treasurers have planned for risks on the downside, but how many plan for risks on the upside? In companies that are growing fast, treasury can unwittingly become a brake on growth: ‘no, you can’t launch the product there; no, you cannot pay that vendor; no, you cannot accept that currency.’ Keeping ahead of the business in order to facilitate growth is a discipline most treasurers need to learn. Critical to it is the choice of bank and vendor partners. Are they flexible enough to support your growth? How can they help with technology? If you have an e-Commerce model, can they help you with low-value, local payments and trapped cash in emerging markets? And can treasury keep up with the volumes if the business becomes more direct-to-consumer? In this panel, treasurers talk about how they balanced the traditional role of treasury – focusing on funding, working capital, risk and credit control – with the need to make it as easy as possible for the business to expand into new regions, customer bases and sales channels.

    David Watt Head of Treasury Sonder inc. USA
  • 7:00pm BST
    2:00pm EST
    2:00am* SGT
    How to create a strategic treasury organisation to support long term growth
  • There is a lot of talk about ‘strategic treasury’ but not a lot of detail about what that means in practice. To deliver value to the business and to wider stakeholders, treasury needs a plan. This will include a digital transformation map, details of how automation will be introduced and a timeline for specific value-added deliverables. The development of treasury as a source of high-impact business insights, as well as maintaining its role as provider of the optimum funding mix, the most appropriate risk management strategies and the most effective cash and liquidity management programme inevitably means change. Treasuries taking on new activities such as managing benefit plans or real estate portfolios need to keep learning new skills. We give you practical examples of the transactions, processes and steps along the way to developing the treasurer – and treasury – of the future.

  • 8:00pm BST
    3:00pm EST
    3:00am* SGT
    Avoiding M&A mistakes
  • M&A strategies, and the financial structures associated with them, are changing. In this late stage of the economic cycle, shareholders are turning negative on transactions in which the acquirer takes a credit ratings hit; they prefer all-stock to debt-financed transactions; and they are focusing much more closely on the minutiae of capital allocation. In this environment, the role of finance and treasury in M&A becomes more prominent: big-picture ‘stories’ are not enough to drive the deal through; now companies are re-focusing on key assumptions to avoid the classic M&A mistakes: the overvaluation that leads to huge write-downs, the loss of key talent after the deal, the almost immediate divestiture at a lower valuation or, worst case, the bankruptcy. Treasury is key to that nitty-gritty analysis of IRR, business fit and the ability to execute planned expansion. Is the target business performing as described? Are there issues that will derail expected synergies? Are there unusual tax and accounting structures or other financial engineering that obscure the true profitability of the operating business? Post-acquisition treasury is a core part of the integration and cost-elimination process – again key drivers for deal success. This treasurer has been through several acquisition cycles and here explains how they feel treasury can add the most value.

  • 9:00pm BST
    4:00pm EST
    4:00am* SGT
    Finding the time for growth
  • It’s easy to say that functions like treasury should be spending more time on strategic issues around growth. It is less easy to see how treasurers can free themselves from the daily grind to do this. Core treasury is about collecting and protecting cash and financial risk management and it is measured against these objectives. Yes, it has expanded into wider due diligence, regulatory compliance and investor relations, and this has meant an increasing focus on wider business objectives, but many treasurers are still trained to be risk averse and to focus on wringing efficiencies from existing processes and structures. So is treasury the right place to be thinking about growth? Are core treasury objectives antithetical to winning market share despite the cost? How does the traditional treasury mindset cope with accepting the unquantifiable risks that often accompany genuine business innovation? This panel addresses how treasury can balance core competencies with new growth. Here they explain what changes need to be made to their systems, processes and staff to allow them to do this?

Treasury masters share all: benchmark your treasury against top performers

Are you an SME or a global MNC? Is your priority managing rapid growth, hedging against political and economic uncertainty, digital transformation or international expansion? Regardless of where your company is in the treasury journey, these fireside chats and case studies with the world’s leading treasurers will give you valuable insights into the ways in which you can improve your core treasury operations and add real value to your business.

  • 2:00pm BST
    9:00am EST
    9:00pm SGT
    The challenges for NGOs and their finance function: adapting to a new era in aid
  • As both the structure and source of grants changes, NGOs are looking to diversify sources of revenues. The rigid constraints of most grant finance are proving unsuitable and unsustainable for most development challenges. The micromanagement from afar and slavish adherence to prescriptive plans that still characterises much development funding is out of date. The most forward-thinking NGOs are investigating new types of finance, both private and public sector, such as earned income, impact bonds, impact investing and blended finance. Some of the most promising models involve a mix of philanthropic and market-sourced funds dollars—such as for-profit social enterprises with access to grant funding. The next level up incorporates transparency and results in the funding model, with pay-for-performance and tiered innovation grants, with funders and NGOs sharing risks. For NGOs used mainly to manage the working capital gap and FX risks in grant-based organisations, this amounts to a revolution in their financing. The incorporation of this mix of new funding techniques will require an entirely new level of sophistication and expertise from NGO treasuries and finance functions around capital markets, cash and risk management, accounting, FP&A and reporting. Also how is the non-profit sector collaborating together on projects such as cash disbursement and new technologies like blockchain?

  • 3:00pm BST
    10:00am EST
    10:00pm SGT
    The future of the energy sector and its changing finance function
  • Join this panel of three treasurers from the energy sector as they review best practice for the industry. How is treasury run? What is on the agenda? What will the future of the industry look like and how will that impact treasury operations? From payment issues to risk and liquidity to funding, hear three energy companies share their insights, opportunities and challenges. Our expert analyst opens this session to look at the industry outlook.

  • 5:00pm BST
    12:00pm EST
    12:00am* SGT
    The future of the commercial real estate sector and its changing finance function
    • Regina Ochev VP, Assistant Treasurer Prologis USA
  • Join this panel of three treasurers from the commercial property sector as they review best practice for the industry. How is treasury run? What is on the agenda? What will the future of the industry look like and how will that impact treasury operations? From payment issues to risk and liquidity to funding, hear three CP companies share their insights, opportunities and challenges. Our expert analyst opens this session to look at the industry outlook.

    Regina Ochev VP, Assistant Treasurer Prologis USA
Transforming treasury technology and all things digital: a reality check

The rapidity of technological change is overwhelming companies’ ability to digest it. Manual processes and Excel-based workflows are ubiquitous and often linked to established counterparty and supply chain practices and relationships as much as to legacy ways of working. To change this, treasurers must isolate the improvements that will deliver the most value, and then choosing strategies and solutions to achieve those improvements, is a less risky path to treasury transformation – and easier to sell to senior management. In this stream see how your peers are easing core treasury pain points cost-effectively and without undue disruption to business as usual.

  • 2:00pm BST
    9:00am EST
    9:00pm SGT
    Implementing a Cloud TMS when so much choice on tech is available
  • As treasury management systems migrate to the Cloud, treasurers face new choices when they come to decide on how they would like the service delivered. The good news is that traditional system integration and implementation, which could take many months or even longer for full functionality to be available, is a thing of the past. But on the downside, treasurers need to understand the pros and cons of deployment options like Direct-to-Private Cloud, Single-Tenant SaaS, Multi-Tenant SaaS and On-Premise installation. Knowing how each of these options – and others – affect control over functionality and upgrades, compliance with internal technology operating regimes, costs and configuration customization, is becoming a treasury core competence. This treasurer has just implemented a solution. In this session hear why they made the choices they did and what they would do differently next time.

  • 3:00pm BST
    10:00am EST
    10:00pm SGT
    HANA upgrade lessons and learnings
  • Anyone with an SAP ERP must upgrade to SAP S/4HANA by the end of 2025. Given the potential scale of the task, starting sooner rather than later is advisable and while migration may look very different to different types and sizes of companies, there are common priorities that all firms should bear in mind. In this session a series of case studies will demonstrate the importance of investing time and resources in ensuring data consistency to reduce migration errors. You will learn the best ways to prepare your team and train on the new data structures in SAP S/4HANA. And you will hear how important it is to set the right expectations on feature and function availability. It is critical to complete the core technical migration first before promising the business the benefits of the new reporting and analytics functionality, the mobile capabilities and SAP Fiori apps.

  • 4:00pm BST
    11:00am EST
    11:00pm SGT
    Digital trade finance is here now
  • Trade finance has always been ripe for standardisation and digitalisation. The obstacles have included cumbersome paper-based processes, the multiplicity of bank portals, onboarding complexities, and difficult access to financing for SMEs. Over the past three years, a variety of banks and new platforms have attacked each of these problems and the results are beginning to make it to the real world. Unified multi-bank portals now exist to aggregate trade financing products and allow corporates to apply easily for them. Better connectivity between different parts of the transaction maximises digital data reuse, speeding up transactions and removing errors. Electronic banker’s guarantees can now replace a highly manual and time-intensive process and the first digital letters of credit have also been executed. Add in blockchain and the increasing ability for corporates to upload their supporting trade documents onto banks’ corporate banking platforms and the grail of a single, online, digital trade financing process is within reach.

Payments & FX

Payments sit at the intersection of pretty much every significant treasury concern: fraud, cyber-risk, technology transformation, real-time transactions, and the tensions between globalisation and de-globalisation. In this Lab get the latest on the key technical and regulatory initiatives changing the payments ecosystem and on the big picture drivers that may upend the conventional assumptions.

  • 12:00pm BST
    7:00am EST
    7:00pm SGT
    Leveraging new FX liquidity
  • Although they are somewhat insulated from changes in the underlying structure of markets, treasurers still need to understand how those changes affect the price and availability of products, services and liquidity. The FX markets have undergone radical change over the recent past, with huge volumes now algorithmically traded, with the regulatory fragmentation of liquidity in Europe and with the ongoing wave of consolidation in the trading technology sector. The result is that how treasurers access FX market liquidity, through whom (or directly), how their orders are placed to ensure best execution and the data available to them to analyse their providers’ performance is continuing to evolve. So, to what extent do treasurers need to understand the many different liquidity venues and trading systems out there? And which companies should be looking to exploit advanced execution strategies whether via algos or direct market access?

  • 4:00pm BST
    11:00am EST
    11:00pm SGT
    The changing payments environment: how to use payments to boost growth
  • The payments ecosystem is developing so rapidly it is hard to keep up. The ease with which developers can access payment APIs, bank and other transaction data means that the number of platforms, apps and channels is multiplying almost daily. With these comes better visibility, improved credit control, real-time and instant payments, but also cybersecurity and data privacy risks. This session will consider the changing payments environment to help you understand the wider ecosystem of instant payments and collections and the impact on supply chain. What are the transformational impacts on treasury from instant payments? Discover practical ways to embed real-time instant payments and collections. Understand how companies can leverage APIs to boost internal treasury processes as well as to explore newer business models that provide greater transparency and visibility to the end consumer. This session will also explore the use of alternative payment methods like mobile wallets to manage collections more efficiently and increase business penetration in key emerging markets.

Working capital & supply chain finance

Covid-19 turned the supply chain world upside down. And although supply chain finance has developed rapidly over the past few years becoming cloud-based and ERP-integrated with new platforms that can aggregate buyers and suppliers globally, the pandemic brought home weaknesses in companies’ technology, transaction information flows, working capital strategies and many other things. The need for digitisation is now critical. Companies need to look much more closely at risks and develop the tools to ensure adequate working capital. This lab will help you review and problem solve.

  • 6:00am BST
    1:00am EST
    1:00pm SGT
    Deep-tier supply chain financing
  • Much of the focus in SCF has been on the difficulties of onboarding direct suppliers, and even that has challenged banks when those companies are not their clients. But it is just as important for large MNCs to know that smaller companies further down the chain that make components that are essential to the finished product are also able to access finance. Innovations in SCF, in particular blockchain, are now beginning to extend traditional reverse factoring into this deep-tier of suppliers using what is being called an ‘ecosystem halo effect’ to onboard and check the credentials of both direct suppliers and then their subsequent network of suppliers too. This is achieved by using a digital ledger which gives the bank and the main or ‘anchor’ buyer a clear view of who is in the supply chain, what their contribution to the ecosystem is (they are helping to fulfil a larger order placed by a large anchor buyer). and whether a request for financing from a deeper tier supplier is valid. This system protects the tier-one supplier and the MNC. This treasurer explains.

  • 8:00am BST
    3:00am EST
    3:00pm SGT
    Supply chain finance: sustainability and ESG in Asia
  • Asia lies at the heart of many global supply chains, from high tech production to traditional textile manufacturing. Recent black swan events and public health emergencies have disrupted supply chains and closed factories, creating a crisis in business continuity in some sectors. Beyond this immediate issue, supply chains are evolving. The rise of corporate governance standards, encapsulated in stronger ESG principles, are driving innovation in supply chain financing, where suppliers are incentivised and rewarded for meeting environmental and governance standards of multinational companies. But whilst the proliferation of green financing in bonds and loans expands globally, supply chain financing is also now facing accounting questions in the off balance sheet treatment of reverse factoring. In response to commentary from ratings agencies and regulators, and in the spirit of good governance and transparency, some companies are choosing to place their factoring programmes on balance sheet. So how is supply chain financing playing out in Asia? Are we seeing the greening of financing initiatives and increasing standards in line with international best practice. Local treasurers tell the tale.

  • 2:00pm BST
    9:00am EST
    9:00pm SGT
    SCF in the crosshairs…again
  • Even after all this time, there remain numerous cross-border legal and compliance inconsistencies around SCF that make practical implementation difficult. Whether it is the nature of the sale or the accounting of the trade payables, issues arise in many jurisdictions, often without a definitive resolution. A particular issue has arisen recently around the accountancy treatment of supplier finance programmes – and in particular whether trade payables which are subject to supplier finance should be regarded as debt. Ratings agencies have raised concerns about company failures in which extensive supplier finance programmes effectively buried borrowing where it couldn’t easily be spotted. The agencies are also now adjusting company debt ratios to reflect their use of supply chain finance – even if those payables aren’t shown as debt on the balance sheet and with US GAAP giving no specific guidance. So, what are the implications of this latest focus on the perceived risks of SCF and its use as a disguise for borrowing? Does ratings and investor concern make the technique less attractive for treasurers? And what other legal and compliance issues are still causing problems in various regions?

  • 5:00pm BST
    12:00pm EST
    12:00am* SGT
    Sticks versus carrots for sustainable supply chains
  • Extending finance, especially favourable financing terms, to suppliers who adhere to key standards is one of the most important ways to move the entire supply chain in a more sustainable direction. Big banks are working with the large buyers at the top of supply chains to ensure that they support sustainability in the smaller firms they rely on. The degree to which suppliers meet sustainability objectives drives the availability and price of funding through the SCF programme. New technology, in terms of data gathering and aggregation, as well as blockchain, enable providers of finance to track products from source to end-user, providing evidence of sustainability and allowing them to offer preferential access to credit for good performers. What does this trend mean for your company as a provider or receiver (or both) of SCF? Are your banks and tech providers looking at this? And can your SCF programme deliver this type of sustainability?

  • Centre stage
  • Stage 1
  • Stage 3
Keynotes
  • 9:00am BST
    4:00am EST
    4:00pm SGT
    A new attitude to debt?
  • Companies have spent the years since the global financial crisis binging on debt. Corporate debt among non-banks exploded to $75 trillion at the end of 2019, up from $48 trillion at the end of 2009, according to the Institute of International Finance. The pandemic has only made matters worse with companies borrowing billions more to cushion themselves against a downturn. Government intervention on a massive scale has reduced the immediate risks of defaults and insolvencies but amplified the systemic risks down the road. And like governments, companies, having done whatever it takes to survive, will need to consider the longer-term structure of their finances once the crisis passes. Is it time to take another look at leverage, stock buy-backs and the cult of debt? If ‘100-year’ shocks, including perhaps climate-related changes, are becoming more common, then should treasurers be looking at balance sheet resilience, and equity?

  • 3:00pm BST
    10:00am EST
    10:00pm SGT
    Who cares about normal?: A long term plan for business resilience
  • If the flick of a switch could erase Covid-19 in an instant, we would not go back to where we were. And the future we imagined, is not the future we will experience. Remote working delivers productivity, cost savings and environmental benefits. Rules have had to be bent, management structures abandoned, and business has continued. Flexibility, agility and resilience have proved more valuable than hierarchy, structure and process. Offshoring has revealed its weaknesses, not least in fourth-party dependencies. So how can companies institutionalise the best of what they have discovered? And for treasury, that most process- and rule-driven of departments, is it possible or indeed necessary to be flexible, agile and adaptable?

Best to be brilliant at the basics

Being brilliant at the basics has always been at the core of corporate success. Surviving sudden, unprecedented and unexpected disruption has only emphasised the importance of strong foundation and rigorous processes. And nowhere is this more apparent than treasury. But post-pandemic which basics are the most important and what can go on the backburner? And what does being brilliant at them look like?

  • 10:00am BST
    5:00am EST
    5:00pm SGT
    Securing the smart treasury
  • Covid-19 is a cybersecurity nightmare. Remote working, the accelerated deployment of personal mobile devices, the sudden needs for remote access to sensitive corporate systems, companies rushed development of e-commerce and other digital survival strategies and a stressed workforce susceptible to phishing attacks have all redrawn the attack surface and re-energised the hackers. Add treasury’s rapid adoption of Cloud, RPA, APIs and other connectivity multipliers. And then overlay the drive towards real-time treasury, which means that any mistakes or malicious instructions can be executed more quickly than staff or systems can recognize a problem. Treasury is a significant and underprotected target. Cybercriminals recognize the weaknesses in treasury: business email compromise attacks have cost millions; low-paid SSC staff are targets for bribery; and nation-state actors have become a significant threat as they target the private sector for money or data. Third-party security is an even more intractable issue. So where does treasury sit as a line of cyber-defence? To what extent can treasurers mitigate the cyber-risk to their treasury systems and operations and what do they need from the rest of the enterprise? This panel will share lessons learned and processes undertaken.

  • 1:00pm BST
    8:00am EST
    8:00pm SGT
    More debt, more tax
  • 2020 was going to be a year dominated by the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) action plan and Europe’s Anti-Tax Avoidance Directives (ATAD I and II) and the push for a global minimum level of corporate taxation for BigTech and other global MNCs. Treasurers are far more likely now to have to concentrate on the many domestic and international tax issues that arise from the utilisation of Covid-19 related support schemes, the tax implications of any borrowings renegotiated in their favour and other crisis-related hedging and P&L effects. At the same time, the potential acceleration of de-globalisation not only upsets efforts at tax harmonisation but may cause substantial changes to corporate business and financial structures, with the attendant consequences for tax positions. And many key national jurisdictions are also still in the process of what are described as “significant” or “comprehensive” tax reforms. In addition, companies are still struggling with previous tax changes, including those related to leases under ASC 842 and IFRS 16. While seemingly straightforward, the changes are throwing up a host of technical issues which remain to be solved. In these two sessions, get a global tax overview plus detailed analysis of some of the key changes that have already been implemented.

Treasury masters share all: benchmark your treasury against top performers

Are you an SME or a global MNC? Is your priority managing rapid growth, hedging against political and economic uncertainty, digital transformation or international expansion? Regardless of where your company is in the treasury journey, these fireside chats and case studies with the world’s leading treasurers will give you valuable insights into the ways in which you can improve your core treasury operations and add real value to your business.

  • 10:00am BST
    5:00am EST
    5:00pm SGT
    The future of the airline industry and its changing finance function
  • Join this panel of three treasurers from airlines as they review best practice for the industry. How is treasury run? What is on the agenda? What will the future of the industry look like now and how will that impact treasury operations? From payment issues to risk and liquidity to funding, hear three airlines share their insights, opportunities and challenges. Our expert analyst opens this session to look at the industry outlook.

  • 1:00pm BST
    8:00am EST
    8:00pm SGT
    The future of the big tech companies and their finance function
  • Join this panel of three treasurers from some of the world’s tech giants as they talk about their treasury and technology journeys and where it will take them over the next decade. How is treasury run? What is on the agenda? What will the future of the industry look like now and how will that impact treasury operations? From payment issues to risk and liquidity to funding, hear these companies share their insights, opportunities and challenges. Our expert analyst opens this session to look at the industry outlook.

Once again EuroFinance has proven to be ‘the event’ for treasury.

Nikita Romanovich Orlov, Head of Treasury, Norilsk Nickel Mining & Metallurgical

EuroFinance Geneva was once again the event of its kind that I value the most – by a margin.

Farid Boussatha, Head of Treasury Solutions, Airbus SAS

Still the most relevant cash and treasury conference to meet with banks and network with peers.

Evgeny Chaynikov, Senior Financial Manager, PJSC Lukoil

An annual dose of motivation and inspiration for treasury professionals.

Christian Valdivia, CFO, LafargeHolcim Trading

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