The annual BNP Paribas Cash Management University kicked off on Thursday morning with treasury professionals congregating in Paris from across Europe.
Andrea Boettger, treasury director at Jabil, and Monica Eriksson, manager of cash management services at Ericsson, were jointly interviewed about their recent experiences when changing banking partners and how this can be done without disruption to the business.
Boettger stressed the importance of involving the company’s procurement team in the decision from the start.
“They need to understand why you chose that specific bank,” Boettger said.
“We used a scoring system which helped people to feel like they had a say in the bank we eventually chose,” she added.
This also helps integration at a later stage, according to Boettger.
After leaving their previous bank, RBS, Boettger’s final decision came down to CITI and BNP Paribas – it will be of no surprise that both Eriksson and Boettger chose to migrate to BNP Paribas.
Her team has intensive meetings with both banks over several days before making the final decision.
Boettger said this was started to build a strong relationship with BNP Paribas which has benefited their important for their ongoing partnership.
One of the main advantages of moving banks for Ericsson was the ability to have fewer bank accounts, Eriksson explained.
The company now has the majority of their European banks in the Netherlands or Sweden, unless absolutely necessary. This allowed the company to close local banks in countries such as Portugal, she said.
“We are in the tender phase of selecting a cash management platform,” Eriksson said, adding that they use SAP software across the business.
“The profile of a treasurer is constantly changing. Now it is a finance manager and in the future people think it will be an IT manager”
“If I was to do it again, I would ask more detailed questions from the start,” Eriksson advised.
She also stressed the importance of having a capable and enthusiastic project manager when change banks.
Eriksson joked about the music that her project manager played once the project was completed. “It’s important to have fun,” she said.
Boettger said she would invest more time into the request for proposal (RFP) processes.
Read more of this panel debate here.
Future treasury, future treasurers: how to retain talent in a transforming world?
What the future of treasury will look like was up for discussion in a panel consisting of Pernilla Sandberg, head of cash management and settlement, Volvo Cars; Dominique Potiron, senior partner at headhunting firm Spencer Stuart; Alexander Klinke, global head of treasury management, Dennemeyer Group; and Franca Aeby, cash manager, Hoffman-La Roche.
Potiron said that, when recruiting treasury teams, she found most hiring questions now are more focused on, “soft skills and emotional intelligence levels needed to do complex work”.
“There are requests for strong leadership skills, strategy and vision. Communication skills are also becoming more and more important.
“Flexibility is always coming first,” she added.
Potiron argued that treasury teams are now far more visible than they had been in the past. “If they are not visible, the scope of their expertise will shrink,” she said.
Companies are increasingly hiring people to treasury teams with minimal financial backgrounds. They may be data analysts or technology specialist, said Potriron.
Sandberg also said that those who spend their career in treasury for life are becoming less common.
“Today, people are more likely to move from treasury rather than into it. Some people stay in treasury for life but it is a rather small industry,” said Sandberg.
‘Do not fear technology’
Laurent Haug, entrepreneur and motivational speaker, was one of the keynote sessions, with his session titled, ‘Decoding the digital revolution: the best is yet to come’.
He stressed that we do not need to fear robots. To emphasise the point, he quoted several individuals who had warned against the dangers of books centuries ago. One questioned whether we would lose our ability to remember facts.
“Toyota is removing robots from their production line because only humans can tell them how they can make improvements”
In a similar vein to Steve Wozniak at Money 20/20 this year, Haug argued there will always be a need for humans in the future, as they can work alongside machines
“Toyota is removing robots from their production line because only humans can tell them how they can make improvements,” he added.
Read our blog from day two of the BNP Paribas Cash Management University here.
When it comes to corporate innovation, debates on technology and sponsoring commercial activities have a limited value threshold if it is not coupled with innovative actions, Omeed Mehrinfar, Plug & Play, told an audience of treasurers.
Using data for predictive analytics is the future of banking success, argued Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, CEO of BNP Paribas, in his session on how the bank is reinventing its approach to innovate with and for corporates.
APIs may be a solution to MT940 challenges, says Karen Fagan, treasury operation manager, for British television company, ITV.
On the third day of the Singapore Fintech Festival conference, there was a focus on specific applications of fintech innovation. One was trade finance, which is clearly is ripe for a revolution.