gtnews Global Corporate Treasury Awards Names Outstanding Treasuries

Around 150 people attended the inaugural gtnews Global Corporate Treasury Awards, sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, to find out who had proved best practice in contributing to the success of a corporate’s business. The ceremony was hosted at Sibos 2010 in Amsterdam, in association with SWIFT.

gtnews Global Corporate Treasury Awards Winners

Winners (from left to right): Dub Newman, BofA Merrill (on behalf of Debbie Erle, Caterpillar); Ricky Thirion, Etihad Airways; Peter van Rood, AkzoNobel;
Johan van der Westhuizen, AkzoNobel; and Bob Polansky, General Mills.

The winners and highly commended were:

Treasury Technology Implementation Project of the Year

Winner: AkzoNobel Treasury Transformation Project – IT stream

AkzoNobel, a multinational manufacturing corporation, embarked on a major treasury transformation project following the acquisition of ICI in 2008, which included: optimisation of the global transaction banking infrastructure; redesigning treasury policies; and integrating, automating and standardising of treasury systems and processes.

Highly commended:
  • British American Tobacco (BAT) Project ASARA.
  • IBM Global Treasury Transformation.
Cash Management Project of the Year

Winner: Caterpillar Inc Bank Account Reduction

Caterpillar’s chief financial officer (CFO) set an objective to deliver world-class processes to reduce risk, complexity and cost, increase effectiveness, and improve reporting flexibility and timeliness. One of the measures for accomplishing this objective was aligning the number of bank accounts with Caterpillar revenue. Caterpillar’s starting point was 978 accounts with a goal of 840. Overall, Caterpillar closed 304 accounts.

Highly commended:
  • East African Tea Sales Electronic Billboard – Kenya Tea Development Agency.
  • Roche – Genentech Cash Management Integration.
Supply Chain Finance Project of the Year

Winner: General Mills Supply Chain Finance

Since going live in April, General Mills has several vendors representing over US$100m annual spend using its supply chain finance solution. In addition, it has other vendors who have agreed to extended terms. To date, the project has generated over US$20m in improved cash flow, with a goal of many times that in the current fiscal year. While General Mills started its cash efficiency journey in direct materials, it is now rolling out to other large areas of spend in logistics, contract pack and marketing.

Highly commended:
  • Casino Group Trade Portal.
  • Volvo Supply Chain Finance Programme.
Corporate Treasurer of the Year – Readers’ Choice Award

Winner: Ricky Thirion, Senior Vice President – Corporate Treasury, Etihad Airways

Ricky Thirion formally created the Etihad Airways’ treasury in 2007 and has built up a unit that has supported the rapid growth of the airline, while implementing the entire corporate treasury infrastructure (people, policies, processes, systems and controls). It is now a fully-fledged corporate treasury function supported by a global base of banking partners.

Highly commended:
  • Chris Berris, Group Treasurer, Hunting.
  • Dennis Sweeney, Deputy Treasurer, GE.
Treasury Team of the Year

Winner: AkzoNobel Treasury Transformation

The AkzoNobel treasury team achieved a complete transformation of AkzoNobel’s treasury function despite some of the most extreme circumstances imaginable. Its outstanding achievement has been the transformation of treasury in just two years from a reactive, transaction-oriented organisation to a highly dynamic cutting-edge function. While much of the transformation and delivery of multiple initiatives was achieved via parallel project execution, this was only feasible because of treasury teamwork.

Highly commended:
  • Global Treasury Helps to Create SAP’s Future.
  • RTL Group Treasury Organisation Improvement Project.
Gold award

Winner: General Mills Supply Chain Finance

This award was given to the corporate treasury that received the highest marks across the other project categories. The judges said this about the General Mills Supply Chain Finance project:

  • “I am really impressed. It appears that a clear objective was set by the CFO and a capable team set up to realise these objectives.”
  • “The project was very well planned, including multiple disciplines with an understanding of the drivers for each.”
  • “There were significant cash flow savings – as well as a purposeful path for moving forward.”

Carole Berndt, regional treasury executive for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said: “We would like to congratulate gtnews for hosting this event, which recognises excellence in treasury. In these difficult times, those that have embarked on transformation projects have shown much corporate courage. These awards pay tribute to treasuries that have created cash and operational efficiencies for their organisations.”

gtnews would like to thank its expert panel of judges, who worked through many detailed case studies in treasury success.

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