The focus of the corporate treasury department is changing. This was summed up by Philips' Gary Throup excellent presentation at the October Eurofinance conference, on 'The powerhouse internal liquidity tool - Philips Treasury Operations'. In his introduction he had a slide on 'The Philips Treasury Journey: from a traditional treasury to focus on business support and growth'. This sums up exactly what is happening in corporate treasury.
The title of the ABB presentation at Eurofinance, Rome 'Increasing the treasury role in risk management and business support' says it all. In his talk Constantinos Tsolakas, ABB Head Group Treasury Risk Management, showed how they have a central operations centre in Zurich, regional treasurers in Norwalk, Dubai, Beijing, Zurich, Stockholm AND 20+ country treasurers. The strategy behind this structure is to centralize processes to reduce costs, and, at the same time, to invest in local problem solvers to get close to the business.
This combination of centralization and local is critical to get corporate treasury involved in business change and growth. These 'local antennae' are vital.
Another approach is to have a team in the central corporate treasury department dedicated to consultancy and business initiatives, with no involvement in day-to-day treasury operations.
How close are you to your business units and how do you help generate business growth?
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