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Industry roundup: 18 May

Northern Trust deploys AI for currency management 

Northern Trust (NTRS) has announced it has enhanced its foreign exchange (FX) currency management solutions with machine learning models. These are designed to enable greater oversight of thousands of daily data points and help reduce risk throughout the currency management lifecycle. The solution has been developed in conjunction with Northern Trust’s strategic partner Lumint Corporation.

The technology utilised by the Robotic Oversight System (ROSY) for Northern Trust, systematically scans newly arriving, anonymised data to identify anomalies across multi-dimensional data sets. It is built on machine learning models developed by Lumint using a cloud platform that allows for highly efficient data processing.

Northern Trust announced a strategic partnership with Lumint in 2018 to drive innovation in currency hedging, including comprehensive transparency reporting and analytics to meet the evolving needs of asset owners and asset managers.


Jaggaer adds more automated insights to corporate expense management

Jaggaer's latest software release offers its customers enhanced functionality that is designed to streamline source-to-pay activities and guide users. It also aims to provide additional visibility, insights and compliance management, with embedded intelligence such as a recommendation wizard for more proactive supplier management and a delivery lead-time predictor. The Jaggaer Smart Assistant enables users to search by typing natural language queries such as “How many running RFQs closing tomorrow with Supplier X?”, saving multiple clicks compared with traditional search methods. Other areas providing additional guidance to the user include recommendations for the supplier development plan in the Supplier Management module, and enhanced automation for the Spend Management classification tool.

The budget management enhancement improves the visibility of budget consumption on non-PO spend prior to approval, allowing users to decide when they want to collect spend (e.g. collect when the requisition is submitted, after approvals, after sent to supplier, or when the invoice is paid. This new functionality also makes it easy to check and visualise total spend by budget in any document (requisitions, orders and invoices) at any stage of the workflow process.

Jaggaer has partnered with credit card companies to offer more convenient payment options to customers with virtual credit cards. These not only reduce the administrative burden on accounts payable, they also allow companies to redeem cash back savings without the fraud risk and lack of controls of a regular credit card. Moreover, spend limits can be applied at line level. JP Morgan and Discover virtual cards are already being used by Jaggaer customers, with more to follow.

This release also provides enriched analytics functionality, for example with new preconfigured P2P dashboards for requisitions, POs, invoices and workflows with options for customers to create their own reports, defining the dimensions and measures of interest. These dashboards will therefore give customers at-a-glance insights into issues and metrics of vital interest, such as average time to complete a workflow, catalog compliance value and percentage, and invoice amounts and counts.


EMQ launches enterprise settlement solution to boost international business payments 

EMQ, a global financial settlement network, has rolled out its enterprise payment solution with same day settlement capabilities in local currencies across eight countries - China, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan and the United Kingdom. This enhancement is designed to extend the speed, transparency and certainty of EMQ’s network infrastructure into domestic markets, enabling global businesses to streamline international mass payments to capture opportunities across strategically important markets and high-growth emerging economies.

EMQ says the enterprise settlement solution enables global businesses, banks and other licensed financial institutions to access same day settlement with greater certainty, transparency and speed in key strategic markets across Asia and Europe. The company’s API infrastructure is designed with high availability to meet the needs of these enterprises with high transaction volumes, enabling them to automate their workflows to reduce operating overheads and drive down costs.


Norway's wealth fund excludes firms on ESG conditions

Norway's Norges Bank has decided to exclude five companies from the Government Pension Fund Global and place four companies on an observation list after an assessment against the product-based coal criterion. The bank’s Executive Board has decided to exclude Sasol, RWE, Glencore, AGL Energy and Anglo American after an assessment against the product-based coal criteria, ref. section 2 (2), subsections c and d, of the Guidelines for Observation and Exclusion of Companies from the Government Pension Fund Global. The exclusions are based on the new absolute thresholds for coal companies that were added to the guidelines last year. The amendments took effect 1 September 2019. It is the first time these thresholds in the coal criterion are being applied. The Executive Board has also decided to place the companies BHP Group, Vistra Energy, Enel and Uniper on an observation list after an assessment against the product-based coal criterion, ref. section 2 (2), subsection c and d, of the guidelines.

In the assessment against the product-based coal criterion, importance shall also be given to forward-looking assessments, including any plans the company may have that will change the level of extraction of coal or coal power capacity relating to thermal coal, and/or increase the income ratio or business share relating to renewable sources. The exclusion and observation decision was made by the Executive Board based on recommendations from Norges Bank Investment Management. The Executive Board finds that the recommendations have adequately substantiated that the companies can be excluded from the fund and be placed on an observation list.

For several of the companies of which exclusion is now being made public, the market situation, including the liquidity of individual shares, has meant that it has taken a long time to sell the shares in a reasonable manner. That explains why a long period of time has passed between some of the decisions and the publication.

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