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Industry roundup: 2 February

Broadridge launches ESG corporate advisory service

Broadridge Financial Solutions has launched an ESG Advisory Service. This service, leveraging proprietary data, aims to help corporate issuers and asset managers improve sustainability strategies while effectively positioning their ESG programs with stakeholders.

“Companies are making corporate responsibility initiatives part of their business strategy as more retail and institutional investors raise ESG concerns and seek the long-term performance advantages and benefits of ESG-focused businesses,” said Dorothy Flynn, president of Corporate Issuer Solutions at Broadridge. “Investors and other stakeholders are increasingly looking at ESG disclosures as a fundamental expectation, driving the need for additional connectivity between companies, investors and other stakeholders.”

This service offers clients the following tools:

  • Benchmarking ESG efforts to peers and industry best practices to identify areas for improvement.
  • Aligning ESG capabilities with emerging frameworks and standards, such as Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
  • Creating a roadmap for companies’ ESG journeys, including policy and programme development; metrics for measuring performance over time; ESG goals; and corresponding goal results disclosures.
  • Enhancing an ESG programme through all aspects of shareholder communications, including ESG and Sustainability reports, proxy statements, and annual reports, and delivering them on the channels that investors and other stakeholders prefer and expect.
  • Calculating carbon footprints and setting long-term environmental impact reduction goals and help improve ESG ratings.
  • Helping asset managers align corporate ESG strategies with product development.

 

GSCFF adds corporate payment undertaking description to Standard Definitions 

The Global Supply Chain Finance Forum (GSCFF) - comprising BAFT (Bankers Association for Finance and Trade ), FCI (previously known as Factors Chain International), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the International Trade & Forfaiting Association (ITFA) and the Euro Banking Association (EBA) - has announced plans to update its Standard Definitions for Techniques of Supply Chain Finance (Standard Definitions) to provide further clarity on the distinctions between the individual techniques.

Alongside the existing Receivables Purchase and retitled Loan sub-categories, a newly created Advanced Payable sub-category now includes three techniques: Corporate Payment Undertaking (CPU), Dynamic Discounting (DD) and Bank Payment Undertaking (BPU).

This update highlights and confirms the quality of the original content - first published four years ago - and the need to be agile in a dynamic field such as supply chain finance. Thus, it is intended to reflect an up-to-date view of current market practices within supply chain finance, in particular by establishing greater clarity between the Payables Finance technique under the Receivables Purchase category and the CPU technique.

CPU is a buyer-led programme within which sellers in the buyer’s supply chain can, at their option, access liquidity by requesting a discounted early payment. However, unlike a Payables Finance scenario, the finance provider does not purchase the underlying receivable from the seller, but rather, fully relies on the buyer’s irrevocable payment undertaking.

The first description document on CPU has also been released today, with subsequent documents on DD and BPU expected over the coming months. Each description document will provide an overview of the technique’s definition, involved parties, distinctive features and variations, relevant risks and benefits, among other technicalities. Once the series has been published, a final updated version of the master Standard Definitions document will be made publicly available.

 

Fleetcor acquires cloud software platform provider of B2B online bill payment

Fleetcor Technologies has acquired Roger, a global accounts payable (AP) cloud software platform for small businesses. The acquisition will extend Fleetcor’s portfolio of accounts payable automation solutions to small businesses, helping them automate their manual payment processes.

The acquisition provides Fleetcor with an automation platform for B2B online bill payment. The platform helps SMBs gather and scan invoices and receipts, eliminate manual data entry using machine learning technology, approve and execute payments, setup automated workflows, and sync to accounting systems like QuickBooks Online, Sage Intacct, Xero, and others in real time. In addition to small businesses, accounting firms in North America and Europe use, refer, and resell the platform today in connection with their customers.

“This acquisition provides us with a modern, cloud based, bill payment platform that will immediately open up cross-sell opportunities into our global SMB fuel card base,” said Ron Clarke, Chairman and CEO of Fleetcor. “It’s a big step in expanding our fuel card business into a corporate payments business, and extending our current middle market corporate payments business into the SMB space.”

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