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What does corporate treasury do? What should it do? Be a strategic partner?

Citi's Treasury Diagnostics™ Benchmarking Survey in 2013 showed the continuing evolution of the corporate treasury into an internal advisor to the business, contributing to corporate strategic planning. Citi identified three key trends that reflected the growth in scope and influence of corporate treasury:

  • increasing visibility and control over cash balances, funding and risk management
  • increasing adoption of centralization structures
  • increasing involvement in working capital management.

At end of 2013, CTMfile’s reviewed how corporate treasury departments actually described their job and mission:

  • Astra Zeneca: aim to pro-actively support the AZ business units around the world with specialist Treasury expertise
  • Philips: our role is to provide business support and growth
  • Akzo Nobel: Treasury builds what the business unit's need ....
  • CEVA: making business flow
  • Roche: Treasury = service provider for the business
  • Vanguard (US fund manager): delivering accurate and compliant treasury services.

Over the last three years, the treasury associations and countless surveys have shown that corporate treasury departments are becoming more strategic, but what does this mean? 

Scania’s view

At the EuroFinance Conference in Vienna last month an excellent presentation by Börje Wigfeldt, Group Treasurer Scania CV AB, entitled ‘Treasury and the Company's Goals', revealed the latest thinking about the role and mission of the corporate Treasury Department. 

Wigfeldt believes that the value creation for the Treasury Department has moved from transactional Treasury, to process efficient Treasury, and now to value adding treasury. Their corporate treasury mission was to:

  • manage Scania´s liquidity, refinancing needs and financial risks in an efficient way, and 
  • provide professional financial services within the Scania group.

But today, he feels that corporate Treasury has a new role as a strategic partner in the development of the business, as companies move to new business models and ways of working, because in the future it will not the business as usual:


Source & Copyright©2016 - Scania

Wigfeldt’s summary diagram of corporate treasury’s new role to provide core functions, surrounded by a strategic layer enabling them to give support for: working capital improvements, overall company efficiencies, sales support, and general advisory work is both beautiful and spot on:


Source & Copyright©2016 - Scania


CTMfile take: The role of the corporate treasury department is definitely becoming more strategic. The question now is where next or is this the end game? 

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