What's Neu - News from the The NeuGroup Network of Peer Groups

Blog entry
By aorwick, April 07, 2017
Are you holding on to your cash to run your operations? Safeguarding your liquidity? What if you could make that cash work harder and produce more value?
 
Join NeuGroup’s live panel discussion to challenge your concepts of working capital and learn how to effectively manage your cash. 
 
Challenging Beliefs Around Working Capital 
April 26, 9 PDT/12 EDT
 
More and more forward-looking corporates are embracing financial technology to find working capital solutions within their supply chain. Putting cash to use for your bottom line, not against it, presents a completely new approach that enables leaders to grow their business.
 
During this interactive webinar, you’ll discover how to identify and manage the unintended consequences of holding high levels of cash and increase the efficiency of your cash management strategies.
 
Joining the panel will be:
 
• Shaila Bettadapur, Vice President and Treasurer from Mohawk Industries and NeuGroup member
• Jason Bristow, CFO from Interactions LLC and Tech20 alumnus.
• Kevin Ehinger, Vice President Market Operations from C2FO.
 
The liquidity paradox is truly a global problem. That is some companies have too much liquidity while also having too little. Banks don’t want cash deposits and there are too few places to invest. And although economic conditions and regulations vary from one region to the next, the overall trends and the fundamental liquidity paradox conditions remain in place in every region and industry sector. 
 
Register now to participate in this live panel discussion with industry experts as they explore ways to put your cash to work to produce the economic value it should.
 
 
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Blog entry
By afriberg, April 06, 2017
The Tech20 Treasurers’ Peer Group talks Trump tax reform, repatriation, payments and blockchain at its May 4 meeting, sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  
 
With US policy changes sure to impact FX, rates and the financial markets, treasurers are preparing for a number of different scenarios and wondering about the unanticipated consequences that lie ahead. How might a Dodd-Frank rewrite or MMF rollback impact MNCs? How will global trading, capital allocation and flow-of-funds models change in the event of a tax break? Members will share insight into their planning processes and debate the probability of certain restructurings.
 
In a more light-hearted session, meeting host PayPal will give a guided tour showcasing the future of the payments industry and innovation in the payments space. Afterward, an expert from the company will address the group’s questions regarding operations, security and KYC. 
 
Speaking of technology, the group will also hear from a member on how his company is experimenting with blockchain. The company is moving into a pilot phase of its project, using blockchain for issuance, negotiation and confirmation of letters of credit on a global basis. As blockchain continues to gain ground, it will be helpful for the group to hear from a fellow member on how it can be used to serve corporate purposes. 
 
For more than two decades, NeuGroup has lead the way in peer knowledge exchange for treasury and finance professionals. With an unrivaled network of 18 invitation-only peer groups, NeuGroup facilitates over 30 face-to-face meetings to inform actions, transform practices, and enhance careers for more than 400 members from across treasury and finance functions, covering multiple industries and global regions. Visit www.Neugroup.com for more information about peer groups and www.iTreasurer.com for content and news.
 
 
 
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Blog entry
By wchan, April 04, 2017
The Asia Treasurers’ Peer Group will come together April 24-25 to discuss the ever-changing regulatory landscape in Asia.
 
How are capital and currency control regs impacting business in Asia? And what are treasurers doing to cope? Members will mull the answers to these questions during the ATPG’s upcoming meeting in Singapore, hosted by Nike. The group will also deliberate over the risks – be they political, social, financial, economic or environmental – of operating in certain regions. 
 
India, for example, is one of the fastest growing emerging market economies, despite its many challenges. As members review optimal structures for mergers and acquisitions, reassess the banking landscape and consider RFPs for cash management services, they’ll continue to keep a close eye on the country. 
 
Recent fraud at ABB Korean subsidiary is a reminder that vigilant controls are another top priority for treasury teams. Members will review their cybersecurity concerns and fraud prevention tactics, before moving on to an examination of the treasury scorecards used by different companies. The group will look at how economic value creation is driven by performance measures. After all, the reality of corporate life is that what gets measured predominately drives performance, so aligning treasury scorecards to the team’s strategic vision and tactical goals is key.  
 
For more than two decades, NeuGroup has lead the way in peer knowledge exchange for treasury and finance professionals. With an unrivaled network of 18 invitation-only peer groups, NeuGroup facilitates over 30 face-to-face meetings to inform actions, transform practices, and enhance careers for more than 400 members from across treasury and finance functions, covering multiple industries and global regions. Visit www.Neugroup.com for more information about peer groups and www.iTreasurer.com for content and news.
 
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Blog entry
By wchan, March 31, 2017
Treasury leaders in Asia are beginning to experiment with artificial intelligence to increase the efficiency of finance operations. 
 
A study by Deloitte estimates that robots are typically 10 percent of the cost of a full-time employee in an onshore location in a developed country. That's a huge impact! Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is expected to drive cost efficiency through improvements in quality, scalability and resilience. This market disruption cannot be ignored. The Asia CFOs’ Peer Group (ACFO), scheduled to meet April 20 in Shanghai, will discuss robotics and explore its applications in the realm of treasury and finance. 
 
As the economic and political environment continues to create business challenges, ACFO members will also consider foreign currency controls in China and across Asia, and how they are impacting business. We live in an ever-increasing VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world, where CFOs are left to debate the best way to move forward. 
 
Finally, an open forum will provide the chance for group members to share the details of their recent initiatives, as well as tips for effective financing, working capital management and M&A integration. 
 
For more than two decades, NeuGroup has lead the way in peer knowledge exchange for treasury and finance professionals. With an unrivaled network of 18 invitation-only peer groups, NeuGroup facilitates over 30 face-to-face meetings to inform actions, transform practices, and enhance careers for more than 400 members from across treasury and finance functions, covering multiple industries and global regions. Visit www.Neugroup.com for more information about peer groups and www.iTreasurer.com for content and news.
 
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Blog entry
logos, NeuGroup
By jneu, March 30, 2017
While corporate finance leaders prepare for significant shifts in taxation, trade, rates and regulations under the new political administration, NeuGroup is making a few changes of its own to enhance the member experience and promote knowledge exchange during this uncertain and potentially transformational period.  
 
If you’ve visited our website lately, you may have noticed our new company logo, with its circular embrace of “Neu.” How fitting that “Neu” (rhymes with joy) is the German word for “new”, which fits a fresh way forward for the company.  
 
Neu is emboldened to encourage new thinking about actions to take, new solutions to try and new ways to increase value for the teams, firms and individuals we serve. What’s Neu also is at the center of valuable knowledge exchange: Focusing on what’s new distinguishes “knowledge” from more information “noise.” 
 
Meanwhile, “Group” stands alone to represent the unique value of each peer group in our 18-group global network. 
 
Each new peer group logo features the same interacting circle, symbolizing knowledge exchange and NeuGroup’s give-to-get formula for engagement. Also, we are now NeuGroup, dropping the emphasized “The.” Both the new name and logos are cleaner, flatter and a better fit for modern, digital platforms.  
Speaking of digital platforms, NeuGroup has begun the rollout of its NeuGroup Knowledge Exchange Community, stay tuned for more details.  
 
Over the next two decades, NeuGroup will continue its work to embolden firms, teams and individuals to take on new challenges and opportunities to reach their full potential. We welcome your input as we seek to better articulate our mission and the value created with leading peer knowledge exchange.

For more than two decades, NeuGroup has lead the way in peer knowledge exchange for treasury and finance professionals. With an unrivaled network of 18 invitation-only peer groups, NeuGroup facilitates over 30 face-to-face meetings to inform actions, transform practices, and enhance careers for more than 400 members from across treasury and finance functions, covering multiple industries and global regions. Visit www.Neugroup.com for more information about peer groups and www.iTreasurer.com for content and news.
 
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Blog entry
By bshegog, March 29, 2017
The Treasury Investment Managers’ Peer Group meets next month to prepare an action plan for market ambiguity. 
 
Frank Kelly, Deutsche Bank’s Head of Government Affairs, will kick off the TIMPG meeting by outlining how the new administration’s fiscal policy can influence the global markets. Top of mind issues include the impact of tax reform and possible repatriation of offshore assets. 
 
What to do with all this cash? To prepare for a possible influx of repatriated cash, members will discuss the challenging cash market and liquidity pool options. With money market fund reform, many members shifted funds into government money market funds. Now facing greater cash balances, this decision is being revisited. Members will share with each other how they are managing their liquidity pool. Are they staying put or moving back to prime? Have they found an alternative product? 
 
How do you prepare for market uncertainty? Tax cuts for corporations loom on the horizon and repatriation is up in the air. This session will focus on preparing for the unknown. Should members keep offshore portfolios more liquid or use possible repatriation to alter the balance sheet? Members will hear from Deutsche Asset Management’s experts and from fellow members on preparing for both events. 
 
For more than two decades, The NeuGroup has been a trusted thought leader and respected advocate for global finance and treasury professionals. The NeuGroup leads the way in peer knowledge exchange through its flagship publication, iTreasurer, and The NeuGroup Network, which includes 18 invitation-only groups serving more than 400 treasury and finance professionals across functions, industries and global regions. Visit NeuGroup.com for more information. 
 
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Blog entry
By jneu, March 26, 2017
We wrapped up our 2017 H1 FX Managers' PeerGroup 2 meeting last Friday, sponsored by Thomson Reuters, which I had the pleasure of attending. In line with other recent NeuGroup meetings I've sat in on, I wanted to share my top takeaways:
 

1) FX help wanted. Several members in the opening session noted the challenge of finding experienced FX talent for their treasuries, especially at the senior analyst and manager level. Knowledge exchange on viable candidates that just missed being hired and a group job board may help take down member FX help wanted signs.
 
2) Focus on exposure. Technology applications to help FX managers better define and analyze their FX exposures were a major topic of discussion. FX management starts with the ability to define exposures and collect quality information about them. Members are either looking to deploy new solutions or build out the capabilities of those already implemented.
 
3) FX bank scorecards create wins. Several members shared the scorecard reports they use internally to evaluate their FX banks on trade pricing and performance and what they share with the banks during quarterly or annual reviews. Monitoring performance and sharing key metrics like hit ratios on requests for quotes are common, but even qualitative evaluations of items like post-trade settlement efficiency can lead to significant wins in bank-service levels as well as trade execution performance. Most member scorecards start with report data downloaded from FXall to produce their bank evaluation scorecards. New Execution Quality Analysis tools are coming from FXall later this year to make this even better.
 
Next up is our Treasurers' Group of Thirty Large-Cap Edition that will be meeting April 6 in New York with the support of Deutsche Bank.

For more than two decades, NeuGroup has lead the way in peer knowledge exchange for treasury and finance professionals. With an unrivaled network of 18 invitation-only peer groups, NeuGroup facilitates over 30 face-to-face meetings to inform actions, transform practices, and enhance careers for more than 400 members from across treasury and finance functions, covering multiple industries and global regions. Visit www.Neugroup.com for more information about peer groups and www.iTreasurer.com for content and news.

 

 

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Blog entry
By afriberg, March 22, 2017
The Foreign Exchange Managers’ Peer Group kicked off 2017 with a dynamic day and a half in New York, tackling a wide range of FX-related topics. 
 
NeuGroup’s first meeting of the year, sponsored by Société Générale, covered everything from a member’s take on designing an effective hedge program using cash-flow at risk as its foundation, the options vs. forwards instrument-mix dilemma and how to get the best execution price when you trade, to the benefits of net investment hedging, the proposed changes to hedge accounting rules and outlooks for the US dollar and interest rates. 
 
Membership does have its privileges, so here is just a small sampling of the key takeaways from the meeting:
 
Just how much higher can the dollar climb? SocGen’s chief US economist Stephen Gallagher provided a long list of factors supporting a still stronger US dollar, including likely Federal Reserve rate hikes, President Trump’s promised tax reform and protectionist policies, European elections potentially leading to an EU breakup, China’s economy slowing and the RMB weakening further. But none of those are secrets and are likely already priced into the currency. Highly liquid currencies such as the GBP and the JPY are at historically weak levels relative to the USD, suggesting those currency pairs tightening rather than widening. 
 
Fed, ECB and BoJ policies more likely to converge than diverge. According to Subadra Rajappa, SocGen’s head of US rates strategy, the Fed is anticipated to pursue a moderate three to four hikes in 2017, but an unexpectedly strong dollar could slash that number, while more than one increase per quarter would be a “shock to the market.” Get ready for at least a mild recession over the next few years. Rate hikes are unlikely to arrive anytime soon from the European Central Bank (ECB) or Bank of Japan (BoJ), but at least they’ll back off their quantitative easing — the ECB by as early as 2018. SocGen foresees treasury yields rising to 2.9% and bund yields to 1%.
 
Identify, quantify and mitigate risk. A member shared his company’s three-step approach to managing FX risk. The goal is to present a straightforward analysis to management, starting with analyzing how much of their bottom line should be attributed to FX on a year-over-year basis. Using sophisticated methods, treasury can provide forward-looking metrics and cost-benefit analysis to aid decision making on hedge approach, ratios and tenors. 
 
Options on members’ minds. In a lively round-robin, FXMPG members made it clear that as interest-rates rise, options are under consideration, but when to use them? Considerations include whether or not they have an options premium budget and if “taking a view” is something management is comfortable with. A member said her group had developed a way to determine when to use which – options or forwards – but struggled with when to pull the trigger on implementation.
 
FASB aims to make hedge accounting easier to get and keep. Rob Baer from Bloomberg gave the latest update on the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) deliberations on proposed changes to hedge accounting rules. Although members are somewhat concerned about the “geography” of where hedge gains or losses will end up on financial statements, the new rules will greatly ease the operational burden to achieve hedge accounting and remain effective on cash-flow hedges, for example, plus make it easier to hedge commodities.  
 
The next meeting of the FXMPG will be September 7-8. 
 
For more than two decades, The NeuGroup has been a trusted thought leader and respected advocate for global finance and treasury professionals. The NeuGroup leads the way in peer knowledge exchange through its flagship publication, iTreasurer, and The NeuGroup Network, which includes 18 invitation-only groups serving more than 400 treasury and finance professionals across functions, industries and global regions. Visit NeuGroup.com for more information. 
 
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Blog entry
By afriberg, March 20, 2017
Large-cap treasurers question the policy initiatives of the new US administration and their impact on large US MNCs. 
 
Financial markets have been optimistic since the election of Donald J. Trump, in part because many anticipate the incoming administration will pass some version of a business-friendly tax reform bill. What are the proposals in play, and where do they stand? With more than $2.5tn held by US corporations overseas, how will the release of these funds and other US policy changes impact the FX, rates and other financial markets, and what unanticipated consequences might lie ahead? The Treasurers’ Group of Thirty Large-Cap Edition (T30 LC) will take a deep dive into the global economic and political environment during its meeting April 6, in New York, sponsored by Deutsche Bank. 
 
Of course, broad tax reform and mega-sized cash repatriations are not guaranteed, and even so, would not be immediate. Other agenda toppers, as such, deal with evergreen topics like capital raising, i.e., best practices for frequent debt issuers. Treasurers are also keenly interested in benchmarking with each other on capital allocation. Is there an optimal way of allocating capital toward growth projects, acquisitions, dividends and buybacks, and what role should share repurchases play in the treasurers’ tool kit toward total return to shareholders? It is common, but is it effective?
 
Finally, members will discuss where to invest cash and engage one another over “Lunch with Table Topics” – a chance for the group to optimize time away from the office by reviewing counterparty risk, FX hedging, bank relationship management, treasury systems and other relevant matters.  
 
For more than two decades, The NeuGroup has been a trusted thought leader and respected advocate for global finance and treasury professionals. The NeuGroup leads the way in peer knowledge exchange through its flagship publication, iTreasurer, and The NeuGroup Network, which includes 18 invitation-only groups serving more than 400 treasury and finance professionals across functions, industries and global regions. Visit NeuGroup.com for more information. 
 
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Blog entry
By thoward, March 14, 2017
In this month’s iTreasurer, we look at how to structure the portfolio with interest rate rises looming on the horizon, as well as an examination of a relatively unknown part of supply chain finance called trade credit insurance. In between we delve into potential flies in the ointment when it comes to M&A and a possible repatriation holiday.
 
Beginning on page 1, contributor Barb Shegog discusses portfolio strategies in an environment of rising rates. But also critical is not waiting for rates to rise before you make these adjustments. Whether the money is managed inside or outside, or in whatever instrument, make a move now and be sure the result is a flexible portfolio. “There is no more sitting on the sidelines to see how things play out. So waiting for rates to rise isn’t really an option anymore,” Ms. Shegog writes. Or for that matter, sticking to assets that haven’t risen in a while, like T-bills and repos, both of which have spent much of December and the beginning of the new year at subdued levels.
 
On page 6, iTreasurer highlights Standard & Poor’s view that despite a good M&A outlook, what could pose a challenge are antitrust forces. “[U]nder a holistically less stringent regulatory backdrop, antitrust enforcement will likely remain a hindrance to specific large transactions” this year, S&P said. The rating agency goes on to say that this could have negative credit implications, “particularly if better credit quality was an anticipated outcome of the transaction.”
 
Our peer group meeting summary this month is from the NeuGroup’s Treasury Investment Managers’ Peer Group or TIMPG. Corporate investment managers have a host of issues to be concerned about, among them low rates, floating NAVs, credit issues and new MMF regulations. In this uncertain atmosphere, members—along with their compatriots in the market—have been left to ponder where to put cash next.
 
On page 11, iTreasurer delves into a small corner of supply-chain finance called commercial credit insurance, also known as accounts receivable insurance. Commercial credit insurance is the working-capital credit instrument that protects against counterparty default or simple nonpayment in the supply chain. Treasurers are finding that the supply chain can offer companies and their treasurers multiple platforms to facilitate consistency and liquidity. Yet underneath the new technology there remains a core question to answer for the supply chain to work. What is the most efficient source of credit to enable the supply chain?
 
Finally on page 15, in “Repatriation: Careful What You Wish For,” iTreasurer takes a look at a report on some of the possible downsides of repatriation. That’s because repatriation might result in “substantial share-repurchases that would have an immediately negative credit impact if they hadn’t already been factored into the agency’s long-term credit analysis of the company’s credit.” Then again, this could be modest; and advocates could argue the benefits of $1 trillion returning to the US far outweighs some of these impacts, particularly considering that most of those companies with lots of cash overseas—Apple, Oracle, Cisco, et al.—aren’t exactly unhealthy. But food for thought.
 
For over 20 years, iTreasurer has delivered intelligence for treasurers. Based on exclusive access to senior treasury executives who are members of The NeuGroup Network of treasury peer groups, iTreasurer takes their real-world experience to produce articles, case studies and reports that are specifically meaningful to treasury best practice. www.iTreasurer.com.
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