The AT30 peer group has voted and conferenced and developed their agenda for their summer meeting in September hosted by Google and sponsored by Citi. The agenda includes two topics that are robust enough they are broken into two parts. The first is on the matter of managing bank relationships. Bank partners are some of the most important relationships for any business and the global shifts in regulations and capital requirements are influencing the playing field. Selecting and effectively managing the right ones is a critical role for treasury. This session will focus on the managing portion of that equation and include discussions on bank scorecards and allocating treasury’s wallet.
The second portion of this session takes a slight turn and addresses approaches to bank consolidation. Large MNCs continue to re-engineer banking relationships around the globe. In designing an optimal banking structure, liquidity optimization is usually a driver but other key considerations include costs, bank wallet allocation, counterparty risk management, and supporting the needs of the operating business. This session will address how companies are making those determinations and approaches they are taking for execution. In addition to member views on these matters, the group will also hear the perspectives from Citi, the meeting sponsor.
Another big topic is liquidity practices for emerging markets. The group settled on a first round discussion specifically on Argentina and Brazil. It’s good news and bad news but Latin America is no Europe. Good in that it’s not stuck in the muck of economic doldrums. Bad in that it does not have the sophisticated financial solutions for pooling and repatriating cash. This session will discuss how members are approaching this challenge and what solutions banks may have to help.
Part two shifts to Asia with a specific focus on China and some new government initiatives for easing currency controls. China is on a quest to internationalize its currency and turn Shanghai into a global financial center on par with New York, London and Hong Kong. Fortunately, they are realizing that to do that you can’t keep everyone’s money locked up in your country. Consequently, the doors for getting cash out are starting to open and companies are lining up to get in on the action. This session will address the various pilots being sponsored by SAFE and the PBOC that allow companies to move currency more freely across the border.
Other topics of interest include 1) developing an optimal investment policy that will be led by Oracle, 2) how treasury can add value to the business led by Best Buy and 3) a follow up session on treasury management systems. The last meeting included a session focused exclusively on SAP treasury and its benefits and shortcomings. This session will focus on the other side of the discussion for those members who are steering away from SAP’s TMS solution and their reasons why.