This year’s EuroFinance International Treasury Management Conference took place in Geneva with a theme of ‘next generation treasury’. Launched to coincide with the first day of EuroFinance, Nordea’s Future Treasury report provided plenty of talking points for future focused delegates.
Marketed as one of the world’s leading international treasury events, EuroFinance gathered over 2000 treasury related professionals for two and a half days of intense meetings, seminars and events in Geneva. More than 200 speakers and 100 exhibitors considered how treasury needs to adapt to changing technology, new regulations and compliance requirements, business model disruption and political upheavals.
Nordea’s Future Treasury Report 2018 asked the question: The treasury as a strategic partner—what’s standing in the way? The report found that treasuries were not making future-proofing their systems a priority and argued that if they step up and take a leading role in digitalisation, they can leverage technology to their advantage.
Erik Seifert, Head of Cash Management and Cards Sales in Sweden at Nordea, led a packed seminar presenting the results of the Future Treasury Report: “This is a significant piece of research that we see as a kick off for a discussion topic that we would like to continue to talk about. Change is not only about the transformation of business models, its also about the financial infrastructure that is required to change in order to keep pace.”
“In a way, the treasury lays down the rail roads for the company to run on. It has to be part of networks and systems of banks, payment methods, reconciliation processes and access to countries and liquidity which needs to be aligned with company needs. Of course, as the needs of a company change, it is very important for treasuries to stay close and have their ears to the railway to understand what’s happening,” added Erik.
Treasurers at the centre
Other seminars held by Nordea at EuroFinance included an update from Jana Poulsenova, Emerging Markets Lead Executive at Nordea and Anders Svendsen, Chief Analyst, Macroeconomic Research at Nordea, focusing on the implications for treasury of the uncertainty being experienced in emerging markets.
Juha Risikko, co-Head of Mobile & E-Commerce and Co-Innovation at Nordea gave delegates a fascinating insight into the cashless society with a discussion of the latest trends and innovations in mobile payments and e-commerce. He noted that the use of national mobile payments has expanded rapidly for both person to person, e-commerce and instore payments.
Benefits to treasuries of taking a sustainable approach do not have to be at the cost of financial performance as companies with an ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) focus are generally in better shape.
Catch up with Nordea
Reviewing this year’s Eurofinance, Ulf Kålback Senior Relationship Manager at Nordea, commented: “The audience has been extremely active this year. EuroFinance is the venue for CFO’s, Treasurers and Cash Managers to meet friends old and new and to enter into deeper discussions with both banks and technology companies. It’s all about the next generation of treasury functions.”
Erik Seifert noted: “There were two things that stand out for me. The first is that group treasurers are starting to wake up to the fact that their businesses are changing and that they need to change with their own business in order to stay relevant. That’s an important theme I think across EuroFinance this year.”
“Another theme that I’m picking up on is that robotics and process automation, using robotics, is really taking off. I met with a number of corporates in the last 6 months that have started to implement live process enhancements using robotics. I think the two things kind of connect because using robotics to improve on processes frees up time to lift their eyes and take a more strategic view on their business,” he concluded.
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