Capital MarketsCompliance
February 20, 2020

Margin Bells Will Soon Toll for More Pension Funds

Pension funds need to prepare for margin rules covering the OTC derivatives they use. Corporate pension fund managers may soon have initial-margin responsibilities for the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives they use to manage those funds, even if their parent companies are exempt. Background. Following the financial crisis, global regulators established variation and initial margin rules for OTC derivatives to provide greater transparency into counterparty risk. Those requirements first became effective in 2016 for financial firms with more than $3 trillion in…
Capital AllocationCapital Markets
January 28, 2020

Share Repurchases: Don’t Wait for the Sell-off

The case for spending all (or almost all) the cash allocated to buybacks right away. Monday’s stock market sell-off provides an opportunity to revist an insight on stock buybacks from a NeuGroup meeting last spring: A risk management expert at Deutsche Bank argued that waiting for dips is not the most effective way to repurchase shares. That’s worth considering given that many companies only buy back their stock when the price dips below what they consider its intrinsic value. Danger…
Capital MarketsESGRisk ManagementSenior ExecutiveUncategorized
January 28, 2020

Activist Investors Who Care About More Than One Kind of Green

Founder’s Edition, by Joseph Neu Takeaways from a fireside chat with ValueAct founder Jeffrey Ubben. Based on a head’s up from a top Wall Street activist defense adviser, I went to an event earlier this month hosted by Refinitiv and Reuters Breakingviews that featured a fireside chat with ValueAct co-founder Jeffrey Ubben. Mr. Ubben has stopped trying to increase his net worth and is now focused on making the world a better place (at least according to his worldview). One…
Capital MarketsTreasury Management
January 14, 2020

Love It or Hate It, ESG Is a Key Theme for 2020

Founder’s Edition, by Joseph Neu Reasons you can’t afford to leave ESG off your priority list. ESG and related themes of sustainability and green finance are polarizing. Nearly everyone sits on a spectrum where one end thinks it’s all a bunch of hooey and the other argues it’s the key driver of finance for the next decade. Personally, I feel conflicted—one reason ESG didn’t make my initial list of key 2020 issues. Mixed feelings aside, I’m convinced the decade ahead…
Capital AllocationCapital MarketsCash & Working Capital
January 9, 2020

The Art—Not Science—of Matching Capital Allocation to the Situation

Treasurers discuss balancing the need for liquidity with keeping cash levels moderate as business ebbs and flows. Decisions about capital allocation help treasury pave the way for the road ahead and may take on added importance for businesses generating lots of cash—as well as for those whose growth is downshifting. Treasurers at a recent NeuGroup meeting of life sciences companies shared approaches to the challenges of allocating capital during a variety of scenarios and situations. Optimal capital allocation amid uncertainty.…
Capital MarketsUncategorized
December 19, 2019

Deutsche Bank: Floating-Rate Debt’s Historical Attractiveness vs. Fixed Is Falling

A falling term premium suggests fixed-rate debt is a better bet for issuers; but the evidence is mixed. Backtesting shows that issuing floating-rate debt has been cheaper than fixed-rate for corporates over the long run. But the co-head of Deutsche Bank’s risk management solutions team for North America told treasurers at a recent NeuGroup meeting that floating-rate debt currently does not look nearly as attractive relative to fixed as it once did.  “Whatever you thought about fixed vs floating before,…
Capital MarketsUncategorized
December 12, 2019

Group Therapy for FX Systems Pain: Misery Loves Company

FX managers for the most part like their systems. But there’s always that one thing that creates a headache. Leo Tolstoy famously posited that “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” That line from “Anna Karenina” can definitely be applied to treasury practitioners and their systems. In a discussion at a recent NeuGroup meeting jokingly dubbed the systems “misery montage,” three FX managers members shared their biggest pain points, most of which derive from…
Capital MarketsUncategorized
December 5, 2019

No More Libor-SOFR 101, Please! Treasurers Want Implementation Details

Treasurers say they need specifics on market conventions to complete the SOFR risk puzzle. Many treasury teams don’t want any more bank presentations on Libor-SOFR transition timelines or the basics of risk and fallback language—they want details from bankers, regulators and industry groups on various market conventions. These include how exactly SOFR term rates will be calculated in the cash markets, specifics on any compounding methodology, settlement conventions like lookbacks, and the spread adjustment from Libor to SOFR.“We need details about the market…
Capital MarketsInvestment ManagementUncategorized
November 29, 2019

Prepare for a Surging Green Wave of ESG Products

By Joseph Neu BNP Paribas highlights a veritable tsunami of sustainability-linked finance products.   “Treasurers should be preparing for a tsunami of sustainability-linked finance products,” one NeuGroup member treasurer told me recently in response to market events of the last year. To underscore the importance of that notion, Hervé Duteil, chief sustainability officer for BNP Paribas in the Americas, presented his view to NeuGroup’s Tech20 Treasurers’ Peer Group last month. He described three big waves, or “revolutions,” in sustainable finance:…