Capital MarketsLibor SOFR
March 3, 2020

Fed Official to NeuGroup Members: The Time to Start Paying Attention to Libor’s End Is Now

ARRC liaison David Bowman explains the implications of SOFR and what corporates need to do now.Corporate treasury teams that have paid little or no attention to the planned transition from Libor to SOFR, take note: That stance makes much less sense today than last year and “won’t make any sense” by the end of this year, in the view of David Bowman, the senior staff liaison from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors to the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC).…
Capital MarketsUncategorized
March 2, 2020

Hard to Let Go: Markets Slow to Move from Libor to New Benchmark

October 09, 2019 By Ted Howard Banks are still using the London Interbank Offered Rate but SOFR is slowly gaining traction. The members of NeuGroup’s Bank Treasurers’ Peer Group (BTPG) recently heard Chatham Financial discuss the switch from Libor to SOFR on their Q3 interim conference call. The big takeaway is that Libor remains firmly embedded in a lot of transactions, and even though banks understand that the tainted benchmark will disappear in the near future, the transition is inching…
Capital MarketsPension and BenefitsRisk Management
February 25, 2020

No Slam Dunk for Pension Fund Managers: Selling Leverage-Averse Boards on Overlays

The popularity of overlays is increasing in the US despite concerns of executive committees. Leverage is something of a dirty word in the world of pension funds and that, perhaps, presents the biggest challenge that pension fund managers face when seeking to persuade their companies’ executive committees to use overlays that use derivatives as a fund-management tool.At a roundtable of pension fund managers arranged by the NeuGroup, one participant said his team had begun to explore how to “de-risk” the…
Capital MarketsESGUncategorized
February 25, 2020

Treasury Teams Taking to Heart the Force of the ESG Wave Barreling Across Atlantic

Discussing insurance, investing and BlackRock’s Larry Fink, NeuGroup members weigh in on ESG. The potentially dramatic and varied impact on multinationals from the environmental, social and governance (ESG) wave barreling across the Atlantic from Europe is hitting home for a growing number of US finance teams. That was among the key takeaways from comments by treasurers gathered in Dallas for NeuGroup’s first meeting of 2020. Thanks for the warning. One the most interesting revelations involved the effect of ESG on insurance. One…
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,…