Capital MarketsESGInvestment Management
May 14, 2020

ESG: A Leading Indicator of Quality for Federated Hermes

The asset manager believes an active ownership approach to responsible investing is how to navigate this market.“ESG Investing Shines in Market Turmoil, With Help From Big Tech,” shouted a headline in the Wall Street Journal this week. The story reports that investors put a record $12 billion into ESG funds in the first four months of 2020, according to Morningstar Direct, more than double the same period last year. And more than 70% of ESG funds across all asset classes…
Accounting & DisclosureCapital MarketsFXRisk Management
May 7, 2020

Crisis Forces Consideration of Unwinding Cash-Flow Hedges

The COVID-19 crisis has reduced exposures to a point where for many companies those hedges may not be needed anymore. Time to unwind? If you’re planning on unwinding a cash-flow hedge, there are many things to think about before you do. Determining when and why to unwind, as well as how to view the transaction’s cost benefits, and what counterparty to use, are just a few of the factors to consider. This was the topic of discussion among NeuGroup FX Managers’…
Capital MarketsCash & Working CapitalCOVID-19
May 7, 2020

Pandemic Reveals the Haves and the Have Nots: Asia Report

Examples of the varying effects lockdowns had on businesses, and how they’ve responded. The coronavirus pandemic has provided more proof that crises affect some companies far differently than others. The reasons include what industry a company is in, its business model and how much cash it has on hand—the haves and the have-nots. Perhaps less expected is that business units within the same company may weather a storm better than others. All this and more emerged in discussions among finance…
Capital AllocationCapital MarketsCOVID-19
April 30, 2020

COVID-19 Puts Buyback Programs on Hold—but Not for Everybody

Some companies are keeping share repurchases programs going while many others suspend them.“We are continuing to buy back stock,” said the treasurer of a cash-rich technology company in mid-March, speaking to peers during a virtual NeuGroup meeting of mega-cap businesses. “We haven’t pulled share repurchases either,” said the treasurer of a large health care company with a very healthy balance sheet and strong cash flow. Later that day, a third treasurer told the group that investor Bill Ackman was feeding…
Capital MarketsCOVID-19
April 30, 2020

Time-Consuming and Intense: Due Diligence for Today’s Debt Deals

Corporates tapping the bond market should expect an in-depth, rigorous look at COVID-19 impacts.  Seller beware: Corporates selling bonds to bolster their liquidity this spring should expect a rigorous due diligence experience involving auditors, underwriters, internal counsel and external capital markets lawyers, among others. The once seemingly perfunctory process for investment-grade issuers has become an intensive, multi-day, near round-the-clock affair, as banks and investors scrutinize issuer disclosures about COVID-19’s near- and long-term business impact. Be prepared. Once generic diligence questions…
Capital MarketsCash & Working CapitalCOVID-19Investment Management
April 28, 2020

Pandemic Lessons Learned by Treasurers in Asia

How finance teams respond to the need for cash depends in part on their ability to tap global cash pools.As the pandemic brought  the world to a standstill, the primary concern of many multinational corporations centered on sustaining their operations, assuming no cash inflows for at least 30 days. For almost every company, that requires a lot of cash! That was among the takeaways from member comments at a recent NeuGroup virtual meeting of treasurers in Asia in early April.Cash…
Capital MarketsCOVID-19Investment ManagementTreasury Management
April 28, 2020

Funding Is Top Priority for Treasurers amid Pandemic: Poll

Treasurers have funding on their minds as they deal with COVID-19. BCP and supply chains also a concern.Securing funding is a top priority for corporate treasurers thrust into the role of organizing companies’ financial response amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent poll by Bloomberg and Greenwich Associates. Following funding, treasurers say their attention is also on business continuity plans and suppliers.Many treasurers have been tasked with making sure key suppliers have the resources to stay in business and…
Capital MarketsCash & Working Capital
April 23, 2020

Looking for Yield: Investment Managers Mull Prime Funds, Short-Duration SMAs

After fleeing prime funds, corporates are asking if now is the time to return. Treasury investment managers interested in picking up additional yield for short-duration cash are not yet returning to prime money market funds (MMFs) that they exited as the coronavirus pandemic emerged. That was one of the key takeaways at a NeuGroup virtual meeting this week where several managers expressed interest in what one of their peers is doing: Using separately managed accounts (SMAs) for liquidity investing. None…
BankingCapital MarketsESGUncategorized
April 21, 2020

A Closer Look: ESG Ratings, KPIs and Second-Party Opinions

Sustainalytics discusses ESG trends, ratings and aligning internal KPIs with established principles. Treasurers exploring the rapidly expanding land of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria quickly encounter Sustainalytics, a well-established provider of ESG ratings to institutional investors and so-called second-party opinions used by issuers of green bonds to give confidence to investors that bond proceeds will finance environmental or social projects. At a recent NeuGroup virtual meeting, representatives from Sustainalytics described the company’s ratings and methodology, answered questions from members…
Capital MarketsInvestment ManagementRisk Management
April 21, 2020

Seizing Opportunities, Waiting for More and Getting Back to Work

Quick Takes, COVID-19 edition: A roundup of news, notes and notions from the NeuGroup Network. Strategic Acquistions: Waiting for Small Biotechs to Adjust to Lower ValuesHere’s some post-meeting follow-up from a treasurer in the biotech industry on his expectations for a “resetting of asset prices” and opportunities for strategic acquisitions as markets gyrate. “I would characterize it as an emerging opportunity. So far, you have had price adjustments (lower stock prices) for smaller biotechs. But you need two parties to…