COVID-19Treasury Management
July 29, 2021

Free Lunch as Bait: Trying to Make Returning to Offices Appetizing

Another challenge: filling open positions when many applicants won’t accept jobs requiring extensive time in the office.More than one company in the NeuGroup network is trying to make returning to the office a bit more appealing to workers whose managers are requiring them to start commuting again—at least for part of the work week. One method: offer employees the proverbial free lunch (it’s not truly free if you have to come in to get it). This morsel emerged at one…
COVID-19Treasury Management
June 24, 2021

Hot Desks, Hybrids and Introverts: Managing Post-Pandemic Work 

Takeaways on talent management as 100% remote work gives way to hybrid models and new hiring challenges.The transition from completely remote work to whatever comes next—back to the office, work at home, a bit of both—is in full swing across companies in the NeuGroup Network. The topic is generating lots of interest at meetings as finance teams plot a course for post-pandemic work that will in many cases be unlike what work life resembled pre-pandemic.NeuGroup founder and CEO Joseph Neu…
COVID-19Treasury Management
June 10, 2021

Hard Work: Creating a Flexible Workplace Combining Office and Remote

Finance teams balancing worker desires and corporate needs favor hybrid models, but the details are a work in progress.Companies’ timelines for returning to the office vary widely, according to assistant treasurers at recent meeting of NeuGroup’s Assistant Treasurers’ Leadership Group. Some are scheduling returns imminently while others only tentatively plan to return next fall. There was consensus, however, that requiring everybody to come back all at once is probably no longer feasible. Still, remote work’s advantages are likely outweighed by…
BankingCash & Working CapitalCOVID-19
May 27, 2021

Too Much Money: Banks Struggle With Surging Deposits

Banks awash in deposits need to prioritize active accounts making use of services that generate fees and revenue.Originating loans as the pandemic recedes and the economy revives is a major challenge for banks today—but so is the surge in deposits since spring 2020 and just what to do with them given the lack of precedent. Consumer and commercial deposits increased by more than $3 trillion, or roughly 20%, since the onset of pandemic through the end of December, according to…
BankingCapital MarketsCOVID-19
May 20, 2021

Bounce Back: Bank Loan Market Quickly Sees ‘Amazing Recovery’ 

U.S. Bank describes the speedy recovery of revolving credit facility issuance.Talk about a rebound: In the depths of the Covid-19 pandemic, the value of bank loan facilities put in place by corporates tanked by more than 50% to about $200 billion. In the first quarter, it topped $500 billion, above the level reached a year prior (see chart), due in part to plummeting pricing. This was among the key insights from a loan market update by Jeff Stuart, EVP and…
COVID-19Treasury Management
May 13, 2021

To Return or Not to Return? That Is the Question 

With control of the pandemic in sight in the US, finance teams confront how to manage a return to the office.As the Covid infection rate in the US falls and vaccinations increase, the issue of when and how companies will bring employees back to the office is heating up. Assistant treasurers at a recent NeuGroup meeting sponsored by Societe Generale said some staff will return to corporate offices starting in July, raising a bevy of issues for managers. Who will…
COVID-19Risk Management
February 23, 2021

Risk Managers Who Seek Gray Rhinos and Don’t Call Them Black Swans

Some enterprise risk managers call unexpected but predictable events gray rhinos and avoid the term black swan.As awful, disruptive and devastating as the Covid-19 pandemic has been, it’s not worthy of being called a black swan, according to more than one pundit. They include the man who made the term famous: Nassim Taleb, author of “The Black Swan,” whose subtitle is “The Impact of the Highly Improbable.” Unlike a black swan event—unpredictable, with massive impact— the argument goes, the pandemic,…
Capital AllocationCash & Working CapitalCOVID-19
February 18, 2021

Cash Cushions and Covid: Retailers Not Yet Ready To Declare Victory

Retail treasurers returning to offense with share repurchases and dividends are proceeding with caution.A growing number of retailers in the NeuGroup Network are spending or preparing to spend some of the excess cash they raised at the beginning of the pandemic on share repurchases and dividends. But most treasurers at these retailers remain cautious and conservative as they return to playing offense—not surprising given that these companies were among the worst impacted by lockdowns and social distancing. Declare victory? “One…
Capital AllocationCapital MarketsCOVID-19
February 11, 2021

Sending a Strong Signal: Accelerated Share Repurchase Programs

As more companies resume stock buybacks, some treasurers are feeling pressure to use ASRs.Corporates eager to send a clear signal to investors about their financial health are brushing the dust off stock buyback plans and weighing—if not committing to—accelerated share repurchase (ASR) programs. That was among the takeaways from a NeuGroup meeting of treasurers this week. It’s the latest development in a journey that began in the spring when the pandemic slammed the brakes on many share repurchase programs. In…
Cash & Working CapitalCOVID-19
January 19, 2021

Sign of the Times: Retailers Say Coin Shortage Worries Persist

Burned by a dearth of coins during the pandemic, many retailers are cautious despite some signs of stability.“Cash-mageddon” is how one member at a recent meeting of NeuGroup for Retail Treasury described the havoc wreaked by the coin shortage that made life hellish for many retailers last year. And despite signs of normalization and increased production by the US Mint (see below), some members remain unconvinced that the coin supply disruption caused by the pandemic is truly over. Cautious about…