Capital MarketsCOVID-19
October 15, 2020

Pandemic Shows Corporates Which Credit Analysts See Beyond the Crisis

Volatility and uncertainty boost the importance of analysts with experience and perspective.The pandemic has been a first-of-its-kind challenge for corporates, their banks and investors, each trying to make sense of extreme circumstances and forecast what it all might mean. Credit rating agencies face their own challenges and are taking different approaches to the crisis that, according to participants in a recent NeuGroup meeting for large-cap companies, reflect relative strengths and weaknesses.   One member whose company had plenty of liquidity…
BankingCapital MarketsCOVID-19
October 8, 2020

Why Some Bankers May Root for a Democratic Sweep

Founder’s takeaways from the Bank Treasurers’ Peer Group’s first fall meeting. By Joseph NeuMembers of the BTPG have been meeting in the spring for 16 years running, and debuted their Fall Edition meeting this week, sponsored by Morgan Stanley. Here are a few takeaways I want to share. Banks have enough capital. The expectation is that US banks will pass the next two stress tests, even with with Covid-19 inspired stress scenarios, indicating everyone is well capitalized. This will free up buybacks and…
COVID-19TechnologyTreasury Management
October 8, 2020

Tonic for Zoom Fatigue: Shorter Meetings—and a Day Without Them

NeuGroup Members discussed their approaches to making WFH situations more palatable.“Six hours on Zoom is like 10 hours in the office,” one treasurer of a mega-cap company said during a recent NeuGroup meeting (yes, a Zoom meeting), quantifying a feeling about the side effects of virtual meetings. Almost everyone who has been working from home for seven months knows what she means. At the same meeting, another treasurer said he is encouraging his team “not to book 30-minute calls, to…
Cash & Working CapitalCOVID-19Risk Management
October 8, 2020

Retailers Assess Capital Structure Amid Signs of Rebound

As the economy revives, companies pay down revolvers, resume buybacks and assess counterparty risk. At a recent NeuGroup meeting of treasurers at retailers, sponsored by U.S. Bank, members discussed stock repurchase programs, paying down revolvers and monitoring the impact of capital structure changes on leverage ratios and credit ratings. Members discussed moving from preparing for worst case scenarios in April and May (by increasing liquidity, initiating new revolvers) to more recent moves made in anticipation of returning to more normal operations.…
COVID-19Technology
October 1, 2020

Sharing a Bloomberg Terminal From Home: How Long Will It Last?

Treasury teams relying on Bloomberg’s Disaster Recovery services face uncertainty. During the pandemic, many treasury teams accustomed to sharing a Bloomberg Terminal in the office have made the most of Bloomberg’s so-called Disaster Recovery services (DRS), which has allowed multiple users, working from home, to access a Terminal subscription from different computers.  The value of that access has some NeuGroup members worrying about the expiration of their company’s ability to activate DRS as some workers—but not all—return to offices. One member at a recent meeting of risk managers said using…
Capital MarketsCOVID-19Treasury Management
September 29, 2020

Busting Talent Silos and Reading the Signs on Hong Kong

Highlights from the Assistant Treasurers’ Group of Thirty 2020 H2 meeting sponsored by HSBC.By Joseph NeuTalent development is focused on silo busting. There are two silos in focus for AT members at the moment. The first is the diversity of hires, especially Black and Hispanic professionals along with women, into finance roles.  There is also a mandate to make this a long-term effort to build up the capacities and pool of potential candidates for corporate finance roles. The other silo…
BankingCOVID-19
September 22, 2020

Reality Check: Banks Dial Back PPP Loan Forgiveness Expectations

Delays in applications and action by Congress will affect banks’ NIM and NII forecasts.Forget about forgiveness until early 2021. That, in a nutshell, was among the takeaways from a recent conversation between members of NeuGroup’s Bank Treasurers’ Peer Group. The forgiveness at issue is for loans that banks made under the federal government’s $669 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), part of the CARES Act enacted to help small businesses struggling during the pandemic.The loans can be forgiven if companies used…
COVID-19TaxTreasury Management
September 10, 2020

Auditors Eye Risks of Not Knowing Where Remote Workers Call Home

Employees who move to other states or countries raise tax issues, and others, for employers. Everyone knows that millions of people are still working from home (WFH). But not every employer knows exactly where every employee is working—a potential headache discussed by members of NeuGroup’s Internal Auditors’ Peer Group (IAPG) at a recent virtual meeting. “We’re super worried about it,” said one auditor about the various tax, legal and compensation issues WFH can raise for corporates.It is critical that employers…
COVID-19TechnologyTreasury Management
September 8, 2020

Post-Labor Day Rethink: Reinventing Finance Teams and Redefining the Office

How should corporate finance and treasury roles adjust to extended remote work and further delay of in-person team interaction? By Joseph Neu NeuGroup exchanges with members about team (aka labor) performance during the Covid-19-induced work from home (WFH) period have been generally positive. Productivity has been good, even up, as team members take back time lost to commuting as they give up spontaneous communication and collaborative teaching moments.Sustainability is a concern, though, as WFH requires balancing work and home priorities…
Cash & Working CapitalCOVID-19
September 8, 2020

The Road Beyond Recovery: Corporates’ Upbeat View of Working Capital Management

A majority of companies in a recent Deloitte poll say that they are already in stabilization or growth mode. Working capital is an issue never far from a treasurer’s thoughts, and the uncertainty the pandemic has brought to corporate cash flows has made it only more relevant. A recent survey by Deloitte of 1,500 C-Suite and other executives revealed what Anthony Jackson, a Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory principal, called unexpected results. A majority of respondents said their companies are…