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…
BankingCapital MarketsCOVID-19
January 14, 2021

Calmer Seas: Revolvers Recover, Return to Pre-Covid Pricing, Tenor

Upfront fees are higher, but treasurers renewing facilities see reason for optimism; U.S. Bank is also positive.Multiyear tenors for revolving credit facilities are now available to investment-grade (IG) corporate borrowers, according to several NeuGroup members who have been talking to their bankers recently. This week, one treasurer said, “Things have normalized a fair amount for solid credits,” citing a large bank. This member, who was in the process of renewing his company’s revolver last year when Covid hit, is now…
COVID-19TechnologyTreasury Management
January 12, 2021

Bridging a Skills Gap Facing Finance Teams as Businesses Transform

Data from The Hackett Group show more companies plan to launch talent development initiatives this year. The good news is that more finance teams are placing a higher priority on aligning the skills and talents of their members with changing business needs amid digital transformation. The somewhat bad news is that many of those teams currently lack the abilities necessary to make that alignment a reality. Those are among the takeaways from survey data collected and analyzed by The Hackett Group…
COVID-19Cyber riskTechnology
January 12, 2021

Locking Up: Preventing Cyberfraud Attacks by Identifying Weaknesses

NeuGroup members share successes and failures keeping their companies secure amid the shift to an all-digital workforce.The all-digital work from home environment has left treasury teams more connected to their devices than ever, but also left them—and their companies—more vulnerable to fraud. But by identifying weaknesses early, teams can resolve issues before fraudsters even have a chance to strike. Members at a recent meeting of NeuGroup’s Treasurers’ Group of Thirty discussed their approaches to prevent the threat, one that continues…
COVID-19TechnologyTreasury Management
January 7, 2021

The Post-Covid Playbook: WFH Flexibility and Office Collaboration

The goal is keeping the good parts of work from home, replacing the bad with the benefits of office teamwork.Corporates looking ahead to a post-Covid world are taking stock of how the shift to work from home (WFH) has changed the ways that teams function—for better and worse. This requires weighing the beneficial flexibility offered by remote work against the detrimental loss of collaboration that is only possible when people are in the same building. As some companies consider abandoning…
COVID-19RegionalTechnology
December 10, 2020

Asia Tech Companies Optimistic for Post-Covid Growth

Key takeaways from the AsiaTech20 Treasurers’ Peer Group pilot meeting sponsored by MUFG.By Joseph NeuBe prepared for global optimism. The global economic outlook is overwhelmingly positive with Covid-19 vaccines nearing distribution. Plus, a new administration in the US brings an expectation for economic growth to take on a more global scope, with Asia expected to outperform. For this reason, tech treasurers in Asia have also pivoted from enduring the crisis through stockpiling capital and liquidity to preparing to go on…
COVID-19Risk ManagementTreasury Management
December 1, 2020

Unearthing the Risks—from Printers to Stress—of Working from Home

Internal auditors discuss WFH challenges including data security and the mental health of employees.Internal auditors are trying to keep on top of myriad risks brought about by millions of employees at thousands of companies working from home as a result of the pandemic. At a recent NeuGroup meeting, two of the risks discussed demonstrated the wide spectrum of issues companies face, ranging from the somewhat mundane (printers) to the very personal (mental health). Risky printers. One member said her company…