Capital MarketsCOVID-19Pension and Benefits
August 27, 2020

Wild Ride: Pension Fund Managers Describe a Rebalancing Roller Coaster Amid Pandemic

NeuGroup members discuss successes, disappointments and potential changes to strategy. Huge market swings, limited liquidity and high trading costs have tested the ability of corporate pension fund managers to rebalance portfolios during the pandemic. These challenging conditions have demonstrated the importance of speed and agility to make investment changes in times of crisis, and have forced some managers to take a hard look at asset classes and external managers. These and other insights emerged during a recent NeuGroup Virtual Interactive…
Cash & Working CapitalCOVID-19Treasury Management
August 20, 2020

Finance Teams Kept More Hands on Deck in Q2 to Navigate Rough Waters

The pandemic is taking a toll on working capital, leading to more rationing of cash, an FEI survey says. Far fewer finance teams planned on cutting headcount in the second quarter of 2020 than in the first, according to a survey released this week by Financial Executives International in collaboration with Deloitte. Meanwhile, the percentage of companies reporting a drop in working capital balances in Q2 rose by a third as the pandemic took hold. The survey of 170 of FEI’s…
COVID-19Cyber riskTechnology
August 11, 2020

Cost-Cutting Corporates Need to Factor in ROI of Cybersecurity

Quantifying the value of cyber defenses as some companies look to cut costs amid COVID. Cybersecurity is a major concern for NeuGroup member companies, and the pandemic has forced them to pay more attention to the risks of having so many people in finance roles working from home as the push for accelerated automation and digitalization grows. At the same time, COVID-19 has also pushed companies to tighten their belts. But cutting spending on cyber defenses looks like a potentially costly…
COVID-19Treasury Management
August 4, 2020

Treasurers Master Managing Remotely, Face New Challenges

Challenges facing treasurers include communication, hiring, reviews and figuring out what lies ahead.The pandemic has demonstrated that treasury operations can function smoothly and without major problems when team members and managers are forced to work from home (WFH) for several months—while at the same time exposing the shortcomings and challenges of working and managing remotely. That mixed picture, as well as unresolved questions about the future, emerged during a recent virtual discussion among members of the Life Sciences Treasury Peer…
Cash & Working CapitalCOVID-19Technology
July 30, 2020

How AI Can Hit the Cash Forecast Bull’s-eye When the Wind Is Wild

What happens to your AI-based model when historical data and cash flow patterns are disrupted?Cutting-edge cash forecasting models that make use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will, inevitably, require manual adjustments by humans to account for seismic disruptions like the pandemic. The good news is that AI models will eventually catch up with the new normal, becoming more accurate with less intervention. That was among the insights offered by Tracey Ferguson Knight, director of solution engineering (treasury) for HighRadius,…
Cash & Working CapitalCOVID-19
July 28, 2020

Helping Hands: How Corporates Are Aiding Customers and Suppliers

Supply chain finance and how the “we’re in this together” approach to the pandemic is playing out.The COVID-19 crisis has put the meaning of business community—emphasis on community—into sharp relief as some businesses have survived well or even thrived (tech, consumer staples), while others have suffered devastating losses (retail, travel and hospitality). At few points in recent memory has the mutual reliance on comrades in commerce been more important; and as in families, it’s often the stronger of the business…
COVID-19FXRisk Management
July 28, 2020

What Dollar Weakness and ‘Japanification’ Mean for FX Hedging Strategies

Corporate financial risk managers should be reassessing long-held assumptions as they look to redo their hedging.Add a weakening US dollar to the growing list of reasons risk managers at multinational corporations need to take a long, hard look at their hedging programs and strategies. That takeaway emerged at a NeuGroup Virtual Interactive Session last week featuring Societe Generale global strategist Albert Edwards, known for his provocative mid-1990s “Ice Age” thesis of bonds outperforming stocks.Christophe Downey, a director in the bank’s…
COVID-19Insurance
July 23, 2020

Pandemic Stokes Fire of Rising D&O Insurance Premiums

Corporates see no relief as insurers take a hard line on renewals amid rising fears of COVID litigation. Premiums for directors and officers (D&O) insurance are surging, a pain point discussed at several NeuGroup meetings this spring, including the Tech20 Treasurers’ Peer Group and the Life Sciences Treasurers’ Peer Group. Premiums were already on the rise at the beginning of the year and now, amid the pandemic, they continue to rise. That’s in part because COVID-19-related D&O claims are already being…
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Cash & Working CapitalCOVID-19Technology
July 17, 2020

NeuGroup for Retail Treasury Pilot Series Wrap-Up

By Joseph Neu As part of our ongoing experimentation with new virtual formats, the NeuGroup for Retail Treasury pilot “meeting” was made into a series of Zoom sessions over the course of about six weeks, concluding this week. This group was launched in partnership with Starbucks Treasury on the member side and sponsored by U.S. Bank. Here are my key takeaways as a wrap up to the series: Covid-19 divides into haves and have-nots. Retail and other consumer-facing businesses, such as…
COVID-19TechnologyTreasury Management
July 16, 2020

Pandemic Pushes Companies to Digitize Processes, Prioritize People

Treasurers at tech firms push to abandon legacy processes while focusing on keeping teams connected. Many tech companies during the pandemic have been able to announce that they will not lay anyone off during the crisis—and have been able to keep their promise. Unfortunately, that’s not universally true—some businesses have been particularly hard hit and have had to furlough or cut staff, and consequently do more with less. This prompted a hard look at projects and their prioritization for many members of…