COVID-19ESGTreasury Management
April 23, 2020

COVID-19 Puts Another Lens on ESG—and an Opportunity for Treasury to Lead

Mega-cap treasurers discuss treasury’s role in promoting ESG and the fragmented ratings landscape. COVID-19 has moved the subject of ESG ratings and financing to the back burner for many businesses. One banker speaking at a NeuGroup meeting called ESG “a luxury” that many companies can’t afford now. But the issue is not going away, and the pandemic offers another lens to view how corporations affect the world and society, and how businesses respond to crises and the needs of employees,…
Capital MarketsCOVID-19
April 16, 2020

Rating Agencies—Along With Everyone Else—Find Themselves in Uncharted Territory

Societe Generale provides perspective on how Moody’s and S&P are approaching COVID-19 effects. Credit analysts are generally taking a “staged approach” to the new coronavirus’ impact on ratings, largely because current circumstances are unprecedented and have created uncharted analytical territory. That was among the key takeaways from a session led by Societe Generale’s Karl Pettersen, head of rating advisory, at a recent meeting of NeuGroup’s AT30 peer group.Each agency, he added, has adopted a slightly different mindset so far in…
Cash & Working CapitalCOVID-19Treasury Management
April 16, 2020

Preparing for a (Grand?) Reopening

Founder’s Edition, by Joseph Neu How should finance and treasury professionals prepare for an economic reopening following the COVID-19 lockdown? Since March 10, I have attended most of the 40-plus Zoom meetings NeuGroup has held with members. These include virtual peer group meetings, COVID-19 discussions, weekly office hours and interactive sessions devoted to other subjects. Below are some of my takeaways and insights. Forecasting is paramount. The emphasis every company is placing on forecasting began with determining how long they…
COVID-19Risk Management
April 14, 2020

“Too Soon” Is Now “Let’s Do It”: Risk Managers Start Planning for Life Beyond COVID

Up until about a week ago, companies were so busy handling the immediate issues related to COVID-19, they were putting off thinking of future risks. Enterprise risk management professionals are paid to look into the future and help companies prepare for it. But COVID-19 changed all that. “Too soon,” was the answer from most members of NeuGroup’s ERM peer group two weeks ago when we asked them about post-pandemic planning and their thoughts about the future. One member back then…
BankingCapital MarketsCOVID-19
April 14, 2020

Revolvers to Recovery: Credit Markets and the Five R’s of COVID-19

US Bank on where credit markets have been, are now, and what (we hope) lies ahead: recovery and relaxation. NeuGroup held a virtual meeting last week where members who work in treasury at major retailers heard a presentation on bond and loan markets from US Bank and discussed other topics of interest during this period of uncertainty, volatility and disruption. Here are some key takeaways as distilled by Joseph Neu, beginning with insights from US Bank. The five R’s of…
COVID-19Senior ExecutiveTreasury Management
April 9, 2020

Treasurers Rise to the Challenge of Managing Teams Remotely

One treasurer shares how he keeps staff united and upbeat—and offers his take on leadership during a crisis.The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many treasurers to confront the challenges of managing finance teams remotely. At a recent NeuGroup virtual meeting of mega-cap companies, one treasurer shared his approach to keeping his team cohesive, as well as an observation about how people perform during a crisis. Together apart. To build a sense of togetherness and maintain unity when everyone is in a…
COVID-19Treasury Management
April 7, 2020

Treasurers in Asia Alter Stress Tests, Grapple with Pandemic Challenges

Headaches include dividend repatriation, obstacles to execution of business contingency plans. Repatriating dividends from China, India, Thailand and other countries is proving difficult for some treasury teams in Asia that are seeking to bolster their companies’ global liquidity in response to the coronavirus pandemic. That takeaway and others emerged during a virtual meeting of treasurers in Asia facilitated by NeuGroup on Monday. Members at companies that had business continuity plans in place and had done stress testing before the crisis…
BankingCOVID-19TechnologyTreasury Management
April 2, 2020

Supply Chain Finance Not Immune from Pandemic Pain Felt by Banks

Higher funding costs for banks amid COVID-19 mean wider spreads in SCF market.  An assistant treasurer at a major consumer goods company learned from supply-chain-finance (SCF) vendors that banks financing SCF assets have asked for wider spreads to compensate for their own higher funding costs, at least temporarily. The banks had agreed to a fixed spread that was still attractive in early March but, in the midst of the coronavirus economic meltdown, is much less so today. “It isn’t as…
COVID-19FunctionalRisk ManagementSenior Executive
April 2, 2020

Closing a Quarter for SOX Can be Difficult in New, Remote World

An internal auditor describes what his company has done to successfully close a quarter when some physical tasks can’t be done. Part of Sarbanes-Oxley, the internal controls act released in 2002, requires a corporate’s chief executive and financial officers to certify financial and other information contained in the issuer’s quarterly and annual reports. But what happens in a crisis? What if some of that info requires someone in place to record inventory or in-person meetings when employee movement is heavily…
Capital MarketsCOVID-19FX
March 31, 2020

Go with the Flow: How Treasury Is Adapting to Churning Markets

Flexibility and resourcefulness are critical as treasury teams cope with fallout from COVID-19. Assistant treasurers at a virtual NeuGroup meeting last week exchanged numerous examples of resourcefulness and flexibility in coping with the effects of the pandemic on FX trading, capital markets and other areas of responsibility. Here are some top takeaways: Time for algos. One AT saidspot trading in the FXmarket became “ridiculous” as liquidity vanished and spreads widened, making it difficult to close out small spot trades. That…