Capital MarketsESGRisk ManagementSenior ExecutiveUncategorized
January 28, 2020

Activist Investors Who Care About More Than One Kind of Green

Founder’s Edition, by Joseph Neu Takeaways from a fireside chat with ValueAct founder Jeffrey Ubben. Based on a head’s up from a top Wall Street activist defense adviser, I went to an event earlier this month hosted by Refinitiv and Reuters Breakingviews that featured a fireside chat with ValueAct co-founder Jeffrey Ubben. Mr. Ubben has stopped trying to increase his net worth and is now focused on making the world a better place (at least according to his worldview). One…
January 16, 2020

AI Makes Cash Forecasting Less Art, More Science

HighRadius says AI continually improves cash-flow forecasts. Artificial intelligence (AI) may “take the art” out of cash forecasting while perpetually improving forecasts, but there will still be plenty of work for treasury staff. That was the message imparted by Tracey Ferguson Knight, director of solution engineering for treasury at HighRadius, which hosted a recent NeuGroup meeting. She noted that cash forecasting today can be hobbled by inefficient technology—think Excel spreadsheets—and difficulty gathering and leveraging the correct data sets, an art…
ComplianceRegionalSenior ExecutiveTaxUncategorized
January 15, 2020

China’s Corporate Social Credit System: What Corporates Need to Know and Do Now

The implications and challenges for corporates facing a new world of ratings. Full implementation of China’s corporate social credit system (SCS) is slated for the end of 2020—a reality with huge implications for multinationals doing business in the country. And that means more work for many CFOs and finance teams. CFOs are often in charge of coordinating the final reporting of data provided by multiple areas of the company and ensuring there is no conflicting information. They’re also responsible for…
InsuranceTreasury ManagementUncategorized
January 9, 2020

Rising Insurance Premiums Inflict Pain, Require Pushback

D&O prices spike as insurers respond to a surge in claims following a Supreme Court decision. Rising insurance premiums had treasurers and assistant treasurers at a recent NeuGroup meeting using plenty of colorful language to describe the current market for coverage and the pain some carriers have caused with their initial pricing proposals. Among the tamer comments, one member said the directors and officers (D&O) market is the “ugliest in years” and that “a lot of frustration” erupted in her…
December 22, 2019

Corporates Need to Be More ESG Ready

Survey says execs must be prepared to address ESG issues with investors Environmental, social, governance (ESG) issues remain on the backburner for most US corporations, but a survey of more than 600 institutional investors worldwide suggests they should move closer to the front for issuers looking to investors overseas, and perhaps soon domestically. The issue of ESG arises regularly at NeuGroup meetings of corporate treasury executives. A minority of members’ companies are aggressively seeking to implement elements of ESG, but…
Treasury ManagementUncategorized
December 19, 2019

Among Execs, CFOs Most Worried About 2020 Risks

CFOs are more worried about 2020 risks than others in the C-Suite: study. Corporate finance executives are leading the pack in terms of company executives most worried about the magnitude and severity of risks to their organizations in 2020, according to a study by the Enterprise Risk Management Initiative (ERMI) at North Carolina State University and Protiviti. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being most concerned, chief financial officers’ impression of risk faced by their companies in the year…
Capital MarketsUncategorized
December 19, 2019

Deutsche Bank: Floating-Rate Debt’s Historical Attractiveness vs. Fixed Is Falling

A falling term premium suggests fixed-rate debt is a better bet for issuers; but the evidence is mixed. Backtesting shows that issuing floating-rate debt has been cheaper than fixed-rate for corporates over the long run. But the co-head of Deutsche Bank’s risk management solutions team for North America told treasurers at a recent NeuGroup meeting that floating-rate debt currently does not look nearly as attractive relative to fixed as it once did.  “Whatever you thought about fixed vs floating before,…
NeuGroup NewsTreasury ManagementUncategorized
December 17, 2019

Taking a Leap: Learning to Become an Exponential Organization

Founder’s Edition, by Joseph Neu Like so many companies, NeuGroup is rising to the challenge of becoming exponential. The recent FinConnect event we helped facilitate for SoftBank’s Vision Fund I CFOs helped me to see NeuGroup’s own path to higher growth, thanks to the insights of the keynote speaker we enlisted (hat tip to Peter Marshall at EY). The speaker was the futurist Salim Ismail, author of Exponential Organizations. Mr. Ismail advises companies on how to achieve exponential growth and thrive rather…
Treasury ManagementUncategorized
December 12, 2019

Preparing to Plow Through The Next Recession

How one company survived the Great Recession, and advice on how to prepare for the next downturn. With an economic slowdown looming—even if no one knows exactly when it will occur or how severe it will be—companies must prepare for the worst. It doesn’t get much worse than the slump Caterpillar Inc. experienced in 2009, when sales and revenue plummeted. But the company remained profitable and maintained its dividend. How did Caterpillar achieve its remarkable performance? Recession planning was the…
Capital MarketsUncategorized
December 12, 2019

Group Therapy for FX Systems Pain: Misery Loves Company

FX managers for the most part like their systems. But there’s always that one thing that creates a headache. Leo Tolstoy famously posited that “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” That line from “Anna Karenina” can definitely be applied to treasury practitioners and their systems. In a discussion at a recent NeuGroup meeting jokingly dubbed the systems “misery montage,” three FX managers members shared their biggest pain points, most of which derive from…