TOM DUGGAN: Our first topic of this year’s award is the liquidity management category. This year our sponsor is Northern Trust and please to allow me to introduce John Konstantos with Northern Trust.
John has over 15 years of experience in financial services and currently is the senior relationship manager for the balance sheet and operations asset group, which is part of Northern Trust’s asset management business focus on corporate and institutional clients. John is responsible for the overall sales and servicing strategy in the East region.
John joined Northern Trust in 2001 as a senior portfolio manager in the bank’s corporate and institutional group coming from Corus Bank in Chicago. In 2003, John moved to the role of senior banker covering the East Coast in the corporate and institutional group with primary responsibilities of overseeing the credit functions, cross-selling the bank’s products and prospecting for new clients.
John has earned his bachelor of science in finance from DePaul University in Chicago and also has a Series 7 and 63 certifications. So I’d like to turn it over to John.
JOHN KONSTANTOS: Thanks, Tom. I appreciate that. Well, I think it’s got to be a good sign for us that Lewis [Booth] from Ford was able to fly into New York as opposed to driving a Ford Focus. But I’m really happy to be able to moderate this liquidity panel. This is my second year doing that. These guys are definitely accomplished professionals. I’d be their groupie any day, doing the whole rock star montage thing.
I do work at Northern Trust Global Investments. We are a proud sponsor of AHA for years now. While there’s no direct linkage to Alexander Hamilton for Northern Trust, we’ve been around almost that long——125 years, headquartered in Chicago for those of you that don’t know us too well.
We are a global market leader. We have grown organically through all these years and maintain a pretty strong culture. We’re really dedicated to three business segments: the wealth, the custody, and the asset management. That’s our focus, that’s what we look at. We have 20 global locations. We’re in 40-plus countries, so we’ve grown significantly.
Strength, stability, conservative strategy—that’s what we’re known for. I do lead our sales and relationship efforts on the East Coast for the balance sheet investment group, and we are a Top 10 now asset manager globally, specializing in fixed income, short duration as well as indexing.
I do have a little experience with liquidity, being that I spent the better part of my career as a banker. Liquidity certainly has been a hot topic, you would have to say, over the last couple years—at least three years. And I think the question begs, you know, how much liquidity is enough?
And obviously, the answer to that question is probably, you cannot have enough. You know, one of the things I was thinking about, too, as Lewis mentioned, is you think you have liquidity until you don’t. And you find out the hard way that sometimes you don’t have what you think you have, and I think that these nominees here were able to really navigate those waters quite well.
You look at differentiating factors and some of the things they did, thinking outside of the box, foresight, working within the organization, and just the commitment to execute a business plan. And all those things, I think, were important for them to kind of accomplish what they were able to accomplish. I mean, luckily for us, things have improved significantly from last year and certainly from two years ago when we were here. You know, last year we were sitting here, we were fresh off near-financial ruin. Markets were frozen, there was no trust among counterparties -- some serious issues.
And you flash-forward to today and you look at companies and they’re just flush with cash, just hoarding cash. Over $1 trillion on balance sheets right now for corporates and cash. It’s now the first line of defense. There’s no more reliance on banks or capital markets. You’re looking—it’s not a rainy day fund. You’re looking to have a hurricane day fund.
And so that’s the trend right now. You know, you look at debt markets, it’s all about going long right now. I mean issuance is really robust out the yield curve. Fed policy, you know, is turning into a 2012 story, or at least late 2011 before we see any types of increases in rates.
So 10-year and 30-year structures are really what’s dominating right now. It’s really hard to find short issuance if you’re a buyer. A couple of statistics: this year 6% of issuance is 10-years and in, vs. 11% last year; 19% of issuance is 3-years and in, vs. almost 40% last year. So that kind of gives you an idea. Ten-years, that’s up 10% this year, so that’s certainly a sweet spot. So you are incentivized to really go out, replace short debt with long, and just push out maturities. You know, do it while you can, while it’s manageable, while rates are manageable.
And that’s what people are doing. God forbid we have another crisis. You know, you look at the money market fund world. That’s certainly going to be -– there’s going to be an adverse effect there in terms of raising short-term liquidity with all the regulation and the NAV issue and accounting issues, so there’s going to be a lot going on there.
Lastly, the bank piece. When you look at banks, you know, it was all about self-preservation for banks the last couple years. That spigot got turned off really quick. They were in the middle of the ruins of the real estate bubble. So their willingness to lend was basically zero. And for some, even today, it’s zero.
And when you look at, you know, the nonfinancial small market private sector, they’re still having difficulties obtaining that. Large corporates, investment grades, not as much. It’s become quite advantageous. Tenders are getting extended again. Private funding with insurance companies is big. Funded assets, smaller club deals, those are all happening again.
But banks are definitely still hedging their bets with CDS pricing. They still have some issues to worry about, whether it’s the capital requirements that they’re going to need, constraints, bad loans still on their books. So that’s still some murky waters.
As I think through all this, I think the common theme is still there’s a lot of uncertainty. So in times of uncertainty, you need to do your best to make sure that you have enough liquidity.
So against that backdrop, I think we can start introducing our winners here. First up is the Bronze winner: and the winner is from AT&T, presenting Tom Clemens. A little bit about Tom here. Tom is director of investments, overseas equity investments across AT&T’s $87 billion in assets. Before his current position, Tom led AT&T’s international treasury team as well as managing FX.
Tom has over 20 years of experience, financial experience, the last 12 years in capital market and treasury roles. Tom is a CFA, CPA and a B.B.A. in finance from the University of Texas in Austin. Go, Longhorns. Welcome, Tom. Congratulations.
TOM CLEMENS: Thank you, everybody. Good morning and thank you for coming out. As you said, I’m Tom Clemens. I work with AT&T in Dallas, Texas, and I’ve been with SBC since 1997, back to the days of San Antonio and when we were SBC Communications. I was going to go over my bio, but John just did that for me, so let me skip ahead here.
I want to talk about a project that I led beginning in 1999, when I was in charge of the international treasury group. And like a lot of projects, it began not as an initiative of treasury but of our billing team. We needed to improve our billing processes with our international customers.
And so let me take a minute to describe the process and then I can explain how we solved the problem. At AT&T, we try to serve our international customers wherever they may be. I mean we have operations in a large number of countries. Now, I should remember the number of countries. I don’t. Please don’t tell the marketing people that. They wouldn’t be happy with me.
But for example let’s say a customer, and I’ll use Ford, just because they were here a moment ago. If they have operations in, say, five countries—we’ll say U.S., Germany, U.K., Mexico, Japan. We can provide telecom services to them via our local subsidiaries in each country. We then will invoice their in-country costs to their operations in the country. That’s all well and good, but we also have situations where customers want to pay one consolidated bill in one currency in one location. And so if Ford wanted to pay, for some reason, all their bills in euros, we could do that.
What we do is we’ll take all those individual bills and translate them into one euro-based bill and deliver it. They then pay us and we’ll turn around and pay our subsidiaries back in local currency. This is what we call the CSS service—consolidated statement services. And it works out well.
But there are some risks in there, and there are risks of timing, of when the customers pay us. There are risks of FX. Is the amount that they pay us going to meet what our subsidiaries have on the books? And there are operational issues. How do we pay our subsidiaries? And how do we get all those hedges in place?
So when I got here, how did we solve these issues? We outsourced it. We gave it to a third-party bank and we let them handle it. In that case, those invoices would come to us. We would go to the bank. They would take those five invoices, hedge them out, each one individually. Ford would then pay the bank. The contracts would be closed out and the payments would be made to the subsidiaries. And for this, we paid a lot of fees. We had a fee for the contract; we had a fee if they didn’t pay on time; if we had to roll over contracts, gains and losses—surprisingly enough, gains got shared with the bank, losses came to us.
So, and for scope purposes, we’re talking 400 to 500 customers we’re billing in 12 different currencies across 30-odd countries. And this worked fine, but one of the things that happened was the third-party bank didn’t have the ability, given the way their systems work, to solve the credit issue.
So if you had a credit—if Ford would have a credit in Mexico and said, ‘Yeah, but I got a bill in the U.K. Can you cross those?’ It couldn’t happen. So we looked at trying to figure out a way to do it better and that came down to doing it internally.
Now, as you look to bring an internal, there are a couple rules here, and I’m sure they’re familiar to most of you all in the room. One, I couldn’t hire any other staff. So we had to figure out a way to get it to work. The other problem I had is that the people that would do the work, all the FX trades and all the cash transfers, didn’t work for me. So I was going to have to push that work onto my peers and they probably weren’t going to be happy with that. And so we tried to figure out a better way.
Now, I’ll try to explain how it all works. I reached out to Citibank, who was and is our major bank in Europe and they are a concentration bank in the U.S. And the first thing I needed to do was figure out all those currencies that our customer, that Ford would be in -- U.S. dollars, euros, yen, whatever. I needed a place to hold them.
So if you can see in that middle area of the box, there’s four blue boxes, okay? And those are notionally pooled subaccounts. So each time we would get a payment in a foreign currency, they would come into those sub-accounts. All well and good. We could pool it notionally. We’d get a U.S. dollar value for that. I could then take that U.S. dollar value and use it for AT&T purposes, paying down CP, whatever we wanted to do.
The next challenge I had was—and we’ve used pooling before, so that wasn’t new to us—the next challenge I had was I didn’t want to have to go out to our marketing people and our sales people and tell them, “If you want to pay in yen, you pay in this account. If you pay in pounds, you pay in this account.” So that big, green box, that big, long, green box there, is a single IBAN account, a single IBAN number, and it basically is an account that all funds come into. It’s one number, and then Citibank redistributes that automatically into the various subaccounts.
So I’ve made that much cleaner for our back office folks, and I don’t have to worry about them. So all that cash comes through, and it flows straight through, and now I’m holding on to a lot of different currencies, all notionally pooled, all the dollars come back to me.
Now, remember, and this is an internal system issue, we didn’t want to, I didn’t want to be making these 5,000 payments a month that were coming in under the old system. So we built our own internal system to say when payments come in through that IBAN account, we got a BAI file.
We took the BAI file and we put it into our system and we passed through the accounting records so we could clear the customer’s account. So the customers were happy. And then we would be able to reduce that 5,000 payments down to one or two a month because we were basically paying our own subsidiary.
So we could control liquidity management; we could control when we paid our subs. So instead of having a lot of money stuck overseas that may not be invested well or utilized well, we could hold on to that for another few weeks.
And the last piece I have is, you’ll see that upper green box. There are two upper green boxes, actually. The bigger green box is where we show on a daily basis we can use those ACH, or those U.S. dollar notional balance.
That little green box in the upper right corner is an automatic ZBA from the pool into our U.S. account. So all those accounts in the middle, those are all U.K. accounts. And those accounts are, again we have the notional value everyday and we ‘drain the pool’ on a daily basis. Put ZBAs up into our concentration account in New York.
I think there are a couple of interesting pieces here. That big green box that I talked about a little while ago, I think we’re the first corporate to do that. There may be some brokerage houses that do it, but I think we were the first corporate to do that.
That little green drain the pool from the U.K., I think we are the first corporate to use that as well. There are a couple countries, kingdoms, maybe, that use it, maybe, but we’re the first ones to do that.
But at the end of the day, what did we do? We took a process that was outsourced that was costing us a substantial amount of money. We brought it in-house. We reduced the payments from 5,000 a month to 30 a month, and even that we automated. So it’s one transaction. So we’ve saved money, we’ve improved liquidity; I haven’t added any work to any other team materially.
Again, the first thing we wanted to do was solve the customer’s problems about credits. So it all started with the customer. But at the end of the day, it’s about process and I’m pretty impressed at how it all worked out. So thank you very much.
KONSTANTOS: Thanks, Tom. Next up is our Silver winner from Freeport McMoRan Cooper & Gold. Presenting will be Kathleen Quirk. Kathleen is an executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer. She’s been in that role since 2003 and EVP since the acquisition of Phelps Dodge in ‘07.
Kathleen joined Freeport in 1989 holding various positions through that tenure, from tax, investor relations, treasury, corporate finance and business development. She holds a bachelor’s of science in accounting from Louisiana State. Kathleen, congratulations.
KATHLEEN QUIRK: Thank you. It’s an honor for us to be here today to talk about liquidity and it’s been a popular subject over the last couple of years. And Lewis[Booth]’s comments resonated a lot with us as we were going through a very difficult time in our industry. We’re a, I don’t know how much you know about Freeport, but we’re the world’s largest publicly traded producer of copper.
We operate all over the world, with copper mines in North America. We have mines in Chile and Peru. We also have a very massive operation in Indonesia, and we have a new mine that we just completed development of in the Democratic Republic of Congo. So we’re a very global operation.
We also produce byproducts—significant production of gold and also a product called molybdenum, which is used in the steel industry as a hardening agent. We’re a company that’s financially strong. A key part of what we do in mining in a way that’s sustainable, in a way that’s environmentally responsible.
Our enterprise value is roughly $45 billion. In 2009, we were ranked 154 in Fortune, and we have nearly 30,000 employees worldwide. This is just a chart to show the leading producers of copper. As I said, we’re the largest publicly traded producer. The largest is a producer in Chile, the state-owned, government-owned company called Codelco.
This was our challenge and it occurred, a lot of the things Lewis [Booth] was talking about, it occurred at the end of, really, right around the time of the Lehman failure and the other failures that we saw in September of 2008. And what our issue was is that our revenues essentially were cut in half in a very short period of time.
The copper price, which is our primary product, was trading at about $3.60. It averaged in that range in 2008 throughout the year. And it fell very sharply and suddenly. We’ve been in the commodity business for a very long time and know that we have to operate within high prices and low prices, but it really dropped in an unprecedented fashion because it went from $3.60 to $1.60 and actually got as low as $1.26 at one point in December.
Certain of our operations were operating at a cash cost that was above $1.60, and so we had to react very quickly. We were in the midst of going gangbusters because leading up to the collapse was very strong demand out of China. Our whole industry was working very hard to invest capital, to raise capacity to meet the increased demand, and then all of a sudden the brakes came on and prices fell very quickly, overnight.
So we lost, in operating cash flows, we lost roughly $7 billion per annum if you looked at the change in prices in our key product. So we had to move very quickly to make sure we had liquidity to manage through what we didn’t know how long this period would be.
We were positive long term about the markets that we’re in, but we didn’t know how long we would be in a situation of having low prices and having basic capital markets that were shut down to Corporate America.
This is the history of our stock price. John mentioned we acquired Phelps Dodge. This was a major transaction that we had done in 2007. We acquired it for $26 billion and did it mostly in a leveraged transaction through debt. But over time or very quickly after the acquisition, we paid down the debt.
So we were in a good position going into the crisis from a debt standpoint. But the issue we had was making sure we had liquidity to operate in what could be a protracted period of weak prices. But you see what happened to our stock price between late ‘06 and leading up to this: we had gone from roughly $60 to $120 and then very, very quickly moved down. At one point, we were below $20 a share.
So that’s just a sign of what was going on in our industry. We show down at the bottom where our debt was trading, and it had been trading sub-8% for some time. And then with the crisis, our CDSs expanded and our bonds got up to over 14% yields.
So what we had been doing going into the crisis, our prior strategy was, after the acquisition, to reduce debt. And we did that very effectively. We were defining the potential of all of our resources. We were conducting a lot of drilling and exploration analysis, expansion analysis because we really believed that the world was going to need more of our resources, more of our copper; as China and the other emerging economies expanded, the world was going to need more resources.
And so we were aggressively defining our resource potential and developing growth projects, and we were generating cash well in excess of our capital expenditure requirements. So we were returning cash to shareholders though strong dividends and share buybacks.
And when this happened, we had to move very quickly to develop a new plan. And this was a coordinated effort. Lewis talked about this, but it was not just a financial effort. It involved working across our functional lines, across the operation, across our global business to work with our operating teams to make sure that each operation was profitable and could survive a period of, an unknown period of low prices.
So our strategy was to reduce cost, capital spending, protect our liquidity, because we really wanted to be in a position to, during a recovery, to prosper. And we, through the whole time, felt that markets would improve. We didn’t know when. And that the company with its long-lived assets would be in a good position to benefit from that.
So that’s really what our whole plans were designed around. We didn’t want to fire-sale assets. We just wanted to make sure that we could live within our cash flows, preserve the value of our resources for better markets in the future.
So I talked about the problem that we have where we lost on an annualized basis over $6 billion of cash flows. And so what we did, really, to try to shore up our liquidity was first work on operating costs. We worked with each of our managers that operate our mining operations and processing operations to reduce cost.
Unfortunately, we had to make some tough decisions on head counts. We lost about a third of our U.S. workforce during this time, but we also idled equipment. Our consumables went down as a result of that. We used less energy, etc., etc. And that resulted in operating cost savings of roughly $800 million.
We suspended a number of projects. You know, we had committed capital to buying lots of trucks, shovels, we were buying new mills to increase our capacity. And we had to move very quickly to work with our suppliers to cancel equipment orders and work with them to make sure that we had liquidity so that long term, their businesses also could benefit.
We’re, for example, Caterpillar’s largest customer. So we had to work cooperatively with our vendors in going through this to make sure that we could cut our capital expenditures and do it in a mutually satisfactory way with our vendors. That saved us $1.2 billion.
During times like this, no one likes to do it, but we suspended our common stock dividend, which was just over $750 million a year. We also had some preferred stock that required a dividend. We converted that into equity and that saved us another $60 million a year.
We had some trusts available that, it was a kind of a rainy day funds and trusts that were available, and we used cash from those trusts. We worked with our customers and got our payment terms shortened. We worked to get 15-day payment terms, which resulted in a reduction in our receivables.
We also worked with our customers because we were doing some hedging on their behalf because they wanted to buy a fixed price of copper and we wanted to receive market prices of copper. So we were doing some hedging on behalf of customers and when prices collapsed so far, we had marked to market on those hedges, and we worked with customers to back those mark-to-market losses. And that avoided roughly $160 million of margin calls.
We were taking advantage under vendor programs and we were paying our invoices early and getting a discount. We extended those payables, so a lot of working capital initiatives to free up cash from the balance sheet.
And then we worked to—the capital markets were essentially shut. It was a difficult time. You know, we had talked to banks about what we could do and they were quoting us very, very expensive debt terms. And we really didn’t want to go out and lock in long-term debt at those kinds of rates.
We also considered whether it would make sense for us to draw down our revolver. We had a $1.5 billion revolver that was unfunded. We looked really hard at that and talked to our bank group about that and at the end of the day we decided not to do it. Ford made the comments that they did it and they had reasons to do it. But we felt like it would put additional strain on the bank market and ended up not drawing that revolver.
And so we looked at alternatives for raising money in the capital markets in this kind of environment and really didn’t want to expose the company to an equity offering where markets were open for one day and maybe shut down the next day.
So we filed with our shelf, it sounds like Ford did some of the same things, a dribble-out program, so that we could sell shares into the market from time to time without picking a certain day to sell it in. And that was a highly successful program. We —raised $750 million in gross proceeds from this offering over a 10-day period.
And actually over that 10-day period, our stock was up 22%. Usually, as you know, when you issue equity you have to face a declining stock price. But that was a very efficient way to raise capital in a very tough environment. And so we took all these actions. It was a coordinated fashion with our operating teams, and it was very successful.
I mentioned we did our Phelps Dodge deal in ‘07 in a leveraged transaction. We had $17.6 billion in debt at that time. Fortunately, we worked very hard to repay that debt quickly. We were permitted to do that. Within nine months, we had paid down $10 billion in term debt from that acquisition.
And that’s about where our level of debt was going into the crisis in 2008. Since that time, our business has recovered. China has emerged again as a very strong consumer of natural resource, particularly copper. We’ve seen some steady recovery in the U.S. and Europe.
We’re not back to the levels of demand in the U.S. and Europe that we were in 2008, but prices of copper have improved. We’re back to the level of where we were in June of 2008. And during this time, we’ve taken advantage of these cash and our stronger operating cost structure to continue to pay down debt.
We’ve paid down an additional 35% of the debt since the beginning of ’09. And you can see our cash position has grown to $3.7 billion, and going into the crisis we had cash of just under $1 billion. Next slide.
And our stock price has rebounded. We’re back up to roughly $100 a share. So two years ago, there would have been some days where our stock was at $20 or below and now we’re back up to $100 a share, roughly. Just under $100. And our debt, our notes have come in very nicely. They’re quoting us new issue prices today in the 4½% range for 10-year money.
So it all worked out very well for us, but the lesson here is the same thing that people have been saying: when you need liquidity, it’s too late. You’re got to plan. I think more and more companies are keeping more cash on the balance sheet or thinking through more scenarios of ‘what could happen’ and ‘do I have enough liquidity right now?’ We’ve got all the money available to us that we’d want, but we don’t need it. We’re generating very, very significant cash flows in excess of our capital spending.
So lessons learned, for us, were, it helped us to move very quickly. We took those tough steps, which were positive for the rating agencies. We were able to maintain our investment-grade rating by S&P and Fitch during this time period. That also enhanced our liquidity because if we had lost our rating, we would have had to put up additional letters of credit under certain of our obligations.
So it was, move quickly. Work throughout the organization to make sure you understand where the sources and uses of liquidity potentially are, and work as a team and execute the plan. That’s really—our learnings. And it was a great experience because we did this on the heels of a merger transaction, so it was the first time after the merger that business was very good and you worked differently with people when businesses are going very well.
When times are tough is when you really learn the business at a very detailed level and you learn how people address issues and challenges and how they execute. And so as an organization, it was a very good exercise for us, as well.
So it was a tough time but we feel like we learned a lot as a company going through it and we rebounded and have a great outlook for the future. That was it. Thank you.
KONSTANTOS: Thanks, Kathleen. Last and certainly not least is our Gold winner, Toyota Financial Services, and presenting for Toyota will be Vanita Aggarwal. She’s the director of treasury risk with oversight for Latin America operations. She oversees liquidity, interest rate as well as counterparty risk.
She’s a former banker at RBS. We won’t hold that against you. Sorry to hear that. Vanita has a bachelor’s in engineering from Delhi University; master’s from University of Toronto and is a CFA member. Congratulations.
VANITA AGGARWAL: Thank you, John. I’d like to thank Treasury & Risk magazine and our judges for this award. And I am honored to accept it on behalf of my team here. To start off with, I want to spend a minute on basically what Toyota Financial Services or TFS does.
We provide financing to the Toyota and Lexus customers in the form of consumer loans, leases and also dealer financing and insurance products. As of the last fiscal year, the size of our balance sheet was just over $80 billion and we had debt outstanding of about $73 billion.
We’re currently a AA-rated company. Let me provide some context on why we undertook this initiative. This morning we’ve been talking quite a bit about liquidity, how important that is, how important it is to do the cash flow forecasting. So Toyota has maintained a very strong liquidity position with diversified funding sources, diversified funding strategy, to keep market access high and our funding costs low.
This strategy certainly helped us successfully navigate through the financial crisis of 2008. With our strong liquidity position and as AAA in the past, as far as our liquidity risk management goes, it was really kind of more on the back burner based on simple static metrics with some cash flow modeling but not really on much more of a proactive day-to-day basis.
However, with the changing market conditions and economic environment and with some of the ratings downgrades for Toyota, we needed to re-evaluate our liquidity risk management strategy and also incorporate some of the lessons that were learned through the financial crisis.
This need was further required, as many of you know, we probably all of you know, we were hit with the recall event in early 2010. This brings me to the objective of our project, which is to create an infrastructure that would enable swift, prudent, and decisive liquidity risk management capability with an empowered liquidity risk team with robust scenario modeling incorporating many of the different reigning conditions, ranging from normal market conditions to highly stressed conditions and also incorporating all of that in some comprehensive reporting tools that are easy to understand.
The overall idea being to provide transparency and visibility into our true liquidity position to our stakeholders internally and externally.
So what was our strategy for the execution? We used the classic framework of people, process and tools. Firstly, as far as liquidity risk management goes, it was being managed before the crisis in more of the front office, which had been closest to the market while we reorganized our structure and treasury to form a separate independent liquidity risk team to manage and measure this risk.
Secondly, as I just mentioned a minute ago, before the crisis our liquidity risk management was more narrow-focused, looking into some of the static metrics, not incorporating the full balance sheet view or the timing of the cash flows in the future. Well, we researched on that particular topic quite a bit, identifying the metrics that were most relevant to our business, and we identified nine key metrics that would provide a comprehensive view of our liquidity profile.
These metrics ranged from the simple metrics to incorporating the highest stress scenarios. Not only did we identify those metrics, but we also put some risk tolerance and limits around those metrics.
Of course, while we’d formed a separate liquidity risk team, we were not doing this all in silence. So collaboration is a big part of it. So we worked cross-organizationally with the different areas of the organization, including the market execution teams and the front office and also asset origination teams who are responsible for actually deep financing to the end customers to incorporate their input in terms of different assumptions, the feasibility of the scenarios, what kind of access would we have in different market environments, and so on and so forth.
Now that we had a lot of this data, metrics, the question was, it can be pretty overwhelming. So our challenge was to provide all this information to our senior management and to our stakeholders in a user-friendly manner. So for that particular thing, we created dashboards to organize all of our liquidity metrics into one page and this was charted and color-coded with historical trends, which very quickly in a snapshot, at least to start with, would provide you with a quick assessment of any changes in the liquidity profile. Of course, a lot of detail goes behind it.
Lastly, we also modeled. I mentioned about modeling multiple stress scenarios. But given the stress scenario, the contingency funding required can be significant. So we did the scenarios to produce what the different contingency requirements would be under each of those scenarios.
I mentioned about the recalls a few minutes ago. So I want to take a couple of minutes to talk about how we were impacted during the recall and how this infrastructure helped us navigate through that. The recall that we faced was quite different from the earlier financial crisis, earlier being more of a market event, where it was impacting everybody. We, as Toyota, actually enjoyed the flight to quality: our commercial paper strength, we were a direct commercial paper issuer, and so on.
However, this being more of a market-specific event, what we faced was it shook some of the investor confidence. We found ourselves temporarily being shut out of the term markets. So it certainly made it pretty challenging for us. Well, in those times and since we’d already been on the path of developing a lot of this capability, it was really put to the test in those times.
And what we found is, we were actually looking at this framework in detail on a daily basis, looking at what our contingency funding needs are from day-to-day, as well as over the long-term horizon, especially given the company’s specific events at that time, and not knowing the horizon of the stress.
This really provided us with the guardrails and the trigger points and helped us implement alternate funding sources in a very quick manner. As a result, we went back into the securitized borrowing markets after having been out of those markets for seven years. We also further increased our contingent funding sources by adding a larger size portfolio of our more liquid assets.
So all in all, this helped us bring in the required funding, thereby enabling us to continue funding our customers and dealers through the recall as well as post-recall.
So just to summarize some of the results, this new framework significantly increased management engagement and confidence, including our parent in Japan, especially during the recall, what we experienced with them as well. So it helped us communicate with our stakeholders, our senior management, as well as to our external stakeholders.
We do use this framework for optimal decision making on an ongoing basis for determining our funding needs, the different sources, the cost, the tenors, as well as for our contingency planning. This framework has also been shared and accepted as the global framework, and we’re in the process of implementing it for the other entities to get more of a global view on it. And as mentioned before, this framework and the resulting funding certainly enabled us to support record-high market share—by market share here, I mean the percent of vehicles financed as a percent of our total vehicle sales, so, ou financing market share basically—throughout and post the recall events by providing uninterrupted funding to our consumers and our dealers during this company-specific event, and thereby supporting our Toyota brand. Thank you.
KONSTANTOS: Okay, I’d like to open it up to one question at this point. So who’s got a question for us?
Q: This question is for Tom. Do you guys do netting at AT&T in terms of between the subs and so forth, and how do you do that in terms of keeping your FX costs down?
CLEMENS: For the most part we don’t do netting. We don’t. No, if I had stayed in that job, that was one of the things I was going to be looking into, that and a global in-house bank were my two priorities.
Q: Any idea what those savings might be?
CLEMENS: No, not off the top of my head. I mean
I should rephrase. We do some internal netting in Europe, but for the most part we don’t.
KONSTANTOS: I guess we’ve been given the green light to ask one more question, so I will do that. And since, Tom, you’re just answered one, I’ll ask it of the ladies, then. Obviously it’s important to have a collaborative effort to get something like this done and it’s not just the treasury function at the end of the day.
Can you guys talk about, a little bit, the experience there and how difficult that was and what you found out, maybe, about the company that you didn’t know before?
QUIRK: Well, ours was very collaborative with our operating teams and it was an iterative process because what we were doing is trying to solve for, ‘cause we have differing types of ores, and what we were trying to solve for is the mining plan that would result in the lowest cash cost.
And so we had to involve our geological team, mine planning teams, operational teams, we had to involve our purchasing, global supply chain group as we worked through our vendor relations. So it was across the organization, and the organization really embraced it. And I think everybody saw, I think everybody had the fear of, being fearful of the unknown, given the times that we were in. So it was a very transparent process. There was no hiding the ball. It was just real good, and we learned a lot about the organization in going through that. So I think it was a fruitful exercise.
AGGARWAL: It can be challenging; however, incorporating the viewpoints from many of the different areas has certainly proved to be fruitful. One of the challenges actually for us has also been managing that communication and collaborating with the parent in Japan, which certainly we continue to work upon, because of the time difference, because of us being so distant, it’s to keep that channel of communication going and collaborating and keeping them on the same page in terms of our objective and moving toward the result. That’s certainly been one area that we’ve worked consistently on.
KONSTANTOS: Well, on behalf of our winners, good night, everybody.