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Treasurers can also play a role in speeding up the expansion process. At Tesco, the U.K.’s largest supermarket company with $4.2 billion in profits in 2005, the treasury function has developed a cookie-cutter approach to running its international back office, says Tom Gunson, a London-based partner with PwC and leader of the firm’s financial effectiveness practice in the U.K. “They developed a kind of startup pack. Basically, if the business goes into a new market, there’s a checklist of things they have to do as part of that –it’s enabled them to open new stores far more rapidly than their competitors and has given them a strategic advantage.” The company first ventured outside the British Isles in 1997. Today, roughly half of its store space is to be found overseas in markets from Hungary to South Korea and China.

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