On the whole, treasuries don't get involved in sourcing issues. But that's changing. As the guardians of compliance, governance and risk management standards, their influence is spreading across departmental borders. At Allianz of America, for example, treasury successfully led an enterprise-wide cost-reduction and process improvement sourcing program last year.

Project Synergy Drive (PSD) united seven independent companies under a new, centralized governance umbrella for legal, financial and executive signoffs.

A complex job under the best of circumstances, Allianz' mission, launched in late 2006, was complicated by the fact that only two of the seven companies, Allianz Life Insurance and Fireman's Fund, have a formal shared services agreement. And while all the businesses have complementary organizational and expense profiles, the federated and complex nature of reporting structures made top-down initiatives challenging, notes Jill Paterson, Allianz of America CFO.

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