Steve Bullock is senior vice president and general manager for North America for IT2 Treasury Solutions. In addition to working for 10 years with treasury software providers in Europe and the U.S., he also spent 14 years in Aon's corporate treasury in London, in front office dealing, FX exposure management and hedging, and bank relationships.

Just when treasury's focus seemed to shift slightly away from counterparty risk management, the Greek and then the Hungarian sovereign debt crises blew up, showing once again that extreme events such as the collapse of Lehman Brothers or a sovereign debt crisis ought not to be discounted. Treasury best practice seems to demand that counterparty risk management stay at the top of priority lists and that treasurers remain constantly vigilant for sudden credit deterioration. New models are emerging to help with that task, as well as better ways to use integrated technology.

T&R: What has changed?Bullock: Credit limit and counterparty exposure management in the past were seen as important, but essentially routine. Since the crisis, it's clear that all the disciplines of treasury risk management are interrelated, and the common factor is counterparty risk. This is because the current and projected valuations of financial instruments in fact depend on the creditworthiness of the counterparty. The crisis showed how important it was that these areas were connected and analyzed in one coherent risk management process. The reality that major banks could in fact fail brought credit risk into prominence.

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