During the fina SAP's Jörg Wiemer ncial crisis, many began to see treasuryas a more strategic function than in the past. But for Jörg Wiemer,who has been with software giant SAP since 2005, this was old news.Wiemer is head of global treasury, senior vice president and amember of SAP's Top 100 global leadership team. Having decided fiveyears ago to reposition treasury within the organization, Wiemersays that today, the “high performing treasury team is a businesspartner, a value-adding change agent and thought leader.” What does this mean in practice? “Treasury is a businesspartner not only for board members, but also for the subsidiaries,which are our internal customers,” Wiemer says. “In other words, wehelp them in all aspects of financial risk management and financialasset management. “The thought leadership element is linked to the role the SAPtreasury plays in showcasing the company's own treasury products,”he adds. “It's important to have the right image in the treasurycommunity as an innovative team with efficient and effectiveprocesses. And of course we influence our developers, so we need tomake sure our ideas find their way into SAP treasuryproducts.” Wiemer, who's based at the company's headquarters in Walldorf,Germany, has led a number of ambitious projects over the pastcouple of years. A succession of refinancing transactions—includingtwo very successful U.S. private placements, two refinancings of a1.5 billion euro syndicated credit facility, the financing for twoacquisitions, one for 4.8 billion euros and another for 2.75billion euros, and several corporate bond transactions, includingSAP's debut bond issue and a German “schuldschein” privateplacement—enabled the company to diversify its funding sources,even though it doesn't possess a credit rating. Wiemer attributes the success of the transactions to SAP'sstrong business and financial profile: “In tough times, you see astrong demand for high-quality credits.” Meanwhile, he has also been leading an ambitious workingcapital management optimization project. In addition to pursuingsuch strategies as improving DSO and DPO, this project set out toincrease awareness of working capital management throughout SAP, aneffort that included introducing working capital-related bonusesfor all employees worldwide. A working capital dashboard was set upto make working capital transparent for SAP's different legalentities and facilitate benchmarking. The working capital projectalso focused on customer financing, customer credit management andthe billing process. Wiemer and his team have also done severaltreasury post-merger integrations, developed and executed a newshare buyback strategy, and established a new foreign exchangehedging approach. Despite all these achievements, Wiemer is not resting on hislaurels. SAP, which has a headcount of 53,500 and turned over 12.5billion euros ($17.1 billion) in 2010, is a company with ambitiousgrowth targets, which the treasury has to keep up with. “The challenge is to deliver services of the same high qualitywith the same number of treasury staff, despite increasing businessvolumes over the coming years,” he says. How will this be achieved? Further automation andstandardization is the key—not just for treasury processes butacross all cash cycles. “There is a nice opportunity for treasury to help the companygrow and be more efficient and effective,” Wiemer concludes. “As aconsequence, over the coming years treasury will not just befocusing on financial asset and risk management—we will also needto further intensify our collaboration with colleagues in sharedservice centers and lines of business in order to optimize,standardize and automate especially the order-to-cash andpurchase-to-pay cycles while running our own SAP software.”See Treasury & Risk 's complete 2011 list ofthe 100 Most Influential People in Finance here.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to Treasury & Risk, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical Treasury & Risk information including in-depth analysis of treasury and finance best practices, case studies with corporate innovators, informative newsletters, educational webcasts and videos, and resources from industry leaders.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Treasury & Risk events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including PropertyCasualty360.com and Law.com.

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.