Based in Boston, Alexion Pharmaceuticals is a globalbiopharmaceutical company focused on serving patients and familiesaffected by rare diseases through the innovation, development, andcommercialization of life-changing therapies. The company does asignificant amount of business in 15 different currencies, soforeign exchange (FX) risk is top-of-mind for the treasury team.Nevertheless, when Alexion's revenue quadrupled over just fouryears, the sophistication of its FX processes needed to increasecommensurately.

“A few years ago, we had two people in Switzerland placinghedges at a transactional level,” explains Jeff Hynes, assistanttreasurer. “They used spreadsheets to track the company's balancesheet and cash flow risks. They would look at each invoice orpayable coming in and decide whether to hedge it on a one-offbasis. It worked, but only because of the brute force they wereapplying in terms of manpower.”

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Meg Waters

Meg Waters is the editor in chief of Treasury & Risk. She is the former editor in chief of BPM Magazine and the former managing editor of Business Finance.