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Based in Boston, Alexion Pharmaceuticals is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on serving patients and families affected by rare diseases through the innovation, development, and commercialization of life-changing therapies. The company does a significant amount of business in 15 different currencies, so foreign exchange (FX) risk is top-of-mind for the treasury team. Nevertheless, when Alexion’s revenue quadrupled over just four years, the sophistication of its FX processes needed to increase commensurately.

“A few years ago, we had two people in Switzerland placing hedges at a transactional level,” explains Jeff Hynes, assistant treasurer. “They used spreadsheets to track the company’s balance sheet and cash flow risks. They would look at each invoice or payable coming in and decide whether to hedge it on a one-off basis. It worked, but only because of the brute force they were applying in terms of manpower.”

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.

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