In 2015, Corning Incorporated began communicating to the investment community about its new Capital Allocation Framework, a strategic plan designed to reduce the cash on the company’s balance sheet and increase the returns it was earning on invested capital. Previously, Corning had about $5.5 billion worth of cash on its books worldwide. The Capital Allocation Framework aimed to reduce that by more than half.

“In order to do that, we needed to be able to access all our cash globally, wherever it was,” explains Steve Propper, Corning’s vice president and corporate treasurer. “The more fungible our cash is, the more liquidity we have on a global basis.”

A significant amount of excess cash was stuck in Asia, where Corning generates nearly one-third of its global revenue. “Because so many of our legal entities are offshore, it’s crucial for us to be able to manage that liquidity effectively,” says Stephen Fowler, director of liquidity and investment management for Corning. “China is a key part of that puzzle.”

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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