When a company is growing rapidly, some of its back-office functions may find themselves lagging behind other areas of the business in terms of sophistication. For example, the treasury function that works well for a midsize domestic company may not be able to strategically support a diverse global Fortune 500 organization. And when treasury isn’t living up to its full potential, it’s time to transform.
This was the crux of the ‘before’ scenario for each of the winners of 2020 Alexander Hamilton Awards in the category Treasury Transformation. The treasury groups in these companies remade themselves through transformative initiatives, and as a result they became better strategic partners to their large global businesses.
- Silver Award: German auto-parts manufacturer Brose Fahrzeugteile has more than 6 billion euros in annual revenue, but its treasury staff of three was largely seen as “Schatzmeister,” or “people sitting around and counting coins,” says Andreas Meyer, head of treasury at Brose. The team changed that perception through a comprehensive restructuring of payments and other key treasury activities.
- Gold Award: After GoDaddy’s revenues doubled over four years, the company’s treasury team needed a shift in focus. A new corporate treasurer increased internal expertise through a couple of key hires and launched an initiative that revamped investment policy, cash forecasting, intercompany transactions, and currency risk management.
Both treasury groups emphasize the importance of well-planned and well-executed project management plans. In particular, both appreciate the benefits of phased initiatives with clear and achievable incremental objectives. “Quick wins increase visibility among the broader finance community into what corporate treasury is doing and how we are impacting the bottom line,” says Paul McDowell, GoDaddy’s vice president and treasurer. “It also really helps morale within the team to have a clear indicator of how you’re contributing. I believe in grabbing quick wins wherever you can.”
Congratulations to GoDaddy and Brose for their outstanding initiatives! And thank you to the judges of this year’s competition: Jean-Francois Heitz, former deputy CFO and treasurer of Microsoft; Erik Smolders, former treasurer of Ingram Micro and a vice president in Deloitte’s Global Treasury Advisory Services practice; Craig Jeffery, managing partner of Strategic Treasurer; and Marie Hollein, former president and CEO of Financial Executives International.
Finally, thank you very much to ION for sponsoring this year’s Alexander Hamilton Awards program!
- Register here to view an on-demand webcast in which GoDaddy and Brose innovators describe their projects and their lessons learned.