BMS wins the 2023 Gold Alexander Hamilton Award in Technology Excellence. In November 2019, biopharmaceutical giant Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) completed a $74 billion acquisition of Celgene Corporation. For the company's treasury team, the transaction dramatically increased the size, complexity, and transaction volume of the business under their purview. As a result, treasury was responsible for more than $15 billion in cash and investments, $40 billion in debt, and a $12 billion portfolio of foreign exchange (FX) and interest rate risk.

"We needed to quickly adopt new processes and tools to manage the larger-scale organization," says Sandra Ramos-Alves, senior vice president and treasurer of Bristol Myers Squibb. "To ensure that BMS has world-class capabilities aligned with treasury's vision, the treasury leadership team embarked on a multiyear technology excellence initiative. Our goals were to 'hyper-automate' treasury activities in order to streamline processes, and to expand data availability and accelerate the generation of insights."

The initiative started by identifying potential areas for improvement throughout all of treasury's functions. The treasury leadership team undertook an exhaustive, three-month needs assessment to identify pain points and processes that were unnecessarily manual. They identified more than 20 areas that required improvement, then risk-ranked and prioritized them.

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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.