Innovations in cash management: the disruptive impact on payments, tax and technology

Zanders Belgium Annual Treasury and Risk Seminar

Innovations in cash management: the disruptive impact on payments, tax and technology

On 23rd of June 2016, the Zanders Belgium Annual Treasury and Risk Seminar was held in Antwerp where more than 30 invited experts discussed the latest developments and innovations.

Laurens Tijdhof, partner at Zanders, opened the seminar and the topic of trends and developments in treasury management were split into two building blocks.

Treasury Maturity Model

First, Tijdhof explored some of the hottest trends in the short-, mid- and long-term, before discussing the Treasury Maturity Model and how it relates to day-today operations. Tijdhof then shared the ‘hot-off-the-press’ survey results on consolidated cash visibility, banking connectivity, payment centralization and virtual accounts.

Life after treasury transformation

As a first guest speaker, Jaap Nooij, treasurer and global process expert at British American Tobacco (BAT), focused on life after treasury transformation. In ‘The new normal’ he shared his experiences on how BAT successfully deals with the challenge of standardization and optimization and, in particular, how the transformation from 3,500 to 800 bank accounts was achieved within an extremely tight timeline. Getting full value out of the investment, by pursuing continuous improvement with the goal of full optimization and standardization, was indicated as the ongoing focus.

Blockchain

Being passionate about mapping the everyday needs of corporate treasurers to innovative transaction banking solutions, Wim Grosemans took the floor. Grosemans, head of international payments and project leader for blockchain at BNP Paribas Fortis, introduced the audience to the world of distributed ledger. After a short introduction to the technology, the focus switched to how blockchain impacts corporates and their treasury operations.

BEPS

After the coffee break, the spotlight was on tax and law. Nicolas Lippens, tax partner at Linklaters, explored the impact of Base Erosion Profit Sharing (BEPS) on treasury and intercompany financing. With his extensive knowledge of international tax law, he shared insights on the EU’s upcoming Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD). In particular, participants learned in detail about expected impact on interest deduction, transfer pricing and country-by-country reporting.

Payment factory

Participants afterwards enjoyed a session with Johnson Controls (JCI). Jean-Philippe De Waele, the company’s treasurer for EMEA, elaborated on the strategic aspects of a payment factory. He shared some valuable insights on JCI’s three-tiered liquidity structure, the company’s banking strategy, in-house developed global cash reporting as well as the project’s success factors and challenges.

Brexit

Brexit was the last item on the day’s agenda, with a particular focus on the potential financial implications of Brexit on multinationals. Glenn Vaughan, chief executive at the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium, drew a detailed picture on the possible impact on organizations, employees and contracts. Moreover, he highlighted how many of these issues need to be considered in all EU member states.

As well as the day’s topics, outlined above, Kasteel Den Brandt in Antwerp offered its magnificent surroundings for the more informal exchange of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ between experts in treasury and risk, at the close of yet another successful seminar.