Treasury Today Country Profiles in association with Citi

A year of excellence: Adam Smith Awards Asia 2017

Adam Smith Awards Asia table

This year’s Adam Smith Awards Asia Overall Winners and Highly Commended Winners once again show that treasury teams in Asia are reaching new heights.

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On Monday this week, over 200 corporates and their banking and technology partners gathered in Singapore to celebrate their success at the Treasury Today Asia Adam Smith Awards Asia Gala Presentation Lunch, held at the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel.

Over the last four years, the Adam Smith Awards Asia has gained a reputation for being the leading treasury awards programme in the region. This year we received more submissions than ever and the quality of the nominations was the highest that we have seen, showing remarkable creativity, resilience, collaboration, determination, teamwork, innovation and sheer hard work.

Special congratulations are therefore due to technology giant Lenovo, led by its Group Treasurer, Damian Glendinning, who scooped the award for Top Treasury Team of the Year.

Sophie Jackson, Associate Group Publisher, Treasury Today Group comments on Lenovo and the rest of our winners’ success, saying: “The 2017 Adam Smith Awards Asia Gala Presentation Lunch was a fine display of the region’s best and brightest corporate finance talent. It is wonderful to see that within the four years the programme has been launched in Asia, it has become the regional industry benchmark for corporate excellence. I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to all of this year’s winners and to thank everybody who has been involved in the programme to date.”

Eyes on the prize

The day began with a networking reception that saw many well-known faces reconnect and share stories of what has been an eventful and exciting year. The buzz in the room was infectious, with talk of technology and geopolitical trends amongst the topics of the day.

John Nicholas, Research Director at the Treasury Today Group opened the event by welcoming all attendees and commenting on the great work of the corporate winners.

“2017 really has showcased the Asia Pacific region’s ability to overcome ever-increasing challenges and an Adam Smith Award is justifiably recognised as the ultimate industry benchmark for corporate treasury best practice,” he said.

Following lunch, it was time for the crystal awards to be presented by Associate Group Publisher, Sophie Jackson, and Editorial Manager, James Hayward. As mentioned, it was Lenovo who collected the highly sought-after Top Treasury Team award.

Lenovo’s multi-year project has seen it create a unique global treasury model based out of Singapore to handle the complex operating model across its global footprint. The results are outstanding, resulting in significant cost savings, efficiency gains and a treasury well placed to better support Lenovo’s business now and in the years ahead.

“It is a huge compliment and a fantastic achievement,” says Damian Glendinning, Group Treasurer at Lenovo. “I am especially pleased because it is for the team, I am very fortunate to have a great team that has been doing fantastic work for a long time and I am incredibly pleased that they are being recognised.”

Elsewhere, AIA Group collected the hotly contested Harnessing the Power of Technology Award for it's all-encompassing technology upgrade that has given it the ability to fundamentally alter how it manages its cash, allowing treasury to add increased value to the organisation and give it a competitive advantage in the region.

“Being an Adam Smith Awards Asia Winner gives external legitimacy to what we have achieved and allows us to engage with our peers in the insurance industry and others on best practice sharing and further strengthens AIA as a leader in Asia,” says Gary Gray, Head of Treasury Operations at AIA.

Finally, the Judges’ Choice award looks for something a little bit different and this year the award went to Maersk Trade Finance. Maersk has a unique position in the heart of the supply chain of many organisations and has built a digital solution that removes friction for its customers and provides them with new financing options when shipping with the company. The overall aim for Maersk is to drag the world of trade into the 21st century for the benefit of all market participants.

“The true success of any start-up business is measured by hearing positive things from your customers and also receiving external recognition from something as prestigious as the Adam Smith Awards Asia,” says Vipul Sardana, Global Director of Trade Finance at Maersk.

Can you do better?

The class of 2017 have set a high bar, can you do better? The Adam Smith Awards Asia will return next year and we know there is a host of exciting activity taking part in treasury teams across the region – we look forward to receiving your submissions.

Read more about the winning solutions

The full list of award winners can be found here and you will be able to read the case studies for all of our Overall Winners and Highly Commended Winners in the 2017 Adam Smith Awards Asia Yearbook, published in January.

For enquiries regarding this year’s event please contact sophie.jackson@treasurytoday.com