Treasury Today Country Profiles in association with Citi

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Best Cash Management Solution Highly Commended: Grifols

Photo of Shane O’Brien and Albert Grifols of Grifols, Narcas Francas, HSBC and Nuria Pascual, Grifols

Grifols decided to implement a single SAP enterprise resource planning system for the entire Grifols group of companies. To date, 14 countries are using the system with another four ready to come on line. To gain more control over liquidity, it established a single-entity multicurrency notional pooling scheme located in the UK with sweeping structures to concentrate liquidity from local accounts of their business entities. This allows the company to manage its cash positions in various currencies more efficiently.

Photo of Shane O’Brien and Albert Grifols of Grifols, Narcas Francas, HSBC and Nuria Pascual, Grifols.

Nuria Pascual

Corporate Vice President of Treasury & Risk Management & Investor Relations Officer

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Ireland and Spain

Grifols is a global healthcare company with more than 75 years of legacy dedicated to improving the health and well-being of people around the world. Grifols produces essential plasma-derived medicines for patients and provides hospitals and healthcare professionals with the tools, information and services they need to help them deliver expert medical care.

Grifols’ three main divisions – Bioscience, Diagnostic and Hospital – develop, produce and market innovative products and services that are available in more than 100 countries.

in partnership with

Grifols implements single entity SAP ERP using SWIFTNet FileAct to support growth

The challenge

The increasing inorganic growth at Grifols resulted in some complexities for the global treasury team. These included:

  • New businesses being acquired had their own treasury centres.

  • Treasury centres often given autonomy over payments and receivables as well as liquidity.

  • Different systems to manage and a general lack of visibility and control over company-wide cash.

This environment also created a lot of unnecessary work for the relatively small global treasury team based in Barcelona and Dublin.

The solution

Working with HSBC, their global banking partner, Grifols’ treasury team implemented a single SAP ERP system that uses SWIFTNet FileAct. This allows them to:

  • Manage payables and receivables via XML v3 files from SAP.

  • Send payments and collections directly to banks through FileAct.

To date, 14 countries are using the system with another four ready to come on line.

They also established a back-up channel using their bank’s internet banking platform that is active in 22 countries.

To gain more control over liquidity, they established a single-entity multicurrency notional pooling scheme located in the UK, with sweeping structures to concentrate liquidity from local accounts of their business entities. This allows them to manage their cash positions in various currencies more efficiently.

Best practice and innovation

Moving to a single entity SAP ERP system can be a daunting task for any treasury, regardless of size or scope. Grifols’ global treasury team knew that based on the growing pains they were already experiencing they would need to make changes to accommodate future growth.

Once they realised that, they decided very quickly to move forward – unusual for a treasury of their fairly limited resources which might think twice about such a large undertaking.

They were also one of the first to implement a multicurrency notional pooling solution for all their liquidity positions, involving 19 currencies.

The primary benefits around more efficient liquidity management were only part of the story. Grifols has a very specific culture across the organisation, which includes how the treasury operates. The fact that many of the acquired businesses previously had autonomy over their treasury operations meant Grifols could also now control ethics management.

Bringing all processes together in one system and liquidity into a single account was critical to the treasury team as a tool for maintaining their culture and high level of ethics.

Key benefits

  • Maintain treasury staff of 12 in spite of an 82% increase in transaction volume.

  • Reduce bank accounts by over 50 (from 307 to 256).

  • Eliminate a majority of the bilateral facilities and concentrate financing through their in-house bank.

  • Reduce the total number of banking partners by 37 (from 69 to 32).

  • Gain more control and visibility into company-wide liquidity.

  • Quickly scale and on-board new businesses as they acquire them.

Portrait of Nuria Pascual

Nuria Pascual

Corporate Vice President of Treasury & Risk Management & Investor Relations Officer

Nuria Pascual serves as Corporate VP of Treasury & Risk Management and IRO at Grifols. Prior to joining, she served in various positions at Deutsche Bank and Banco Santander. She is a member of the board of directors of several companies. Nuria received a degree in Economics & Business Administration and an MSc in Economics from the LSE.