Treasury Today Country Profiles in association with Citi

Prudential Corporation Asia, Highly Commended, Best SWIFT Solution

Simon Cole, Reval, Jacqueline Cheng, Richard Shaw, and Bonny Ho, Prudential

This insurance giant decided to partner with a major treasury risk management provider and thirdparty SWIFT service bureau to deliver its solution. The team now process over 1,000 bank statements and monitor exposure against 500+ limits each day.

Photo of Simon Cole, Reval, Jacqueline Cheng, Richard Shaw, and Bonny Ho, Prudential.

Richard Shaw

Director of Treasury

Prudential Corporation Asia is the Asian Regional Division of Prudential plc (United Kingdom) comprising its life insurance operations and its asset management business, Eastspring Investments. It is headquartered in Hong Kong.

in partnership with

The challenge

Prudential’s treasury team in Hong Kong is responsible for monitoring the working capital of its 34 business units across the region. The team ensures that the cash exposures of its business unit balances do not breach the counterparty limits mandated by the company’s risk management policy. Prudential has over 150 bank counterparties in the region and over 1,000 bank accounts.

The treasury team had been monitoring exposures manually. Whilst the team could monitor balances for a small number of global banks on a daily basis, the rest were monitored on a monthly basis, due to the sheer number of banks and a lack of an automated balance reporting infrastructure.

Richard Shaw, Director of Treasury recalls, “The complexity and diversity of our banking footprint across the region meant that we could not build an in-house solution to deliver the services we needed.”

The solution

The Prudential treasury team chose Reval for bank connectivity across the region, leveraging Reval’s STP Community partner Fides, a third-party SWIFT service bureau. As the largest multi-banking service bureau for corporate treasuries, Fides provides connectivity through SWIFT and other networks. Prudential worked closely with Reval and Fides to provide a solution that would deliver a channel for every bank statement. The team now processes over 1,000 bank statements and monitors exposures against over 500 limits on a daily basis.

Prudential implemented Reval to improve:

  • Enterprise-wide cash visibility and liquidity management.

  • Exposure and limit monitoring.

  • Cash flow forecasting – via standardisation across business units and integration with internal systems.

Prudential’s fully automated solution has enabled greater efficiencies, tighter controls and the daily oversight of business unit cash management, short-term investments and cash balances. The solution is also a highly scalable platform that has the capacity to grow with the business. It will be deployed in its country level treasuries, and with expanded functionality as required, including bank reconciliation, cash forecasting, deal workflow management and bank account management.

“I am thrilled to receive this award as it validates the hard work and effort put into creating and implementing this challenging solution, and provides recognition of Prudential’s Treasury capabilities, both inside and outside the organisation.”

Richard Shaw, Director of Treasury, Prudential Corporation Asia

Best practice and innovation

The combination of Prudential’s broad presence across Asia and the technology limitations of some of the region’s smaller banks meant that sourcing and processing bank accounts and cash investments daily and accurately proved very challenging. Prior to working with Reval and its STP Community partner, Fides, this was a monthly, manual, labour intensive process exercise that took multiple days to collate and check exposures against limits. By leveraging technology through Reval, SWIFT and Fides, it is now a daily, automated and robust process and carried out with no increase in headcount.

Shaw concludes: “The project has now moved on to Phase 2. The system is being rolled out within the business units across the region to enable them to leverage and benefit from the existing connectivity and cash visibility, along with additional functionality including standardised cash forecasting processes and automated liquidity management. Reval generated SWIFT payments will be used to help deliver these solutions.”

Key benefits

  • Process efficiencies.

  • Improved control.

  • Highly scalable solution.

  • Reduced working capital levels/increased investment returns.

Key learning points

  • Use your technical expertise and influencing skills to obtain buy in and approval.

  • Be very clear about your objectives from the start, and keep focused on the desired outcomes throughout the project.

  • Ensure that your scope is allocated into meaningful and achievable phases.

  • Ensure dedicated project management resource is provided throughout.

  • Accept that some degree of workaround will be the reality, but automate and contain this to a minimum.

  • Believe in yourself and your project, and keep driving your team towards the desired outcome.

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