Treasury Today Country Profiles in association with Citi


Atos, Highly Commended, Best Short-term Investing Solution

Photo of Thomas Boutard, Atos.

This is an innovative solution for Atos – a Chinese Yuan (CNY) money market fund (MMF) auto-transfer service. The tailored solution enables Atos to automatically invest surplus operating cash into a high-yield CNY MMF.

Photo of Thomas Boutard, Atos.

Thomas Boutard

APAC Treasurer

Atos is a European provider of IT services, specialising in high-tech transactional services, unified communications, cloud, big data and cyber-security. Atos has over 100,000 employees across 72 countries and generated €12bn in global annual revenues in 2016.

Ground-breaking CNY MMF auto-transfer solution in China

The challenge

Atos’ Asia Pacific treasury team, which is based in China, is always seeking newer ways to centralise and automate its short-term surplus cash and investments and capitalise on opportunities to enhance yields on cash beyond the daily operating levels.

“In particular, the team was looking for a solution to maximise returns on our surplus operating cash without compromising funding needs,” says Thomas Boutard, APAC Treasurer.

The solution

Long-time banking partner J.P. Morgan designed a first-of-its-kind solution in China for Atos – a Chinese Yuan (CNY) money market fund (MMF) auto-transfer service.

The tailored solution enabled Atos to automatically invest surplus operating cash into a high-yield CNY MMF managed by J.P. Morgan’s China International Fund Management Co Ltd (CIFM). This was made possible by connecting Atos’ existing CNY zero-balance header cash pooling structure it held with J.P. Morgan China, with CIFM.

Atos is now able to automatically initiate the investment and redemption services once their operating cash levels reach a predefined threshold, allowing the company to:

  • Maximise yields by investing surplus cash in CNY MMF.

  • Automate redemption from MMF to meet operational funding requirements.

  • Access daily reporting on MMF investment activities with CIFM through a single platform via J.P. Morgan ACCESS® Liquidity Management Solutions.

Best practice and innovation

By implementing this ground-breaking CNY MMF auto-transfer solution in China, Atos has been able to leverage synergies across the bank’s cash management and fund distribution businesses to significantly reduce manual efforts in forecasting, enable tracking and initiate MMF investment activities, and most importantly, maximise yields on their surplus cash to meet operational funding requirements.

The bank designed the bespoke solution with Atos’ key objectives in mind, as well as a clear understanding of its payment and collection cycles. As Atos receives regular and ad hoc vendor payments during the week, cash accumulates as the weekend approaches. The solution ensures account balances are checked every Thursday to identify accumulated surplus above the threshold, and MMF orders are placed on Fridays to generate maximum yields over the week.

The solution required close collaboration between J.P. Morgan China and CIFM, which are separate legal entities, to design and connect their back-end systems to allow the automated fund transfers to take place.

Key benefits

  • Maximising yields on daily surplus cash, based on a set of predefined thresholds. Atos has the flexibility to invest in MMF tenors that provide the highest yields on their cash.

  • Eliminating manual processes related to forecasting, tracking and initiating MMF investment and redemption activities, thereby reducing errors.

  • Reduction in manual paperwork as documentations are set up on a one-time basis.

  • Access to detailed reporting on daily cash balances and investment activities improving visibility and enhancing convenience.