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A celebration of innovation and resilience

Published: Jan 2023

Back in person for the first time since the global pandemic, Treasury Today Group’s Adam Smith Awards Asia 2022 celebration dinner in Singapore was a joyous occasion. Our congratulations to this year’s winners.

For the first time since 2019, Treasury Today Group’s community from across the APAC region gathered in Singapore at the end of last year for our 2022 awards at the iconic Raffles Hotel. Much more than just a networking opportunity, the evening combined with a delicious dinner and was a chance for corporate treasurers to receive their awards in person in the company of their peers, colleagues, and partners.

The Adam Smith Awards Asia showcases innovative solutions produced by treasuries both large and small, and since its launch has become recognised as the premier event in the APAC treasury calendar, setting the benchmark for the entire industry. Competition for our 2022 awards season drew over 400 nominations from 23 different countries with submissions coming from a wide range of global corporates, national companies and government departments.

Overall Winners and Highly Commended Winners across 21 categories, all demonstrating the very best and brightest in treasury, were invited on stage alongside their banking partners by our Publishers Sophie Jackson and Meg Coates to receive their awards. Above all, our 2022 winners showcased the role of treasury as a strategic partner, constantly challenged to deliver better and more innovative solutions to support corporate growth in Asia’s fast growing, innovative and best-known companies.

The event began with a lively drinks reception. Extending a warm welcome to guests, Meg and Sophie gave full acknowledgement to the tremendous upheavals and challenges faced by everyone in recent times and acknowledged the strength of this year’s winners. After the reception, guests made their way to their tables for treasury’s best and brightest to collect their awards and enjoy dinner to ringing applause. Their achievements and comments included below represent just a selection of the success stories and comments from the evening. Further details of each winning solution or personal award can be found on Treasury Today’s website.

Applause

Indian multinational Infosys Ltd scooped the award for Treasury Today Asia’s Top Treasury Team 2022. Treasury at the IT group has undergone a transformation over the last two years, successfully delivering a package of solutions spanning FX and working capital management, investment management and cash flow forecasting. The sweeping digitisation and automation programme has left the company’s systems and processes stronger and minimised manual intervention, said Sachin Chougule, Associate Vice President, Finance & Treasurer, Infosys Limited, who flew from Bangalore to collect the award.

“The Adam Smith Awards Asia are the industry benchmark for best practice and exceptional solutions in treasury, so winning this global and prestigious award is a great moment us,” he said. “It’s testimony of our industry leading treasury solutions, best practices, and achievements. It also represents our constant efforts towards being resilient and evolving.”

Digital transformation was also recognised at DT One, the world’s largest B2B network of non-cash micropayments and digital pre-pay partners, winner of our Best Digitisation Solution. Indian multinational Adani Group, which scooped Highly Commended for the same category, has also made digitisation a key tenet of recent strategy, said Nitin Sethi, Chief Digital Officer, Consumer Businesses, at Adani Digital Labs who collected the award.

“I am honoured that our efforts to build a secure digital solution have been recognised at the Adam Smith Awards Asia,” said Sethi. “It’s always encouraging to know that your initiative to enable and support the industry is moving in the right direction. The success of Adani Digital Labs is rooted in enriching customer experiences. For us, our association with Citi Pine Labs has empowered our customers and is instrumental in elevating our digital transformation journey.”

Best Foreign Exchange Solution went to Xiaomi Corporation. With an increasing global footprint, Xiaomi faced the challenge of effectively managing its exposures in multiple currencies; overseeing FX risks while remaining competitive in product pricing and honouring the company’s commitment to ‘provide the best quality at honest pricing.’

Sustainable

Our award for Best Sustainable Treasury Solution attracted some of our strongest 2022 nominations. The award was ultimately won by Lendlease Global Commercial REIT, for a sustainability-linked loan (SLL) to finance a mall acquisition in a debt solution of SG$860m – a size that was almost as large as LREIT’s market capitalisation at that time.

Highly Commended in the same category went to Louis Dreyfus Company India as the first corporate entity in South and South-East Asia to execute a trade ESG financing transaction for cotton procurement, focused on ensuring proper checks and balances are in place for ESG classification. “This accolade is a testament to the commitment we value, and we look forward to expanding more sustainable financing to carry out our mission and realise our purpose, for the benefit of current and future generations,” said Vinit Mishra, Louis Dreyfus Company, who collected the award. Elsewhere in our sustainability category, PureCircle, a subsidiary of Ingredion, was also recognised for its innovation around stevia sweeteners for the food and beverage industry. PureCircle has introduced a sustainable supply chain finance programme for the company’s Chinese farmers of stevia leaf, the natural sweetener and sugar substitute.

Save the Children

Meg and Sophie were particularly thrilled to present global charity Save the Children a Special Recognition Award for its treasury’s work helping families and children in Pakistan. Working with Standard Chartered Bank, Save the Children introduced a Mobile Wallet Payment (MWP) solution enabling the charity to transfer cash to the intended beneficiaries. The Mobile Wallet Payment used the straight through processing (STP) of the S2B (Straight2Bank) channel while collaborating with a Mobile Wallet Service Provider to reach target beneficiaries through 150,000+ cash outlets.

Other winners included Bridgestone Asia Pacific, a subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the global leader in tyres and rubber, scooping Best in Class Regional/Global Treasury Solution. “We are truly honoured and humbled with this recognition. It reflects the great collaboration efforts among the team to get us to where we are today. This award will motivate us as we continue with our transformation,” said Daniel Teo Thiam Guan, CFO, Bridgestone Asia Pacific Pte.

Highly Commended Winner of the same category went to auto industry manufacturer Garrett Motion, where Treasury Manager, APAC, Flora Yao, commented, “It is a great honour to win an Adam Smith Award, as our efforts are recognised by the professionals in the industry. It’s truly empowering to see the strategic role that our regional treasury team can play to deliver to the needs of the broader franchise.”

Our Judges’ Choice this year was collected by the team at Olam Group for an impressive debt portfolio restructuring project. The treasury team at Vinson Holdings won Overall Winner, Best Treasury Transformation, while Marsh McLennan, ST Engineering, Lendlease, Rio Tinto, Kimly Construction, BP Singapore, Intel Corporation, Nike, GSK, TFG Marine plus many more, were acknowledged across our award categories to resounding applause. Gwendolyne Ng, Treasury Manager at Danone was recognised as our 2022 Rising Star, and Joseph Chua at Lenovo was awarded Corporate Treasurer of the Year.

As part of our Adam Smith Awards Asia 2022 programme, we will run a series of winner podcasts, delving deeper into each winning solution with our Overall Winners, Highly Commended Winners, and their key partners. We will also produce case studies on all our award winners.

As the celebrations ended, the winners and their partners reflected on their achievements and successes in an uplifting end to an evening which saw the treasury community come together in person again. Perhaps Hariharan Subramanian, Senior Treasury Manager at IT multinational Cognizant Technology Solution in Kuala Lumpur, winner of Best in Class In-Country Treasury Solution, comment best-summed up the joyous evening of best practice, community, and partnership. “With collaboration between the right banking partners and everchanging technology, we can implement innovative and value driven treasury solutions in a challenging environment.”

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