Adam Smith Awards Asia

Open to any corporate treasury team that has made an outstanding contribution to its organisation over the past 12-18 months. This award recognises those who have blazed a trail in the world of corporate treasury. This could be purely the treasury team, or a broader team effort involving different disciplines (eg tax, legal, accounting, supply chain logistics, procurement etc) across the enterprise. This award will showcase your team’s achievements – whether it be a complete treasury transformation, the integration of a new acquisition, the delivery of a suite of projects, or addressed skills and training and/or diversity and inclusion to respond to new challenges, or perhaps you have had to respond to a particular crisis; Treasury Today Asia’s Top Treasury Team award is the most coveted.

This category incorporates any solution which demonstrates how the company manages its cash and working capital and makes and receives payments. It could be a simple single country/single currency/single bank solution, or a multi-country/multi-currency/multi-bank solution. It might simply improve cash visibility; show how a hybrid/virtual account structure has been implemented or support a full regional treasury centre (RTC), in-house bank (IHB) or shared service centre (SSC). Perhaps you use APIs and/or on-behalf-of (OBO) structures? Maybe you have established a payment and/or collection factory or perhaps you have implemented a card or virtual card programme? All are valid to win the award in this category.

Most companies deploy some form of pooling solution. This category covers any cash pooling solution; notional and/or physical. It could be a simple single currency/single country solution or regional/global, multi-entity/multi-currency/multi-bank solution. Perhaps your solution crosses time-zones or uses a ‘follow the sun’ arrangement. How is interest reallocation addressed? Tell us your cash pooling story.

This category recognises the efforts of those companies which have embarked upon a transformation of its treasury function. Perhaps this has been the result of a need to replace outdated technology, the integration of a newly acquired company or simply a need to transform the way things are done. It could include a digitisation journey and any treasury transformation project qualifies.

Introduced in 2023 to recognise how some companies are addressing the difficult challenge of forecasting the companies’ cash. This could involve short-term, medium and/or long-term forecasting, the technology and processes deployed, and the scope and scale of the solution implemented. Tell us your cash flow forecasting story.

New for 2024, initial public offerings (IPOs) are an important decision for private companies wishing to seek public investment and the sums are often huge. We recognise the growing importance of IPOs, and the role corporate treasury plays when a decision is made to go public. Preparation is key, so what have you done to engage regulators, credit agencies, exchanges, lawyers, research analysts, bankers and investors. Did you reach the valuation you targeted and was the transaction oversubscribed? Did you conduct a roadshow and which exchange(s) did you choose to list on and why? How have you addressed reporting, accounting and disclosure. How long did the IPO take from decision to listing and live trading? Tell us your story.

This category combines both trade and the supply chain (both financial and physical) to acknowledge the special relationship between buyer and seller. Any solution which addresses the supply chain qualifies for this award. Perhaps your business is looking at reverse supply chain or you have addressed ESG factors in your supply chain. Have you embraced electronic documentation or are you using blockchain to improve the process? Have you implemented a smart solution involving letters of credit, guarantees and/or do you practice open account trading? Have you opened a new trade corridor in an emerging market or perhaps you have implemented a paperless trade solution and/or a supply chain finance solution?

Many corporates are exploring alternative sources of funding, diversifying and/or refinancing their funding sources. Has your company issued commercial paper, medium-term notes or bonds? Perhaps you have looked at financing an acquisition or considered securitisation, crowd funding, peer-to-peer, the private placement market, or green finance? Maybe you have reviewed your funding mix? Whether a single transaction, or as part of a company’s overall debt strategy, this category is open to all types of funding.

Sustainability is a key issue for us all and corporate treasury can play its part too. How are you responding and what has your organisation done to address sustainability and the environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues? Solutions here could include sustainable funds, green bonds, impact investing, active ownership and credits for sustainable projects. Finance related to the mitigation of and/or adaptation to climate change/CO2 emissions also qualify in this category, as do investment strategies which incorporate ESG factors and any other projects which address sustainability in your organisation. Perhaps you have introduced key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure ESG and/or your approach to ESG/CSR has had a positive impact on your credit rating. Maybe you have addressed sustainability in your supply chain strategy? Why not share your story with us.

Risk continues to be top of every treasurer’s agenda; the winning solution could relate to any aspect of risk which arises in the corporate treasury arena. Have you changed the way you control foreign exchange risk, counterparty risk, commodity risk, interest rate risk, cyber risk or your supply chain risk? Does currency volatility open your eyes to new risk management concerns and are you rethinking your hedging strategy? Are you monitoring new risks such as sovereign risk, weather risk, employee risk or perhaps even reputational risk? How have you changed the way you view risk and what are you doing to mitigate fraud?

This category captures any of the more traditional treasury solutions where the use of technology is central. Solutions here could involve a full-blown treasury management system (TMS) and/or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or the use of a single, simple technology solution (eg a netting solution) to address a particular area of treasury.

Introduced last year to address the emerging digital solutions. Have you re-engineered your processes where digitisation is the key enabler? Perhaps the use of APIs is central to your solution, or you have deployed a mobile technology solution. We have heard much about the fintech revolution, open banking, artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, robotics and RPA, APIs, blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies. Has your company moved beyond the ‘proof of concept’ stage and is now using one or more of these emerging fintech/digital solutions? Solutions here could have been developed in collaboration with a fintech, bank or by an in-house innovation team. Perhaps you have transformed your entire treasury function through fintech/digitisation. Tell us your story.

This category was reinstated last year and is open to any company that has implemented a treasury related solution, or is in the process of being implemented, in any of the ten member countries that make up The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This could be a single or multi-country ASEAN solution.

Another reinstated category in 2023 and is open to any treasury in India that has implemented, or is in the process of implementing, a cash/liquidity management, card/e-cash, trade/SCF, WCM/AP/AR, funding/ESG, FX, risk and/or technology/cyber security/fintech solution.

Another reinstated category last year. Open to any treasury in China that has implemented, or is in the process of implementing, a cash/liquidity management, card/e-cash, trade/SCF, WCM/AP/AR, funding/ESG, FX, risk and/or technology/cyber security/fintech solution, will qualify.

This category includes short, medium, and long-term investments to show how organisations have optimised and/or diversified their investment portfolio. How have you addressed the trade-off between yield, liquidity, cash preservation and counterparty risk? Have you explored alternative investment vehicles? How have you leveraged the improving interest rate environment, and have you had to consider the new regulations in the world of liquidity/money market funds (MMFs)? Perhaps you have considered ESG factors when investing. Do you use CNAV, VNAV funds or Low Volatility Net Asset Value (LVNAV) funds? Tell us about your investment strategy and solution(s).

This category includes any solution implemented, or in the process of being implemented, which addresses foreign exchange. It could be a single transaction, to fund an acquisition for example, a suite of transactions or a complete change in your FX strategy or policy, a hedging programme, use of specific instrument(s) or a new FX requirement as a result of entering a new market or dealing with a new currency and/or client/supplier. Have you entered new markets and, if so, how have you dealt with any currency volatility encountered?

Now in its fourth year, this category recognises an individual corporate treasurer who has made a real difference to their organisation. You need to demonstrate real innovation, achievement and someone who is an inspiration in their current role. Do you know a corporate treasurer who is a role model to other treasury personnel? Someone who has overcome real adversity, who may have had a career changing experience, who has helped others or someone who may have demonstrated real leadership? What have they achieved? Why do they stand out? You might be our Corporate Treasurer of the Year, or you might want to nominate someone else. You can attach or submit by email any material to support your nomination.

This category recognises talent coming through the corporate treasury ranks. Have you excelled in a professional qualification? Are you a future Regional/Group Treasurer, Finance Director or CFO? Whilst this category may fit a junior person, later arrivals to the world of corporate treasury are also invited to enter. Nominate yourself or someone you think fits this category and shine a spotlight on your/their talents. You can attach or submit by email any material to support your nomination.

Whilst this is not a category nominees can submit entries for, our judges do recognise solutions which do not fit one of the above categories and/or is something a little bit out of the ordinary or different. It is not awarded every year and is by no means regarded as inferior to the above categories. It provides our judges with the flexibility to recognise a solution which otherwise may be overlooked.
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