The ultimate roadmap was to structure the IHB as a service provider to the affiliates: the IHB will perform all the services that an external bank would normally offer. With the pioneering status of ‘100% IHB’ the team can serve all its affiliates around the world from very restrictive countries, like Pakistan, to (now) ‘bank-free’ countries, like Finland.
In addition to rendering state-of-the-art services to all affiliates around the globe, the IHB Team centrally handles and controls all Roche bank accounts, EMIR and Dodd-Frank reporting, and maintains the infrastructure for internal FX exposure, credit risk and portfolio performance reporting. In the area of core treasury activities, nearly all third-party treasury transactions from deal entry (via online platforms FXAll or 360T) to settlement and confirmations to payment to counterparties are automated. Roche has piloted SAP’s Correspondence Monitor for handling and matching of SWIFT corporate confirmations for FX, money market, and securities. The team currently manages approximately 3,000 treasury transactions and – with an automation rate of 98% – 20,000 IHB transactions a month.
Diagram 1: An innovative global platform for all treasury functions
“Being a centre of excellence and serving as a role model of centralisation within our group, the team is invited to all Roche transactional projects and is perceived as an innovative, reliable business and project partner offering state-of-the-art solutions,” says Schlageter.
In December 2013 Roche received – as one of just two corporates – the approval for RMB cross-border cash pooling and intercompany netting in China which went live in early June 2014.
Best practice and innovation
The two teams managing the IHB comprise 21 dedicated people; with Martin Schlageter, Head of Treasury Operations since 2004, and Alexandra Greiner, Head of Treasury IT since 2006. Together, they formed a dynamic team with a balanced gender mix, representing more than ten nationalities and ages ranging from 20 to 60, coming from a wide array of business, affiliate and IT backgrounds. Besides the people, the guiding force behind the development of the IHB has been the existence of a visionary, long-standing, and finely-tuned roadmap that has remained remarkably consistent since it was first conceived in 2004.
What is particularly noteworthy is the IHB allows Roche to run its comprehensive, global services centralised out of its Basel headquarters with no regional treasury centres required. Another important aspect of its success is the close association between treasury and IT. With this the IHB processes have reached a high level of standardisation and automation which not only grants transparency to group treasury but is absolutely key to continuous innovation.