Adam Smith Awards 2018 winner group photo

Adam Smith Awards 2018 winners

Overall and Highly Commended Winners

This year the standard was exceptionally high, with over 200 nominations received from 35 countries. All Overall Winners and Highly Commended Winners were presented with their awards at the prestigious Adam Smith Awards Gala Presentation Lunch at Plaisterers’ Hall in London on Thursday 21st June. Scroll down to see all the winners 

Overall Winners

Treasury Today’s Top Treasury Team 2018

Highly Commended: Ball Corporation

Winner: Michael Brown and Team, Digital Realty Trust

Multiple challenges met by multiple projects delivering fantastic results: it’s all possible if the team pulls together.

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Treasury Today’s Woman of the Year 2018

Highly Commended: Amanda Schreiber

Winner: Elena P. LaFrance, Alkermes E

Elena P. LaFrance has a unique ability to combine excellence in treasury with exceptional leadership, coupled with her personal drive and tireless work to offer opportunities to others. She is a true example of a business leader who has gone way above and beyond in order to drive forward business but also to pave the way for the next generation.

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Judges’ Choice

Winner: Dennis Crispin, Microsoft Financing Assistant Bot

Microsoft’s treasury team has built a robot, named Leonard, that has enabled it to optimise resources by dealing with stakeholder questions. By using AI, Leonard is constantly learning and will increasingly add value to Microsoft making it an indispensable member of the treasury team.

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Best Cash Management Solution

Highly Commended: ConocoPhillips, ASICS Europe B.V, Grifols

Winner: Nirpal Bhiraj, Inchcape Shipping Services

ISS’s new systems infrastructure is provided by TreasuryXpress. They needed a solution that would support a new centralised treasury organisation, supplemented by a payment factory and central hub for connectivity with their banks, supported by an in-house bank. Once all stages of the project are complete, they will have completely eliminated the manual elements of their treasury processes.

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Best Liquidity Management Solution

Highly Commended: IAC/InterActiveCorp

Winner: Vanessa Edesa Verde, Iberdrola SA

Iberdrola’s unique solution gives it centralised liquidity and a genuinely global view of the company’s cash through one global platform. This has resulted in the more efficient management of currency flows and mitigated the number of intercompany loans it has to make, both of which have led to cost savings.

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Best Short-Term Investing Solution

Winner: Sean Privilege, John Lewis Partnership

The John Lewis treasury team challenged its investment policy and worked with its partner to find alternative short-term investment solutions that make its cash work harder.

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Best Working Capital Management Solution

Highly Commended: Baloise Group, British American Tobacco

Winner: Rahul Daswani, Microsoft

Microsoft has created ‘Payment Solutions as a Strategic Business Partner’. This flexible solution incorporates many facets but is already making great headway with customers

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Best AP Solution

Highly Commended: Adient Slovakia s.r.o., Bristol-Myers Squibb

Winner: Irena Žáčková, Euro-Center Holding SE

With expansive operations, sometimes requiring urgent payments in exotic currencies, Euro-Center Holding faced mounting AP complexity. Here’s how it tackled the issues.

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Best AR Solution

Highly Commended: Brembo SpA

Winner: Nishat Neelay Deshmukh, Maersk Kanoo Emirates LLC

With manual processes a mainstay in its cash collections process, Maersk Kanoo Emirates wanted to serve its customers more efficiently. A full digitisation programme has changed the customer experience beyond recognition.

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First Class Relationship Management

Highly Commended: Thyssenkrupp AG

Winner: Jörg Bermüller, Merck KGaA

Working with its partners, Merck has implemented a world-class TMS system that has delivered tremendous value for the company. Many of the processes and functionality within Merck’s system has also been adopted by its TMS provider as standard, delivering benefit to the entire industry.

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Best Trade/Supply Chain Finance Solution

Highly Commended: Metso Corporation, Energy of Cameroon SA (ENEO SA), Mubadala Investment Company

Winner: David Sather, Brake Parts Inc LLC

When BPI tackled working capital management problems stemming from slow collections, its far-reaching factoring solution benefitted suppliers, itself and its shareholders.

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Best Card Solution

Highly Commended: Sodexo, Microsoft

Winner: Alexander van den Heuvel, Royal DSM

Royal DSM uses meetings and events to help its growth plans. With traditional card payments to suppliers unable to satisfy its needs, it turned to two quite different suppliers to help create a unique platform covering all bases.

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Best Funding Solution

Highly Commended: Royal FrieslandCampina, Toyota Financial Services, SAP SE

Winner: Giuseppe Amodio, STMicroelectronics

This is the largest convertible bond offering in EMEA since 2015 and through a mix of strategy with the Soft Call exercise, market timing of the new issuance and most market friendly features of the CB, ST was finally able to refinance US$1.2bn at 0%.

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Best Foreign Exchange Solution

Highly Commended: Flex, Pall Corporation

Winner: John Goodson, NIKE Inc.

Best Risk Management Solution

Highly Commended: Merck Business Services/Business Technology, National Express

Winner: Marc Andre Mohn, adidas AG

This global sports company has implemented a solution to greatly improve how it manages its currency risk management globally and transacts in more than 50 currency pairs. A real team effort involving group treasury financial operations, group IT, group treasury front office and their strategic partner.

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Harnessing the Power of Technology

Highly Commended: Adobe, AkzoNobel N.V., Microsoft

Winner: Ed Barrie, Tableau Software, Inc.

Tableau Software’s in-house built solution has given it 99.9% daily automated visibility to global cash and investment balances. This has allowed the treasury to create significant improvements around its short-term cash flow forecast, leading to cost savings and a treasury team better placed to support the business.

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Harnessing the Power of Emerging Technology

Highly Commended: Deliveroo, Population Services Kenya

Winner: Shona Blackmore, Carnival UK

The treasury team at Carnival took the bold decision to suspend a struggling payments project and start afresh. Exploring how they could apply emerging technology to an age-old challenge in their industry, they selected a new payments rail developed by a financial technology company.

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Best SWIFT Solution

Highly Commended: Microsoft, Mubadala Investment Company

Winner: Pierre Hautfenne, Umicore

The global deployment of SWIFT has enhanced connectivity across the Umicore Group and served as the basis for the implementation of an efficient and best in class cash management structure globally.

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Best in Class Treasury Solution in the Middle East

Highly Commended: EQUATE Petrochemical Company, Chalhoub Group, Sharjah Finance Department, Government of Sharjah

Winner: Robert Etman, Alghanim Industries

This is a project in payment process excellence which has completely transformed how this Kuwait-headquartered company manages its payments by leveraging SWIFT.

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Best in Class Treasury Solution in Africa

Highly Commended: NSSF Uganda, Vivo Energy Africa Services

Winner: Anneli Walltott, Sandvik

By taking a comprehensive and unwavering approach to achieving its centralisation, cash, liquidity and risk management objectives, Sandvik’s project illustrates that although treasury optimisation in Africa can be challenging, treasurers can achieve comparable benefits to other regions.

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One to Watch

Highly Commended: Endemol Shine Group, Shell Treasury Centre Ltd

Winner: Andrew Girardi/Bob Worthington, DowDuPont/FMC Corporation

Cooperation between two treasury departments of major corporations facilitated the smooth completion of one of the world’s biggest mergers in remarkable time.


The DuPont Oval Logo is a trademark of DuPont or its affiliates

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A Rising Star

Winner: Dominique Cachelin, Samsung

At the age of 24 Dominique Cachelin, Treasury Manager at Samsung has already obtained a wealth of treasury experience and expertise. This has seen him capture the attention and gain the trust and respect of senior management, quickly rising up the ranks. He is certainly is a rising star in the industry.

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Highly Commended Winners

Treasury Today’s Top Treasury Team 2018

Winner: Digital Realty Trust

Highly Commended: Jeff A. Knobel, Ball Corporation

Combining two treasuries, upgrading technologies, consolidating banks: here’s how one team has tackled the lot in one go. It has created a remarkable modern treasury for its effort.

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Treasury Today’s Woman of the Year 2018

Winner: Elena P. LaFrance

Highly Commended: Amanda Schreiber, ICU Medical

In one of the most impressive and fast upward career trajectories imaginable, Amanda Schreiber has achieved great things in very little time! She is fearless in her pursuit of excellence, understanding that if you fear failure, you won’t succeed

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Best Cash Management Solution

Winner: Inchcape Shipping Services

Highly Commended: Judy Bouchard, ConocoPhillips

For several decades, ConocoPhillips’ cash management and banking functions, which included cash positioning, investments, foreign exchange trading, bank account administration and debt administration, were split between the company’s headquarters in Houston and offices in London. This project migrated the entire cash management and banking team to Houston in just six months.

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Best Cash Management Solution

Winner: Inchcape Shipping Services

Highly Commended: Marco Schuchmann, ASICS Europe B.V

The most impressive aspect of this initiative has been the remarkable speed in which it has been accomplished. For a company of this size and global scope to have completed such a significant treasury transformation within a two-year timeframe is simply put – remarkable. A combination of strong leadership, a keen vision for how significant treasury improvement could be achieved, and a fruitful collaboration between ASICS’s treasury team and J.P. Morgan’s team at both headquarters and regional levels was key to the success.

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Best Cash Management Solution

Winner: Inchcape Shipping Services

Highly Commended: Nuria Pascual, Grifols

Grifols decided to implement a single SAP enterprise resource planning system for the entire Grifols group of companies. To date, 14 countries are using the system with another four ready to come on line. To gain more control over liquidity, it established a single-entity multicurrency notional pooling scheme located in the UK with sweeping structures to concentrate liquidity from local accounts of their business entities. This allows the company to manage its cash positions in various currencies more efficiently.

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Best Liquidity Management Solution

Winner: Iberdrola SA

Highly Commended: Nick Stoumpas, IAC/InterActiveCorp

IAC has implemented a multi-entity, multi-currency notional pool that has delivered tremendous benefits and helped the company meet its aggressive growth strategy around the world.

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Best Working Capital Management Solution

Winner: Microsoft

Highly Commended: Joris Müller, Baloise Group

Legacy system inefficiency, customer expectations and regulatory pressure were among the drivers for Baloise to bring its infrastructure up to date. Here’s how it achieved so much more.

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Best Working Capital Management Solution

Winner: Microsoft

Highly Commended: Philip Stewart, British American Tobacco

In seeking to generate improved working capital, BAT wanted to achieve straight through processing, automation and the flexibility to be able to release working capital when needed, even to counterparts with whom it had no existing credit relationship. Here’s how the company did it.

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Best AP Solution

Winner: Euro-Center Holding SE

Highly Commended: Peter Kováč, Adient Slovakia s.r.o.

With an established SSC, Adient wanted to pool decentralised finance activities into a standardised process, providing greater transparency over all incoming invoices. Automation was the answer.

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Best AP Solution

Winner: Euro-Center Holding SE

Highly Commended: Dr Sara Friedlander, Bristol-Myers Squibb

With globally inconsistent card acceptance causing a range of process issues, this company sought a unified solution and discovered a host of new benefits.

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Best AR Solution

Winner: Maersk Kanoo Emirates LLC

Highly Commended: Giancarlo Cicuttini, Brembo SpA

With a completely manual credit collection booking process, automation was the obvious answer for the Italian manufacturer of automotive brake systems, Brembo. Here is how it achieved some considerable savings.

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First Class Relationship Management

Winner: Merck KGaA

Highly Commended: Peter Kellner, thyssenkrupp AG

A first class relationship between thyssenkrupp and its technology vendor helped it revolutionise its disparate and complex IT infrastructure and build a best in class IT infrastructure.

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Best Trade/Supply Chain Finance Solution

Winner: Brake Parts Inc LLC

Highly Commended: Minna Helppi, Metso Corporation

In seeking to offer supply chain finance to all of its suppliers, regardless of size, Metso has created a uniquely flexible offering that delivers advantages to all parties.

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Best Trade/Supply Chain Finance Solution

Winner: Brake Parts Inc LLC

Highly Commended: Brigitte Konso Epse Yanda, Energy of Cameroon SA (ENEO SA)

Faced with funding essential nationwide power supply improvements, Eneo in Cameroon has deployed a solution that helps its suppliers and its own working capital positions so all can get on with the vital infrastructure work.

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Best Trade/Supply Chain Finance Solution

Winner: Brake Parts Inc LLC

Highly Commended: Asma Al Suwaidi, Mubadala Investment Company

Playing its part in funding Abu Dhabi’s strategic vision, Mubadala Investment Company structured and implemented an innovative supply chain finance that not only ensured project suppliers and contractors were protected but also generated so far some US$60m of value for itself.

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Best Card Solution

Winner: Royal DSM

Highly Commended: Steven Booth, Sodexo

Refinements to Sodexo’s travel booking system has made some significant savings and provided it with detailed sources of data, delivering further finance department efficiencies.

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Best Card Solution

Winner: Royal DSM

Highly Commended: Adam Smith, Microsoft

Microsoft has taken a complex and disparate card payments system and simplified it into a single card mechanism that has saved its procurement team over 78,000 days annually and more than US$1m of operational costs.

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Best Funding Solution

Winner: STMicroelectronics

Highly Commended: David Tillmanns, Royal FrieslandCampina

This funding solution, provided by ABN AMRO and the European Investment Bank, responds to a specific need among the farming community and helps to reduce CO2 emissions.

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Best Funding Solution

Winner: STMicroelectronics

Highly Commended: Norman Brem, Toyota Financial Services

This is an impressive use of US commercial paper programmes as alternative sources of funding, which have realised combined savings of US$2.9m.

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Best Funding Solution

Winner: STMicroelectronics

Highly Commended: Klaus Heizmann, SAP SE

In eight weeks SAP set up the leanest acquisition finance arrangement ever put in place with a full exclusion of syndication. No separate FX hedging for a consideration of US$2.4bn, an excellent timing of the issuance and an extraordinary outcome regarding execution, investor demand and final pricing made this acquisition finance a real success.

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Best Foreign Exchange Solution

Winner: NIKE Inc.

Highly Commended: Nidhi Sharma, Flex

Flex’s treasury manages an extensive balance sheet and cash flow hedging programme. Here’s how it went from fragmented manual processing to automated end-to-end processing.

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Best Foreign Exchange Solution

Winner: NIKE Inc.

Highly Commended: Meena Balakrishnan and Graham Kendall, Pall Corporation

With over 80,000 intracompany transactions each month on over 18 active currencies, Pall Corporation looked to a four-way partnership to deliver its best of breed multi-currency netting system.

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Best Risk Management Solution

Winner: adidas AG

Highly Commended: Salvatore LoBosco, Merck Business Services/Business Technology

Merck has successfully automated its credit management processes by implementing a SAP-embedded solution delivered by Serrala. The positive effects for the daily work of Merck’s credit managers are remarkable; processing time for customer credit checks are reduced from six weeks to just one to three days.

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Best Risk Management Solution

Winner: adidas AG

Highly Commended: Michael Payne, National Express

The solution enables National Express to more effectively control financial risk and ensure pricing from their financial counterparties is on-market before entering into a trade. The ability to monitor counterparty risk on a continuous basis provides them with the best chance of avoiding a credit event due to the failure or significant downgrade of one of their financial counterparties. They also track changes in commodity prices, which helps in hedging their fuel exposures.

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Harnessing the Power of Technology

Winner: Tableau Software, Inc.

Highly Commended: Susan Chan, Adobe

Adobe has managed to automate between 95% and 98% of AP and AR processes using an innovative connectivity module. The bank agnostic solution also has scope for future benefits.

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Harnessing the Power of Technology

Winner: Tableau Software, Inc.

Highly Commended: Paul Waldenmaier, AkzoNobel N.V.

AkzoNobel set up a brand new treasury entity to supports its recently spun off chemicals division in a rapid six-month timeframe.

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Harnessing the Power of Technology

Winner: Tableau Software, Inc.

Highly Commended: Edward Lu, Microsoft

Microsoft’s Worldwide Payment Solutions (WPS) team’s internal process for providing payment solutions to its customers was not always straightforward. In an effort to change, this the team has built an in-house system that transforms the process and brings a multitude of benefits to treasury and the business.

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Harnessing the Power of Emerging Technology

Winner: Carnival UK

Highly Commended: Imane Aztout, Deliveroo

By connecting to its global banking partner through an API, Deliveroo has been able to transform its payment processes. This has brought with it increased transparency and efficiency, whilst also improving the experience of working for Deliveroo for its employees.

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Harnessing the Power of Emerging Technology

Winner: Carnival UK

Highly Commended: Alex Njeru, Population Services Kenya

PSK is one of the first corporates in Africa to leverage API connectivity with its banking partner. Doing so has transformed its payment process and allowed the company to continue to scale.

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Best SWIFT Solution

Winner: Umicore

Highly Commended: Jennifer Chisholm, Microsoft

By working with its vendors to change its FX trade file format to SWIFT, Microsoft found a quick and easy way to generate time savings and drive greater transparency across its FX process. The end result is more reliable reporting, significantly reduced errors, and greater ability to quickly identify and resolve issues.

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Best SWIFT Solution

Winner: Umicore

Highly Commended: Raed Alawadhi, Mubadala Investment Company

Following a merger, Mubadala Investment Company decided to join SWIFT to achieve daily visibility over its 600-plus bank accounts and utilise electronic payments and fund transfers. This has laid the foundation for the transformation of Mubadala Treasury into an in-house bank capable of addressing the liquidity needs of the company’s internal and external stakeholders.

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Best in Class Treasury Solution in the Middle East

Winner: Alghanim Industries

Highly Commended: Nayef Al-Smairi, EQUATE Petrochemical Company

This is an extensive treasury transformation project which has created an entirely new treasury structure and moves treasury from a cost centre to value-added service centre.

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Best in Class Treasury Solution in the Middle East

Winner: Alghanim Industries

Highly Commended: James Adams, Chalhoub Group

With this solution, Chalhoub Group now has a treasury that can support the company through the various economic challenges and “new normal” that has been developing in the local Middle Eastern region. In hindsight, the timing of this treasury solution was ideal and permitted a high level of support that would not have been possible just a few years ago.

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Best in Class Treasury Solution in the Middle East

Winner: Alghanim Industries

Highly Commended: Sean De Silva, Sharjah Finance Department, Government of Sharjah

This is a collaborative solution between Sharjah Finance Department, its TMS provider and banking partner to deliver a comprehensive solution in the UAE.

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Best in Class Treasury Solution in Africa

Winner: Sandvik

Highly Commended: Bernadette Nassuna, NSSF Uganda

This NSSF Uganda solution resonates with NSSF’s vision of being the social security provider of choice by paying benefits within 24 hours. This serves as the quality accreditation for a cutting-edge solution that has solved real challenges in a dynamic African market.

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Best in Class Treasury Solution in Africa

Winner: Sandvik

Highly Commended: Issam Sadiq, Vivo Energy Africa Services

This solution delivers some impressive benefits to Vivo Energy across a broad range of countries in the continent of Africa.

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One to Watch

Winner: DowDuPont/FMC Corporation

Highly Commended: Dave van der Zwan, Endemol Shine Group

With a growing business it was time for Endemol Shine’s treasury to take control by driving improvements right across the department. This impressive transformation happened in four months and has already delivered many benefits, with plenty more to come.

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One to Watch

Winner: DowDuPont/FMC Corporation

Highly Commended: Darsh Johal, Shell Treasury Centre Ltd

Shell is currently in the midst of an extensive and revolutionary treasury digitisation project as it looks to harness the latest technology in order to remain one of the world’s leading treasury teams.

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