Adam Smith Awards

Adam Smith Awards sail background

Congratulations to our winners

Adam Smith Awards 2021 logo

2021 Overall Winners and Highly Commended Winners

Congratulations to all our 2021 Adam Smith Awards winners. Watch this space to hear winner podcasts and read their case studies!

Overall Winners

Treasury Today’s Top Treasury Team Award 2021

Winner: Juan Rajlin, Alphabet

Woman of the Year 2021 Winner: Phung Ngo-Burns, Chief Accounting Officer & Treasurer

Treasury Today Woman of the Year 2021

Winner: Phung Ngo-Burns, NexTier Completion Solutions

Phung Ngo-Burns is the 2021 Overall Winner of Treasury Today’s Woman of the Year award. Phung is an outstanding example of a treasury professional who is also a committed member and leader within and outside of her organisations. She is an accomplished financial professional with a proven track record across accounting, finance, control, tax, treasury, audit and SOX activities. Phung has demonstrated success in delivering financial and operating solutions, leading to commercial business development and crisis management in a highly competitive industry. She is a dedicated and consummate professional who is accomplished in building collaborative relationships between finance and operations, whose insights and acumen have delivered significant development projects and in implementing financial strategy.

Read more

Best Cash Management Solution

Winner: Michael Lenaerts, Dana Inc.

Photo of Felix Warmuth, Head of Treasury and Rodrigo Guerra, Head of Corporate Treasury.

Best Working Capital Management Solution

Overall Winner: Felix Warmuth, RHI Magnesita

RHI Magnesita aimed to grow further, both organically and through acquisition. To support that growth, the company embarked on a mission to optimise working capital worldwide, freeing up cash for investments.

Read more
ASA 2021 Best AP/AR Solution Winner: Dubai Municipality

Best AP/AR Solution

Winner: Lubna Khamis Almazrouie, Dubai Municipality

A lack of automation and the heavy use of paper left Dubai Municipality’s finance department facing many challenges, especially in its accounts payable (AP) department. The department had to manage the burden of direct commissioning requests, customers arriving in person to the department’s headquarters to deliver documents and invoices and the ensuing office overcrowding, traffic congestion and risks of valuable information getting lost.

Read more
ASA 2021 Winner Best Card/e-Cash Solution Winner: NexTier Completion Solutions Inc.

Best Card/E-Cash Solution

Winner: Phung Ngo-Burns, NexTier Completion Solutions

Following a series of mergers, most notably between two industry equals, which doubled the size of the company overnight, NexTier Completion Solutions Inc. emerged as the second largest completions services provider in the US OFS space. Because of the company’s frequent and ongoing acquisitions, the corporate treasury team faced the difficult challenge of managing its commercial card, purchase card (P-card), central travel account (CTA) and travel and expense (T&E) card programmes across numerous divisions. Lacking centralisation, these programmes created significant reporting, recording and spend control issues for the team. In addition, manual processes around new card requests and credit line increases with the existing card programme proved cumbersome and time-consuming. The treasury team set an objective to achieve host-to-host connectivity with a new card programme provider to drive a dramatic improvement in automation, while driving operational and financial efficiencies.

Read more

Best Supply Chain Finance Solution

Winner: Julle Pedersen, Bridgestone

Best Funding Solution Winner: Phoenix Group

Best Funding Solution

Winner: Hana Harrison, Phoenix

Buying its biggest competitor* during the outbreak of the global pandemic was truly remarkable. At the time where the regulator recommended to the insurance sector in the UK to think about postponing dividends, Phoenix treasury team was not only dealing with the crisis and business as usual but also structuring innovative deals to enable the funding of a major transformational deal.

Read more
ASA 2021 Best ESG Solution Winner: Etihad Aviation Group

Best ESG Solution

Winner: Marco Simi and Dilip Sanghavi, Etihad Aviation Group

Integrating sustainability has been a key strategy at Etihad for several years. The company has a long-term target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and to reduce 2019 net emissions levels by 50% by 2035. Etihad Airways formed a dedicated Sustainable Development Committee in November 2019 to define, foster and facilitate sustainability efforts within the organisation to ensure social, economic and environmental sustainability.

Read more Listen to podcast
ASA 2021 Best Risk Management Solution Winner: Wärtsilä

Best Risk Management Solution

Winner: Jarmo Nurmi, Wärtsilä

Wärtsilä had concerns when managing changes to supplier master data for payments. It was looking for a more efficient and automated way of validating bank accounts and catching possible fraud attempts before making payments to the many suppliers in their global network.

Read more
ASA 2021 Best Crisis Management Solution Winner: Avis Budget Group

Best Crisis Management Solution

Winner: David Calabria, Tina Daroszewski and Will Fotsch, Avis Budget Group

When COVID-19 struck, Avis Budget Group’s (ABG) business came to a grinding halt as travel, stay at home orders and lockdowns essentially shut down business and leisure travel. During Q2 of 2020 revenue declined by 67%. Hertz, a major competitor, filed for bankruptcy and there were concerns ABG would suffer the same fate. All plans were put on hold and the company quickly decided to focus on four key areas to ensure survival, namely reducing headcount, eliminating non-essential expenditures, reducing fleet and bolstering liquidity.

Read more

Harnessing the Power of Technology

Winner: HCSC – David Deranek, Blue Cross Blue Shield

Best New Technology Solution

Winner: Ryan Yeager, TriNet Group, Inc.

Photo of Heeyong Kwon, Regional Treasurer.

Best Cyber-Security Solution

Winner: Heeyong Kwon, Hyundai Motor Europe

Hyundai Motor’s treasury operations such as payments, collections and liquidity management were decentralised at an entity level. Visibility of funds was not fully secured on a regional level, and liquidity fragmentation was a challenge. This resulted in some imbalance of funding. Payment flows were vulnerable to fraudulent attempts without host-to-host (H2H) connectivity. These issues negatively affected the efficiency of treasury operations and working capital optimisation. Hyundai Motor Europe as European Regional Headquarter in Germany with about 20 employees in the field of financial planning, accounting and treasury operations, was engaged in finding a secure solution to the challenging situation. Four employees are dedicated to managing the treasury operations. Due to the company’s structure, the solution needed to be an automated solution for effective management.

Read more

Best in Class Treasury Solution in the Americas

Winner: Kevin Kachur and Jon Martin, Marathon Petroleum Co.

Best in Class Treasury Solution in the Middle East/UAE

Winner: Abdul Majid Syed, International Company for Water and Power Projects (ACWA Power)

Best in Class Treasury Solution in Africa

Winner: Jan Beukes, MultiChoice Group Ltd.

Best Liquidity Solution

Winner: Stuart Aitken, Mitsui Bussan Commodities Ltd.

Photo of Manuele Rosignoli, FARFETCH.

Best Investing Solution

Overall Winner: Manuele Rosignoli, FARFETCH

During 2020, FARFETCH built up considerable cash reserves of approximately US$1.5bn. Against a backdrop of near-zero global interest rates, the treasury team faced many challenges in managing this substantial cash reserve while ensuring their key treasury objectives were met.

Read more

First Class Relationship Management

Winner: David Pugh, Elanco Animal Health

ASA 2021 Best Foreign Exchange Solution Winner: Tesco plc

Best Foreign Exchange Solution

Winner: Lynda Heywood, Tesco plc.

In early 2020, Tesco agreed to sell its businesses in Thailand and Malaysia to CP Group for US$10.6bn.

Read more
Angela Brown, Continental

A Rising Star

Winner: Angela Brown, Continental

While Angela Brown’s path to success at Continental has been steady, her personal determination and dedication in the face of difficult challenges is noteworthy. Angela’s impressive climb up the leadership ladder has to be viewed in the context of her Herculean responsibilities as a single mother raising a child with a debilitating disease. Following her youngest son’s diagnosis with severe Crohn’s disease, Angela has had to balance the needs of her child with those of the business. The ability to juggle both tasks without short-changing either is a testament to her, and her passion to make a difference.

Read more Listen to podcast
Adam Smith Awards 2021, Corporate Treasurer of the Year 2021, Martin Schlageter, Roche

Corporate Treasurer of the Year 2021

Winner: Martin Schlageter, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd

Martin Schlageter has been a senior leader, and figurehead, in the EMEA corporate cash management and treasury space for the last 20 years. Jointly with his team, he’s shaped Roche’s world-class global treasury and cash management organisation. Martin embraces innovation and throughout his career has been an early adopter of technology to streamline processes.
Read more Listen to podcast

Lifetime Achievement Award

Winner: Microsoft Corporation, George Zinn

Highly Commended Winners

Treasury Today’s Top Treasury Team Award 2021

Highly Commended Winner: NTT Data – Meredith Vance

Woman of the Year 2021 Highly Commended: Nandini Mongia, SVP & Treasurer

Treasury Today Woman of the Year 2021

Highly Commended Winner: Nandini Mongia – Prudential Financial, Inc

Within the insurance field, a largely male dominated space where women represent less than a quarter of senior leadership, Nandini Mongia stands out. In her current role, she is the first woman to hold the role of Treasurer at Prudential and is also the sole female executive on Prudential Global Finance Community’s senior leadership team.

Read more

Best Cash Management Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Rob MacNeil, Cooke Seafood

Photo of Vivi Zhou, Senior Treasury Manager, Paul Miseré, Senior Director Treasury EMEA, Kay Kusters, Senior Finance Business Process Improvement Analyst and John Murray, Director Americas Enterprise & Business Transformation.

Best Working Capital Management Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Paul Miseré, Medtronic

Two years ago, Medtronic announced a global finance optimisation programme with the vision to have a best in class finance team operating with a global mindset and serving as a valued business partner by providing innovative and impactful contributions to further the Medtronic mission. Amongst many other elements, this encompassed a new operating model with re-alignment of global transactional finance activities. To enable this significant change, Medtronic required state-of-the art technology to support its global initiative of improving process efficiency, controls and centralisation.

Read more
Photo of Burc Ulusu, Credit Control & Contract Supervisor and Dilan Narin, Business Controller.

Best Working Capital Management Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Dilan Narin, Atlas Copco Makinalari Imalat A.S.

Atlas Copco has been operating in Turkey since 1950 to help its customers to increase efficiency with sustainable productivity solutions. Its products are sold to the ultimate customer via the following channels: distributors, direct sales and indent sales.

Read more
ASA 2021 Best AP Solution Highly Commended: The Hut Group

Best AP Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Ian Armstrong, The Hut Group

As THG grew, the company developed its marketing and sales strategy to be even more directly integrated with its customers in processes that involved leveraging three distinct strategies: engagement with micro influencers on various social media platforms; the ability to offer services in our consumers’ local language involving partnering with translators through our translation business; to process refunds in a more streamlined and faster way. Challenges posed included refunding customers with no deductions via the same method they paid for goods, and paying suppliers such as influencers and translators for their services, many of whom don’t have traditional bank accounts or were only due “one-off” payments.

Read more
ASA 2021 Best AR Solution Highly Commended: CDK Global, LLC

Best AR Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Kirti Talwar, CDK Global LLC

CDK issues around 27,000 invoices a month. However, the company did not have an automation workflow tool for managing credit and collections activities. Instead, a standalone ticketing system was used to manage activities such as disputes and sending reminders to call customers.

Read more
ASA 2021 Best Card/e-Cash Solution Highly Commended: Royal Palace Furniture

Best Card/E-Cash Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Suman Ghosh, Royal Palace Furniture

During 2020, Royal Palace Furniture successfully converted one line of its fifth production facility, which manufactures non-woven fabric, to address COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) needs by supplying fabric to make face masks. It is this type of business management insight that also led the company to take a step forward, away from the manual cheque processes that are still prevalent in the region.

Read more

Best Supply Chain Finance Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Fabrice d’Agostino, Tetra Pak International SA

Best Supply Chain Finance Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Richard Whiles, Halliburton

Best Funding Solution Highly Commended: Rolls-Royce plc

Best Funding Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Marcus Dix, Rolls Royce plc

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an unprecedented drop in demand for air transport. Rolls-Royce derives around 20% of its revenue based on aero engine flying hours under long-term service agreements with customers. The sustained period of lower traffic and aircraft groundings affected Rolls-Royce as airlines deferred capital expenditure and operated aircraft at reduced capacities, placing pressure on the company’s financial performance, liquidity and free cash flow generation.

Read more
Best Funding Solution Highly Commended: PJSC Lukoil

Best Funding Solution

Highly Commended Winner: PJSC Lukoil

At the time of this transaction the world was in the middle of the COVID-19 global pandemic and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices went into negative territory.

Read more
ASA 2021 Best ESG Solution Highly Commended: Holcim

Best ESG Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Nicolas Vaniet, Holcim

Holcim is striving to become the global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions, shaping a world that works for people and the planet. The company designed a holistic sustainable financing and liquidity management strategy covering communication with bond holders and rating agencies, cash investments, long-term and fi nally short-term funding. Regarding the latter, only few precedents around ESG integration in the commercial paper market exist and the market, whereby large corporates issue securities to fi nance short-term obligations, is renowned for its fast-moving nature.

Read more Listen to podcast
ASA 2021 Best ESG Solution Highly Commended: Royal Schiphol Group N.V.

Best ESG Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Tom Gerritsen, Royal Schiphol Group N.V.

Royal Schiphol Group targets zero emissions and zero waste by 2030 in its portfolio of airports and holds ambitious ‘energy positive’ and ‘circular airports’ targets for 2050. Elsewhere, the company is striving to improve the balance between communities and the airports it operates and help stimulate sustainable aviation in the sector. Schiphol has launched a significant green bond programme, issuing its first €500m green bond in 2018, with a further €750m issued in April 2020 and €500m in September 2020. The proceeds have and will go to support investment in green buildings and clean transportation around the airports.

Read more Listen to podcast
ASA 2021 Best ESG Solution Highly Commended: Dürr AG

Best ESG Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Christian Aue, Dürr AG

Sustainability is a central component of the Dürr Group strategy and the company has played a leading role in tying its cost of financing to sustainable targets and raising awareness of ESG-linked products amongst investors.

Read more Listen to podcast
ASA 2021 Best Risk Management Solution Highly Commended: Microsoft Corporation

Best Risk Management Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Priya Shenoy, Enrique Lara, Taru Rintamaki and Damaris Sardenberg, Microsoft Corporation

The Government of Brazil published a new regulation that stipulates federal (and certain state, local) public sector entities cannot pay for subscription licences/services before usage. The need to comply with this rule is primarily on Microsoft’s partners, since all public sector purchases in Brazil are through partners. This would not only affect potential revenue for Microsoft, but also have a big impact on the working capital of the company’s partners in this sector.

Read more
ASA 2021 Best Crisis Management Solution Highly Commended: Kimberly-Clark Brazil

Best Crisis Management Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Denilson Da Silva, Rodrigo Melecchi, Victor Silva and Paola Capelo, Kimberly-Clark Brazil

In March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic reached Brazil, Kimberly-Clark (K-C) immediately stepped up to ensure that its hygiene products were available to protect families and communities. At the same time, its clients and distributors in Brazil were challenged to manage the unprecedented working capital pressures created by the pandemic.

Read more
ASA 2021 Best Crisis Management Solution Highly Commended: Microsoft Corporation

Best Crisis Management Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Tom Czerwinski and Neil Doyle, Rosa Riveria, Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft’s Global Treasury and Financial Services (GTFS) function manages credit risk, collections, cash application, customised payment solutions, and treasury operations and is responsible for collections of US$100bn+ in yearly sales from hundreds of thousands of customers. GTFS operations is supported by thousands of business processing outsourcing (BPO) staff from Accenture across the globe.

Read more

Harnessing the Power of Technology

Highly Commended Winner: Stacy Liparidis, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Highly Commended Winner: Gerard Tuinenberg, Unilever Finance International AG

Best New Technology Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Maciej Lasek and Ovinder Assi, ACCO Brands

Best New Technology Solution

HIghly Commended Winner: Per Christian Lindgård, Norsk Hydro ASA

Photo of Baris Gokalp, Global Head of Treasury and Cihan Catakli, Financial Technology Expert.

Best Cyber-Security Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Baris Gokalp and Cihan Catakli, TÜRKÌYE ŞÌŞE ve CAM FABRÌKALARI A.Ş.

Şişecam has complex treasury operations in 21 countries, including the countries where it manufactures, but treasury operations are managed from its Turkey HQ. With increasing risk of fraud, risk management across the enterprise had become increasingly problematic.

Read more

Best in Class Treasury Solution in the Americas

Highly Commended Winner: Varun Wadhwa, Fernando Palacios and Jaime Gonzalez, Baker Hughes Company

Best in Class Treasury Solution in the Middle East/UAE

Highly Commended Winner: Marilyn Heng, Capri Sun

Best in Class Treasury Solution in the Middle East/UAE

Highly Commended Winner: Christian Schmahl, Gerald Taylor and Khaled Al Faqsh, Delivery Hero

Best in Class Treasury Solution in Africa

Highly Commended Winner: Wouter Brink, CBRE Excellerate

Best in Class Treasury Solution in Africa

Highly Commended Winner: Rahul Daswani, Microsoft Corporation

Best Liquidity Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Carsten Bork, Bausch Health

Photo of Malcolm Grant and Marion Barre, International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

Best Investing Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Marion Barre and Malcolm Grant, International Organisation for Migration (IOM)

IOM was holding approximately US$1.5bn of excess liquidity across USD, EUR, GBP and other G10 currencies cash balances. The organisation is focused on diversifying and reducing counterparty credit risk within its cash management strategy and liquidity planning and to enhance sustainable development in their portfolio. However, with a small treasury team, very little financial infrastructure and financial regulations that limit the investment to a short term horizon IOM’s cash investment options were limited historically to unsecured bank deposits and money market funds.

Read more
Photo of Stuart Fitzsimmons, Whitbread Group plc.

Best Investing Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Stuart Fitzsimmons and Becki Carroll, Whitbread Group plc

Historically, Whitbread had a very manual process to manage its liquidity. The company was trading for two entities via telephone with seven money market fund providers in EUR and GBP (two of whom were also accessible on a different platform but from which trades did not feed into the TMS automatically), then manually rebooking trades into its TMS to initiate fund payments. With a lean treasury team, increased volatility with cash flows due to the pandemic, and the added challenge of working remotely, Whitbread wanted to automate its investment process, reduce operational risks, increase controls, and implement system connectivity within its cash management process.

Read more

First Class Relationship Management

Highly Commended Winner: Pritesh Vadolia, Tesco plc.

ASA 2021 Best Foreign Exchange Solution Highly Commended: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

Best Foreign Exchange Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Michael Ben Moshe, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is operating globally, with exposure to more than 50 currencies. The company is relatively leveraged and sensitive to cash flow. Risk modelling is a material challenge since it relies on forecasting and involves a large number of currencies (many times correlated to each other) with different market conditions and sometimes major volatilities.

Read more
SASA 2021 Best Foreign Exchange Solution Highly Commended: Medtronic

Best Foreign Exchange Solution

Highly Commended Winner: Vivi Zhou, Matt Eidem and Tim Husnik, Medtronic

The FX risk management team at Medtronic envisioned a dream state for balance sheet hedging. The legacy state contained many disparate systems (ERP, TMS, FX risk management platform, FX trading platform) that were not speaking to each other. This resulted in large amounts of time working manually, downloading data from all these systems, uploading to another, and reconciling. The FX risk management team desired a ‘one-stop shop’ where the Medtronic FX risk management platform was fully connected to all the disparate technology systems. The second goal was to eliminate several low value-add, manual processes.

Read more