Best in Class Treasury Solution in Africa Winner: MultiChoice Group Limited

Published: Sep 2021


Photo of Jan Beukes, Group Treasurer.

Jan Beukes

Group Treasurer

in partnership with


Working from home not a barrier to this progressive treasury team

The challenge

The overarching challenge experienced by Jan Beukes, Group Treasurer was that he and his team had a list of projects to deliver whilst everybody was working from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. His team continues to work from home so the successful implementation of the many projects that have been delivered is a marvellous achievement.

The solution

Beukes and his team have been extremely productive as the following projects demonstrate. They facilitated funding of US$81m in MultiChoice Group Limited’s M&A cycle, allowing the successful implementation of a minority stake investment. They also raised and implemented a R1.5bn (US$100m) working capital facility for MultiChoice Group Limited within just five weeks which was used for key working capital cash flows.

The team implemented automated FX confirmations incorporating FX flows/transactions from 13 different banking partners in South Africa, Rest of Africa and the Netherlands.

“We also set up a notional interest pool and target balancing structure for our technology company, Irdeto BV headquartered in the Netherlands optimising interest yield across ten different countries and nine currencies,” explains Beukes.

They raised and implemented a US$285m bank guarantee structure for the group, facilitating further working capital flows and commitments.

Beukes also addressed his staff development with the introduction of his group treasury rotational staff structure. The structure allows for an annual rotation between the two Senior Treasury Analysts (who report to Beukes), while the two supporting staff members within the Senior Treasury Analysts’ team rotates every two years. This ensures that the entire team gets exposure to all functional treasury areas over time which is often difficult in traditional treasury team structures.

Other projects delivered include FX dashboards to aid the company’s hedging activities, the integration of several external processes and systems into the treasury management system (TMS) and a custom-built hedge accounting solution within the TMS whereby executed trades are matched to FX exposure items and IFRS 9 Hedge Accounting documentation is produced, populated and related journals are provided for upload into SAP. Further developments were also made to the company’s cash forecasting system which provides significant insight into variances and understanding forecasted flows in great detail.

Best practice and innovation

The key takeaway from these solutions is that nothing is impossible. As with many other teams, working from home brought significant challenges but this did not deter Beukes and his team from achieving these key initiatives during the past 12 months.

There has been a significant drive within the treasury team to automate via value-adding technologies, thereby creating additional capacity and efficiencies within the team. The efficiencies gained from these actions provides them more time to engage with their business partners, get more regular updates on any of their key needs/requirements and where they as a treasury team can add value. This results in group treasury functioning as a strategic and value add partner instead of a mere operational cost centre.

Every year it has a strategic objective to track the team’s value across the group and ensure it remains on par if not above its treasury peers across the globe on how to manage risk and deploy innovative solutions.

Key benefits

  • Additional US$100m of working capital unlocked.
  • Increased automation.
  • FX hedging analyses, decision making and reporting improved.
  • Enhanced cash forecasting capabilities.
  • Interest optimised.
  • Long-term team development.

“It has been a fantastic year for the team in so many aspects and our actions and achievements will continue to provide motivation going forward. The past 12 months will be a constant reminder that nothing is impossible and you can achieve anything when working as a team. Having a service mindset is the cornerstone to a strategic and value-add treasury department and we will continue to do that in everything we do,” concludes Beukes.

The Adam Smith Awards is the industry benchmark for best practice and innovation in corporate treasury. The 2021 Awards attracted a record-breaking 309 nominations spanning 40 countries. To find out more please visit: https://treasurytoday.com/adam-smith-awards.

Sam Cox

EMEA Cash Management Sales, Treasury and Trade Solutions

MultiChoice and Citi collaborated to meet their goal of improving liquidity, operational and financial management through a fully automated liquidity solution for the Group’s Dutch subsidiary, Irdeto BV (the Irdeto group). MultiChoice aspired to improve their visibility and control of the Irdeto group’s cash. This was achieved by centralising multiple currency balances to a single location through a Target Balancing Structure whilst leveraging Citi’s extensive Multi Currency Notional Pooling (MCNP) capabilities to provide a single net cash position across nine currencies. The MCNP was seen as an integral tool to maximise working capital, providing an integrated and automated funding model to support MultiChoice’s journey towards a centralised treasury function while adding value to the Irdeto group’s operations. The synergy between both organisations allowed for a seamless and timely implementation.

in partnership with

Finastra would like to congratulate our customer, MultiChoice Group Ltd, on their well-deserved win for Best in Class Treasury Solution in Africa. As part of a broader treasury project, Finastra’s goal was to implement a fully automated confirmation matching solution, which replaced manual processes that were inherently risky and time-consuming. The Finastra team worked closely with MultiChoice Group’s technology partners, as well as internal stakeholders, to test and implement connectivity to Finastra’s Fusion Confirmation Matching Service. Thanks to our great partnership with MultiChoice Group, we were able to implement a fully automated bi-lateral matching solution for them—from contract signature to go-live—within just eight weeks.

in partnership with

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