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Corporate Treasurer of the Year Winner: Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA)

Published: Jul 2022

Photo of Toby Shore, Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA).

Photo of Toby Shore, Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA).

Toby Shore

Senior Director, Group Treasury, Risk & Insurance

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) is the world’s largest “premium aluminium” producer and the biggest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) outside of oil and gas, with a US$6.9bn turnover in 2021, employing 8,000 people.

Toby Shore builds a best in class treasury function at EGA

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Over a decade of contribution across broad range of treasury responsibilities

Toby Shore is a longstanding contributor to the success of Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), joining in 2008 and in the role of Senior Director, Group Treasury, Risk & Insurance for the firm since 2010.

Toby’s wide-reaching, multi-faceted role reflects the scope of his skills. He leads corporate treasury, with responsibility for the management of financial risk, balance sheet, liquidity and cash flow. He also oversees the corporate insurance portfolio for the EGA group as well as credit risk, shared services, which encompasses accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR), and payroll. He previously established and led on group tax, enterprise risk and business continuity.

A risk manager, insurer and financier by trade, Toby holds an undergraduate degree in international business and a masters degree in business administration with an emphasis on in capital project management. In 2014, he achieved the MCT accreditation from the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT). Toby directly leads a team of 42 people that manage all the financial risks for the EGA group, whether that’s metal hedging as a primary aluminum producer, foreign exchange, interest rate risk or money market yields whilst ensuring that adequate and appropriate risk transfer mechanisms are in place and that vendors are paid on time and receivables collected.

Projects delivered from SWIFTNet and supply chain finance to ESG and more

Recent successes include the integration of electronic banking mechanism SWIFTNet to send and receive money. While commonplace for banks, SWIFTNet is not commonly used among corporates. In 2021, Toby led a 12-month programme involving four international banks to introduce SWIFTNet into EGA’s corporate payments platform and the strategy is to roll this out to further banking partners in 2022.

On the supply chain finance side, Toby and his team also run an industry-leading receivables securitisation programme. It is unique in the industry due to its scale, and the ability to syndicate to additional financiers or liquidity providers. It operates more like a syndicated loan facility rather than a pure trade or working capital product – representing a great win for EGA in terms of its working capital management programmes.

Last year, Toby also led an environmental, social and governance (ESG) rating exercise, building a comprehensive ESG rating for the entire EGA group. The team in treasury embarked upon the project pre-Covid, carefully assessing sustainability factors not just environmental, but key social and governance aspects as well with the final rating being delivered in January 2022. This was a strategic direction that Toby wanted to take the treasury function.

Supporting diversity, inclusion, training and mentoring

In 2022 the UAE announced a new labour law, enshrining gender equality and flexible working hours. EGA had these principles in place for a number of years already. Diversity and inclusion are core tenets of Toby’s hiring philosophy. In EGA’s treasury over 50% of the team comprises women, and over 35% of treasury employees are Emirati nationals. Toby’s assistant treasurer has in the past year also achieved the MCT accreditation – having two MCT-qualified people in one organisation is highly unusual – and over 90% of Toby’s treasury team is professionally qualified and has undertaken at least one of the ACT’s treasury courses. Both these are indicative of Toby’s emphasis on training, talent development and talent pool nurturing.

Driving EGA forwards to deliver real benefits

The challenges of the past two years and operating under Covid conditions did not deter Toby from innovating and driving EGA’s treasury development forwards. He looked to see how he could support the mainstay of EGA’s treasury culture, which is about liquidity, diversification, partnership and yield.

To that end, EGA negotiated and concluded a US$600m, three-year revolving credit facility (RCF) at extremely favourable terms at the very beginning of the pandemic, and a US$137.5m RCF negotiated in May 2020, at the peak of Covid in Dubai and at a point when liquidity was scarce. During the pandemic Toby drove both the securitisation programme, as well as a supply chain financing programme, both of which delivered many hundreds of millions of dollars of value back to EGA as well as providing an alternative source of financing to its suppliers, many of whom find access to competitively priced facilities challenging.

Under Toby’s guidance, the EGA treasury team embarked upon the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) transition journey in 2019 and is now well-placed to transition to the new SOFR base rates at the end of 2022. Most recently EGA has announced the conclusion of one of the first regional SOFR forward-looking rate RCF.

Leading EGA treasury to best in class in the UAE

There can be a mistaken perception of the Middle East’s corporate culture that does not always equate to being best in class, or to having world-leading governance procedures and structures, and ambitious strategising on what corporate treasuries can and should be.

Throughout Toby’s tenure as corporate treasurer, he has always envisioned and directed EGA’s treasury towards not just being best in class in the UAE, but on benchmarking EGA with corporates around the world, whether that be in London, New York, Sydney, or other leading financial centres. Today EGA has a treasury team and structures that can compete on this global stage. In many areas EGA’s treasury is now world-leading in terms of its processes, with its adoption of robotic process automation (RPAs) in particular, being second to none.

The final word

Toby says the element of his work he is proudest of is that “I no longer lead the change. I set the strategy, I set the vision, but what’s more pleasing for me is the organic growth, and the organic ideas coming from our team members as to how to make their job more interesting and value accretive. We’ve all learnt to embrace technology to really catapult what we do to be globally leading.” A fitting conclusion from our most deserving Corporate Treasurer of the Year 2022.

The Adam Smith Awards is the industry benchmark for best practice and innovation in corporate treasury. The 2022 awards attracted 230 nominations spanning 34 countries. To find out more please visit: https://treasurytoday.com/adam-smith-awards.

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