A Rising Star Winner: Franca Aeby, Roche

Published: Aug 2023
Photo of Franca Aeby, Roche.

Photo of Franca Aeby, Roche.

Franca Aeby

Senior Cash Manager
Roche logo

Swiss-headquartered Roche is the world’s largest biotechnology company and the global leader in in-vitro diagnostics. Roche employs more than 100,000 people and sells its products in over 100 countries.

Motivation, curiosity and a continuous improvement mindset drives this rising star at Roche

Introducing Franca Aeby

Not even ten years into her career, Franca Aeby has evolved into a highly skilled expert in the treasury arena and she is quickly becoming an industry leader. This shows in the recognition Franca has received, having achieved an Adam Smith Award for Roche’s cross-border SAR cash pooling project in 2022. She is a sought-after speaker at various industry conferences and actively participates in corporate exchanges.

Franca joined Roche’s treasury back office team in 2014 as a student during her Master’s degree in Business and Economics at the University of Basel. After the completion of her studies in 2016, she continued her career in the cash management team, first as an in-house bank (IHB) specialist and then as Cash Manager. From the beginning, Franca showed a high interest in treasury and was keen to learn more, quickly taking on extra responsibilities in daily operations and projects. In her current role as Senior Cash Manager, Franca is overseeing the Middle East and Africa and is responsible for Roche’s short-term liquidity planning together with her other Cash Manager colleagues.

Key strategic operations undertaken

Since joining Roche in 2014, Franca’s determination has led to a vast number of successfully completed strategic projects, whilst still being involved in daily liquidity management for the Roche Group and running the IHB.

Early projects at the beginning of her career included the coordination and implementation of the global bank fee reporting via TWIST BSB (bank services billing, camt.086) and payment factory implementations in Cameroon, Ivory Coast and South Africa. Franca went on to implement the set-up of new entities in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Morocco, Kenya, Paraguay, Latvia and Israel. Furthermore, in 2017, she implemented RUB cross-border cash pooling, SAR cross-border cash pooling and KES cash pooling. Other notable accomplishments include the transformation from a marketing and service company to a full sales affiliate in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt. Believing in the benefits of blockchain technology, Franca is currently co-leading a treasury project for a digital currency hub with a pilot in Switzerland.

In addition to treasury specific work, Franca previously undertook an international assignment in the commercial department of Roche in the Middle East to gain experience and better understand the business needs. She was also leading the Americas SSC transition and training for treasury in Costa Rica. In addition she is heavily involved in all sanction related topics, by representing the group treasury organisation in the Roche Export Control & Sanctions Council among other things.

“Having had the pleasure to work with Franca over the past few years in the MEA region, I have witnessed her achieve breakthrough success in a region still under-penetrated with the latest corporate trends and innovation. As business partners we have been given the opportunity to co-work and create a unique setup in Saudi Arabia – which is still a market leading solution being recognised by various treasury associations – showing spirit of resilience, persistence and ability to understand the requirements and challenges and how to resolve them. Franca brings a wealth of experience as Roche’s cash management setup is one of the most advanced at global level across all corporates. Her open-minded way of working, cooperating and, most importantly, engaging with Roche’s business partners – are strong attributes of Franca’s successful journey.”

Fabio Sarao, Head of Cash Management Middle East & Africa, BNP Paribas

Continuous improvement mindset

Franca demonstrates each day she has a continuous improvement mindset. She adapts well to new ways of working (eg applying the Scrum1 methodology) and also acts as an agile coach and enabler to team members. Her outstanding grasp of new concepts enables her to rapidly acquaint herself with new subjects and issues, understand new content and correlations and integrates these effectively and flexibly into her work. Franca sees change as an opportunity and is a firm believer of co-creation and teamwork. Franca makes a significant contribution to team building in her open and obliging approach to others.

A bright future ahead

Franca is still at the beginning of her career and, with her motivation, curiosity and continuous improvement mindset, she will strive for the best and most efficient solutions to achieve and maintain a best in class treasury setup. The external recognition and her great reputation show what an outstanding individual she is. Her cheerful personality and great team player skills make her a social butterfly who will be around in the treasury community for many years to come.

“Franca and the Roche team have showcased expertise in treasury management by crafting a purposeful, integrated and well synergised trinity relationship encompassing their in-house bank, global banks and well placed strong regional banks. Franca’s ability to interpret the company’s treasury ambitions, her strong skill-set and close collaboration with banks, has made it all much easier to develop a value adding relationship.”

Patrick Kibunja, International Banker, Absa
  1. Scrum is a management framework that teams use to self-organise and work towards a common goal.

The Adam Smith Awards is the industry benchmark for best practice and innovation in corporate treasury. The 2023 awards attracted 320 nominations spanning 34 countries. To find out more please visit: treasurytoday.com/adam-smith-awards.

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