Photo of James Hayward and Florence Tan, M+W Group.
With an eminent career in treasury spanning over 20 years, which involved heading the Asia Pacific treasury functions for various MNCs including Schenker, Apple, Toshiba and now M+W Group, Florence Tan has treasury in her DNA. In a generally male-dominated industry she has shown great passion for her career and achieved much success as a treasury professional in Asia Pacific, a region amongst the most regulated and complex in terms of treasury management.
Head, Treasury, APAC
Florence Tan, Head, Treasury, APAC at M+W Group has experience handling the full scope of treasury activities ranging from cash management, financial risk management, corporate finance, investments, trade finance and banking relationship management. Florence has previously headed the Asia Pacific treasury functions for various MNCs including Schenker, Apple and Toshiba.
Away from the demands of work, Florence ensures that she gives back to the next generation of treasurers by mentoring young treasury professionals and sharing her experience in public speeches. It is this measure of balance that forms such an important element in her leadership skills and makes her an inspiring figure in this fast-paced industry.
Florence’s CV is nothing short of impressive. Her 20-year career has been defined by a rapid rise through the ranks and a portfolio of outstanding achievements, demonstrating her strong leadership, innovative and result-oriented traits.
At the nascent stage of her treasury career at Schenker, Florence was instrumental in integrating Bax Global’s treasury function into Schenker’s processes, systems and treasury structures post-merger. A project of this scale, complexity and timing is a ‘once in a career’ event for most treasurers, which validated Florence’s extensive leadership competencies and multifaceted skills that are required of a treasury leader. She also implemented and managed a cross-border, cross-currency cash management structure for the Asia Pacific entities, generating considerable interest income as well as significantly reducing external borrowing cost. Speaking about her achievements, Jonathon Woods, VP, Finance at Schenker Asia Pacific Pte Ltd said:
“One of Florence’s key strengths is her ability to network both internally within the organisation and with external parties. This proved essential on many occasions when the strength of relationship allowed us to progress on issues that may otherwise have been held up in bureaucracy. In fact the parent company in Europe relied directly on Florence for Asia Pacific treasury updates and solutions to issues.
Florence was always willing to challenge the status quo and the conventional ways of thinking to produce the best results for both the company and the Asia Pacific region. This often resulted in lower costs and a better solution that would otherwise have been obtained. A prime example of this was the selection of regional banking partners following the integration of the BAX and Schenker organisations. Florence would pursue the best course of action despite any obstacles that arose.”
At Apple, she effectively managed banking relationships and established new covenants with banking partners to support the company’s recent ventures across the region. At Toshiba, she pioneered the successful creation of the company’s treasury function; within two years, the company had a fully functioning treasury department, complete with systems, bank relationships, credit facilities and accounting processes amongst others.