Corporate Treasurer of the Year Winner: Rani Misra, Cargill

Published: Jan 2024
Photo of Rani Misra, Cargill.

Photo of Rani Misra, Cargill.

Rani Misra

APAC Treasurer & Global Head of Insurance
Cargill logo

Cargill, Inc., is an American global food corporation based in Minnetonka, Minnesota and incorporated in Wilmington, Delaware. Founded in 1865, it is the largest privately held company in the United States in terms of revenue.

Rani Misra achieves corporate success in almost a quarter of a century at Cargill


Rani Misra has been with Cargill for 23 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and an MBA in International Management & Finance. She started as an analyst in Cargill’s global headquarters in Minneapolis, US and has since had treasury roles in the UK and Singapore, where she currently leads Cargill’s Asia-Pacific treasury. Over the course of this period, her responsibilities have spanned liquidity and cash management, debt capital markets, foreign exchange, risk advisory and M&A, bank relationships and credit access as well as corporate FP&A. She has also led the company’s global insurance strategy and programmes for the last three years.

Managing a diverse and complex treasury landscape

Cargill’s operations are diverse and span a multitude of industries from food and agriculture to industrial and financial. With US$177bn in annual revenues and operations in 70 countries, the complexity of treasury requirements and risks in these markets is staggering.

This is especially true in Asia Pacific, which is arguably the world’s most diverse region in terms of risks and opportunities and regulations pertaining to Cargill’s businesses and treasury operations. Day-to-day challenges have ranged from exploring funding solutions for farmers in India to addressing impacts of regulatory changes in China to finding the right banking partners for the company’s remote palm operations in Indonesia. Interest and FX rate volatility is another key area that Rani helps to manage. She works closely with the businesses to help them manage their financial market risks as well as helping them structure hedging solutions for their customers.

Rani looks to the future and is always ahead of the curve in terms of driving proactive change and how treasury operations can be adapted to enable greater efficiency.

Managing risk

In addition to managing day-to-day treasury matters in Asia, she has helped define the company’s approach to managing risks ranging from foreign exchange to counterparty to sovereign risks across Cargill’s markets of operation. Proactive planning around the geopolitical risk situation to ensure business continuity and working with banking partners to establish the right funding structures and optionality has been a key focus area.

Developing a culture of collaboration and innovation

Rani has also been instrumental in creating a culture of innovation amid managing demands of running a complex treasury operation. She has found Singapore to be ideal for driving public-private partnerships in treasury innovation due to the market’s highly skilled talent base, as well as the strong presence of banks, treasury centres and supportive regulators that provide ample opportunities for collaboration. Under her leadership, the company has participated in numerous treasury technology pilots in Singapore in areas as varied as KYC, robotic automation and trade documentation. One of her most notable achievements has been to execute the world’s first blockchain trade finance transaction (a letter of credit transaction involving a bulk shipment of soybeans between Argentina and Malaysia). In doing this she has helped to reduce the time taken for such exchanges from five-ten days to just 24 hours.

In addition, Rani is also currently leading the global treasury’s exploration of digital currencies and data capabilities.

A champion of diversity and inclusion

Rani has also been instrumental in championing diversity and inclusion. She founded the Singapore chapter of the Cargill women’s network, and her leadership earned her formal recognition as an industry trendsetter for diversity and inclusion. She believes Asia has a strong talent base in technology and finance which make it easier for multinational corporations (MNCs) like Cargill to hire and retain top talent. She has also run several rotation programmes within her treasury organisation where recruits get the chance to gain experience in cash management, capital markets, advisory and business activities.

“I am passionate to collaborate with industry partners on incorporating new technology in various aspects of our treasury function and this has proven instrumental in developing new paradigms for treasury management in Asia Pacific, while also serving to foster a more inclusive environment and means of career advancement for potential treasury talent, effectively helping define the future of treasury in this highly dynamic region,” explains Rani.

To have accomplished all of this while managing the highly diverse set of requirements and regulations is an especially notable achievement and is a testament to her capacity to drive excellence not just in day-to-day treasury operations, but also on delivering material improvements that will ultimately drive further industry-wide change in the long term.

The Adam Smith Awards Asia is the industry benchmark for best practice and innovation in corporate treasury. The 2023 awards attracted 450 nominations. To find out more please visit treasurytoday.com/adam-smith-awards-asia

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