Judges’ Choice Winner: Lokesh Reddy, Quest Global Services Pte Ltd

Published: Jan 2024
Close up of detailed circuit board

Lokesh Reddy

Head of Treasury
Quest Global logo

Quest Group is an engineering service company providing product/system engineering and lifecycle services to multinational corporations (MNCs) across various industries. Founded in 1997, the group is a market leader in its field with 67 offices across 17 countries employing over 17,000 people.

Head of Treasury at Quest replaces bank role as lead syndication arranger

Lokesh Reddy joined Quest as a Treasury Manager in 2002. He rose through the ranks to become Head of Treasury and has more than 20 years experience in business strategy, finance, risk management and M&A. He proved instrumental in transforming the business and streamlining the group into an industry vertical during COVID-19 to better navigate the new economy.

Since the transformation, the group can now streamline its workflow processes and staff productivity, which has resulted in greater customer satisfaction and improved profitability.

Recently, Quest underwent a corporate exercise which Lokesh spearheaded together with his CFO. The amount of funding required by the group is large, so the number of banks involved was also large. For such a requirement, corporate treasurers would usually appoint a lead banker to arrange, and then syndicate the facility. However, Lokesh took charge of the discussion and negotiation with his panel of bankers to support Quest’s corporate exercise without the need for a lead syndication arranger. This is quite an innovative approach when it comes to loan syndication.

Firstly, he worked with some of his close relationship bankers to come up with a term sheet which he felt would meet the risk appetite of most of the bankers. He then shared the term sheet with the bankers requesting their feedback. He then led bankers’ discussions and coordinated and answered all the credit queries of the banks. The banks were impressed with his deep understanding of the business and supported the funding requirement.

Post credit approval, Lokesh also led the documentation negotiation and discussion between the company’s external counsel, the lenders’ legal counsel and the lenders. The entire exercise was coordinated by Lokesh with the help of his colleagues Amit Kumar Agrawal, General Manager, Controllership team and Shailesh Agrawal, VP – Finance.

Lokesh has helped the company save on syndication and arranger fees by leading the funding exercise himself.

Lokesh is also in charge of the global cash management of the entire group. The group has business in 17 countries in the US, Europe and Asia and maintains more than 100 accounts globally. To improve visibility on the accounts, he has implemented global cash management solutions in partnership with Citi to improve visibility on the company’s cash position and forecast capability along with his team.

Global cash management

Lokesh worked with Citi to implement a creative cash and liquidity structure to integrate many Quest accounts with one bank. The bank has created a multi-pronged automated cash management, funding and payment capability across different countries. To support Quest’s funding requirements from different geographic locations and currencies, the bank has set up a fully automated H2H solution to facilitate the entire payment process. The solution provides efficient funding and payment capability to overcome the barriers of different cut-off times and public holidays for countries globally.

With the bank’s global network, Quest can obtain critical information on a country-specific banking landscape. Through this collaborative partnership and thought leadership, Quest has successfully expanded to more than 17 countries globally.

Key solutions

  • A H2H integrated cash management structure to facilitate local/cross-border payment and intraday and end-of-day account balance for reconciliation.

  • For visibility of funds Quest implemented a single interface to accounts with Citi and third-party banks. The Infopool Service allows Quest to monitor daily balances and transaction of accounts maintained in different banks across borders and currencies.

  • Fully automated local and cross-border wire transfer without any manual intervention.

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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