Insight & Analysis

Adam Smith Awards: a dazzling celebration of treasury triumphs

Published: Jul 2024

Top treasury talent from EMEA and the Americas gathered in London to mark their achievements at the Adam Smith Awards celebration dinner. Congratulations to all this year’s winners.

Adam Smith Awards 2024 Top Treasury Team

After much anticipation, the 2024 Adam Smith Awards winners assembled at the historic St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel on Wednesday 26th June for an evening of celebration, dressed impeccably in black tie attire. This year’s awards programme reached new heights, with a record-breaking 389 submissions across 34 countries. From these, our judges selected 65 Overall and Highly Commended Winners based on their innovation, creativity, collaboration and teamwork. This led to our grandest celebration dinner yet, with attendees travelling from locations across EMEA and the Americas to collect their bespoke crystal awards, meet their peers and enjoy a congratulatory dinner.

Adam Smith Awards 2024

The festivities began with a string quartet serenading our formidable corporate winners, their solution partners and their honoured guests at a welcome drinks reception. The room buzzed with lively conversation as guests socialised, the sound of merriment spilling into the balcony area as guests soaked up the evening sun.

This year’s celebration marked 17 years since the inception of the Adam Smith Awards. Sophie Jackson, Publisher & Head of Strategic Content at Treasury Today welcomed everyone to the evening’s festivities. Sophie introduced Treasury Today Group’s Founder, her mother Angela Berry, and Chair, her stepfather Richard Parkinson, describing growing up surrounded by the family business she is proud to be at the helm of today. “Treasury Today Group was founded just over 26 years ago now. I have grown up with the signature red of Treasury Today’s covers, listened to ideas of its expansion and development shared across the family dinner table and seen notes scattered across the living room floor as plans for it were developed when I was just a little girl.”

Angela Berry then took to the stage to share Treasury Today’s origin story and to outline some of the challenges faced both then and now by female founders. Reflecting on the company’s roots in the mid-1990’s when she founded the business as a young mother of two, Angela shared, “I felt strongly that those working in corporate treasury and the associated functions weren’t getting independent information from a reliable source. There was a huge gap and I wanted to fill it and become the information broker for treasurers and senior finance professionals.”

Guests were then guided down the grand staircase to the stately Hansom Hall, where the stage was set for the main event: the awards presentation. Meg Coates, Publisher & Head of Operations at Treasury Today Group, opened the presentation congratulating all the winners. “What really shone through in the nominations this year is the sheer scale of teamwork, best practice and collaboration – leading to some truly impressive outcomes,” she proclaimed.

Adam Smith Awards 2024

Winners were then invited up to the stage to thunderous applause from their peers and colleagues. Some of our winners’ achievements are included below, but these represent just a small selection of this year’s success stories. Further details of each winning solution or personal award can be found in Treasury Today’s case studies, which will be published on our website later this summer.

Ian MacDougall, Associate Treasury Analyst at the world’s largest pizza company, Domino’s collected the overall award for Best Cash Flow Forecasting Solution. Domino’s team implemented a sophisticated toolset for cash forecasting and analysis that has improved efficiency and visibility, as well as reducing human error.

“It means so much that peers from around the world recognise and appreciate the hard work that went into creating this solution in our effort to streamline and optimise our cash flow forecasting process,” said Ian.

Stef Layne, VP, Treasury, Payroll and GTM, at global technology company Klaviyo, headquartered in Boston, scooped the award for Best IPO Listing, a new category for 2024. Klaviyo’s treasury team showed how careful planning can result in a successful IPO listing at the desired timetable and valuation.

One of our most competitive categories this year was Best Transaction Management Solution. The award for Overall Winner was scooped by Julia Donegan, Global Treasury Director at Newell Brands for a pooling project that significantly advanced their treasury operations. The treasury team’s innovative solution empowers them to achieve greater visibility, control and agility in managing intercompany transactions.

“Recognition is a reward in itself and we wish to share this appreciation with our Newell partners who collaborated with us to achieve this result,” said Julia.

Americana Restaurants, the largest restaurant operator in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region scooped the award for Best in Class Treasury Solution in the Middle East. Saurabh Limkar, Treasury Manager collected the award on behalf of his company.

Aliaxis, a Belgium-based company which specialise in tailor-made plastic piping, collected our Best in Class Treasury Solution in Latin America Overall Winner award. Led by Séverine Le Blévennec, Global Head of Treasury, the treasury team underwent a project to reduce the number of banks and bank accounts, as well as ensure ongoing visibility on the bank account structure and the cash balances. This project spanned ten countries within LATAM and took only 21 months to complete.

A special send off

Adam Smith Awards 2024

The first of the individual awards was our Special Recognition Award presented to treasury veteran Martin Schlageter, who has recently retired from the role of Head of Treasury Operations at Roche, the world’s largest biotechnology company. The award paid homage to his treasury career spanning over 30 years and his large and lasting impact to the advancement of treasury and finance both within and outside of his organisation.

“Thank you for your very kind words. It was a total surprise to me,” commented Martin as he accepted his award. “Today we have a wide variety of contacts who we can call up, we have a network, and I think these awards were the starting point. Thank you, Treasury Today.”

A Rising Star

Flying in from Switzerland, Kirsty Craig, EMEA Regional Manager at General Mills took home the Rising Star award. Kirsty’s rapid ascent from Senior Treasury Analyst to becoming one of the youngest females to head a regional treasury centre for a Fortune 500 company in a few short years shows unmarked potential for a future in treasury.

Commenting on what winning the Adam Smith Awards 2024 A Rising Star award means to her, Kirsty said, “I am very thankful for this award and also for the companies and leaders surrounding me that encouraged and enabled me to do the best I can.”

Corporate Treasurer of the Year

Adam Smith Awards 2024

This year our Corporate Treasurer of the Year award went to Odette Rodrigues, Head of Treasury, Capital Markets & Insurance at Uber. Under Odette’s leadership the treasury team underwent a complete reorganisation into five key functional pillars: cash management, insurance and investments, capital markets, foreign exchange and strategic initiatives. She has also instilled the mantra “luck is on the side of the prepared,” teaching her team to be ready for anything.

Unfortunately, at the last minute, Odette was unable to attend in person, and instead asked for some words to be shared on her behalf. “This award is not just a reflection of my work but also of my team’s efforts over the past year. I was and am personally humbled that after only 18 months as Treasurer, this great organisation would even consider me for this award, let alone grant it to me.”

Judges’ Choice

Our Judges Choice is a special award that allows the judges to recognise a solution that does not fit into our defined categories, and this year the award was presented to Pam O’Connell, Vice President for Finance at the World Bank Group. The company, which responds to the most critical issues around the world, underwent multiple improvements to streamline its treasury operations. The solutions implemented extend beyond a single category and has a far-reaching impact making it supremely worthy of the Judges’ Choice award.

Winning as a team

The awards presentation ended with the most highly anticipated award of the evening, Treasury Today’s Top Treasury Team award. This category had two Highly Commended Winners, Bristol Myers Squibb and Apollo Global Management.

The Overall Winner for Top Treasury Team went to Siemens Healthineers, a German-based company that supplies technology to the healthcare industry. Their winning solution centres around the implementation of a new TMS, as part of their larger Treasury for Future project which has been ongoing since the company’s spin-off from Siemens AG back in 2015.

Adam Smith Awards 2024

Svenja Peters, Head of Treasury Strategy & Projects collected the award alongside her treasury team. This win marks the importance of teamwork as their accomplishment would not have been possible without the remarkable synergy and collective expertise of every individual involved. “Thank you again to Treasury Today, we could not believe it when the email arrived saying that we had won from so many applications,“ said Svenja.

As the celebrations drew to a close, the winners and their partners basked in the glow of their achievements, savouring the joyous ambience of the evening. Laughter and networking continued throughout the dinner and beyond as teams took to the stage for celebratory photos, leaving everyone with lasting memories of an extraordinary evening.

Now the celebrations are over, our focus returns to sharing the success stories of all our winners throughout the Adam Smith Awards season. Our case studies on each of the winning solution will be published on our website, in our Treasury Insights newsletter and on our social media channels.

Nominations for the 18th season of the Adam Smith Awards will open January 2025, and nominations for this year’s Adam Smith Awards Asia are currently open and will close on 2nd September.

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