Strength in times of crisis
As this edition goes to press, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has raged for four weeks. Alongside the tragic human consequences, the war has left companies scrambling to cope with the impact. Commodity prices have surged, impacting supply chains, and sanctions have forced companies to cut ties with Russia where doing business is neither morally, commercially nor politically viable. Some of our best-read stories include the impact of axing Russian banks from SWIFT, and whether this could accelerate China’s rival payments system, CIPS.
Auditing and consultancy firms, which poured into Russia three decades ago to capitalise on the collapse of the Soviet Union, are the latest companies to ditch Russian clients and abandon their Russian operations. This edition looks at another enduring challenge facing the sector: trust. After years of missed red accounting flags and an ever-growing list of corporate collapses, we explore whether reform will strengthen the industry that society relies on to inspect and challenge company accounts, and if treasury is able to support more efficient audits.
Elsewhere, we look at the trend of private equity investors buying listed companies, particularly in the UK where valuations are cheap. When private equity investors take the helm, treasury must buckle up. Prioritising value creators, balance sheet efficiency, and cash generation and return are the key focus, guided by a new mantra of “be quick, be good, be gone.”
We look at how treasurers experiencing their first taste of high inflation can take solace from the fact basic treasury management principles still apply – even in the most testing circumstances. And we explore again treasury’s progress in embedding sustainability. From green bonds and sustainable SCF to paperless processes and digital signatures, there’s no shortage of opportunities for treasury to further the sustainability agenda.
We round up this edition’s coverage with insights on how Singapore’s fintech sector will impact corporate treasuries in the region and how they are run in the future. The Question Answered looks at cash pooling, renowned for supporting supply chain disruption and pressure on working capital and the key challenges companies face today.