Perspectives

Corporate View: Young-Dall Lee, CAS

Published: Nov 2006

This month we talk to Young-Dall Lee, CFO and Director of Marketing and Business Administration at CAS, about setting up a global treasury management system in Korea.

Young-Dall Lee

CFO/Director of Marketing and Business Administration

Young-Dall Lee is the CFO/Head of Marketing and Business Administration at CAS. Prior to working at CAS, he was employed as a Junior Accountant of SsangYoung Corporation, Korea, and a Researcher at Korea Venture Research Institute. Young-Dall has a BA in Accounting, an MBA in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship, and is a candidate of Ph.D in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship.

What can you tell me about CAS?

CAS Corporation is the leading supplier of electronic scales in the Korean market. With more than a 70% share of the Korean market established in our short 23 year history, we are now exporting electronic scale products to more than 100 countries worldwide. With one of the most modern production and distribution networks in the world today, we are fully committed to customer service and support on a global scale. Our products carry international approvals such as OIML, NTEP, TUV, CSA, NSC, Self Verification, as well as others.

We have branch offices in Russia – and the USA for full sales and service support – as well as a scales company in Turkey and a manufacturing facility in China. A developing network of dealers will allow full penetration into the various markets for our high quality products and continue to grow customer loyalty, as well as market share, for the company.

“We Weigh the World” is not just a corporate slogan. By providing high quality components and scale products ranging from load cells, commercial scales and industrial scales, to industrial weighing systems, all at competitive prices and complete with after-sale service and state-of-the-art technical support, “We Weigh the World” is our primary focus and commitment to innovation and technology.

What are your main responsibilities?

I actually have two positions in the company. The first one is Director of Marketing and the second one is Director of Business Administration, which includes corporate finance, accounting, human resource management, information system management and related fields.

How is CAS’s treasury structured?

We have 13 overseas operations in the world. Our headquarters are based in Korea and we have one treasury management team running our Korean operations. I am in charge of all our corporate operations worldwide.

Our financial manager in Korea controls our finance-related fields overseas. Each overseas operation has one financial manager whose responsibilities include accounting and related areas. I get reports from the Korean financial manager, who controls all the overseas operations.

Can you tell me about the treasury management system you are setting up?

We are currently setting up a global treasury management system in order to manage the corporate financial lead-time and cycle more efficiently. With 10 overseas local subsidiaries worldwide, it is important for the head office to be able to monitor, manage and control each subsidiary’s transactions. We also need access to real-time account information. However, the overseas bank accounts are currently managed manually.

We are using HSBCnet (HSBC’s global online banking platform) as the backbone of the TMS and we are planning to set up their system as a pilot test before the end of this year. There are not many points of reference for this in Korea. So especially in terms of medium and small-sized firms, my company will be one of the first examples in Korea. Korean commercial banks do not currently have global cash management systems. This is why we have a lot of interest in setting up our global treasury management system. Managing the cash flow cycle is a really important factor in terms of saving profits.

What other projects are you working on at the moment?

Actually I have a lot of projects! I’m driving three main tasks in particular. Setting up the treasury system is my first task. Recently, key players in the industry have merged to be bigger than in the past and to enhance their market leadership. Therefore CAS must be ready to adopt a different approach and try to increase our capital size. Additionally, in the near future (probably in the second half of 2007) we would like to go to the global capital markets – Singapore, Hong Kong and America – as an IPO.

Can you tell me about your bank relationships?

We have seven banks as our financial partners. These include two global banks – HSBC and Standard Chartered. We also deal with five Korean banks, our main relationship being with Shinan Bank. Shinan Bank is one of the leading commercial banks in Korea and our relationship with Shinan Bank goes back 23 years.

In terms of global banks, HSBC’s system is different to Standard Chartered’s. HSBC sends lots of information to me daily. We also have a relationship manager at HSBC, managing both our formal and informal relationships. In order to enhance the mutual understanding, we are using a pattern of both formal and informal activities. In Korea, many business deals depend on informal relationships. Global banks like HSBC – and increasingly Korean commercial banks – provide a wide range of contact points, from relationship managers to executives to field level, so that we can develop a deeper and more mutual understanding with them.

What operations do you have in China?

Our Chinese operations were founded about 12 years ago. We entered the market at a very early time, when China removed certain regulations relating to overseas foreign companies. Nowadays, we have four factories in China. The Korean factories will focus on the high-end field, while the main factory in China will focus on the mid-end field and the rest of our Chinese factories will focus on the low-end field. So we can get a full line-up for our production base from low-end to high-end. Nowadays we are trying to be a real Chinese company and expand our market leadership in the Chinese market.

We have a Chinese financial manager who reports on the whole of the financial functions to me very regularly – daily, weekly and monthly. Also, when we set up our TMS, we’ll be able to control our local liquidity more tightly.

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