By breaking down silos and bringing specialist departments together, banks are far better placed to come up with holistic end-to-end solutions for their corporate clients – and their respective needs. We speak to Jim Fuell, Managing Director, Head of Global Liquidity, EMEA, J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Yera Hagopian, Liquidity Solutions Executive, EMEA, J.P. Morgan Treasury Services, about how this approach can help address the liquidity challenges that corporates face today.
Managing Director, Head of Global Liquidity for Europe, Middle East and Africa
Jim Fuell, Managing Director, is the Head of Global Liquidity for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) overseeing sales and marketing for the liquidity business. An employee since 2006, he previously worked to develop the corporate business as part of the Global Liquidity team in London and has also worked for Deutsche Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and Citibank. He holds an MBA in Finance and International Business from New York University, Stern School of Business, and a BS in Business Administration, Marketing & Finance from Marquette University.
Liquidity Solutions Executive for Europe, Middle East and Africa
Yera Hagopian is the Liquidity Solutions Executive for Europe, the Middle East and Africa within Treasury Services at J.P. Morgan. After her graduation from Oxford University, Yera joined the management development programme at Barclays Bank before moving on to roles in sales, relationship, product and treasury management in the UK and US. Yera has accumulated over 20 years of cash management experience, incorporating an 11-year tenure at HSBC where she was responsible for liquidity services in Europe. She holds a BA Hons in Modern Languages (French and Italian) from Brasenose College in Oxford.
How would you describe the liquidity management environment for corporates? How are you helping them in this respect?
JF: We’re in an environment right now where global interest rates are at historically low levels. In the Eurozone, the situation is particularly exacerbated as we are experiencing an unprecedented environment with negative yields being offered, so never has it been more important for corporate investors to ensure that they understand where their cash is – and how best to use it.
As widely publicised, corporates have been carrying higher levels of cash and the cost of liquidity is becoming increasingly expensive. Not only are yields extremely poor but in some instances banks are effectively charging corporates to take their money. In evaluating the current yield outlook, corporate treasurers may begin using more of their surplus liquidity to pay down debt as suitable investment opportunities may appear scarcer than ever.
From an investment management perspective, we are working closely with corporate treasurers who are asking how they can improve the return on their surplus cash. The various means to achieving higher yield clearly need to be carefully assessed (eg higher volatility, greater credit risk, maturity extension etc), but some organisations are realising that there is far greater potential to increase yield than they may have previously assumed. Assisting clients in achieving visibility over their cash – wherever it is – can be the critical first step for any company determining whether or not they are in a position to seek higher yields. This is often where we are able to collaborate with our treasury services colleagues as their technology platforms often assist our corporate clients with transparency over their underlying liquidity and the functionality to move that money to an environment where it can be used most effectively. Following this, clients can then benefit from the advice of J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s Global Liquidity business where managing short-term investments is our core competency.