Trade & Supply Chain

Microsoft Adam Smith Webinar

Published: May 2016

Bankers collaborate to deliver a win/win solution


Adam Smith Awards 2015 Winner – Best Trade Solution

The culmination is a solution comprising three banks, each of which took on an equal role. It really is a uniquely collaborative solution for supply chain financing which you cannot afford to miss.

When representatives of three US banks attended the 2014 Adam Smith Awards ceremony they got more than their lunch! A conversation with last year’s Woman of the Year winner, Anita Prasad of Microsoft planted the seeds for the banks to collaborate on a unique supply chain finance solution. Microsoft insisted they wanted true equality and they would pitch this to their vendors as a financing offer from the three banks invited. After covering a lot of emotional, legal, regulatory, KYC and financial challenges, the three banks agreed. Hear from Anita how she achieved this.

This webinar was held on Thursday 12th May 2016.

Download slide pack

Questions asked throughout the webinar

  • Your approach to equality among your three major US banks (Citi, Bank of America Merrill Lynch or J.P. Morgan) is a very interesting approach. Would it be fair to say that it was because of who you are and the company being Microsoft that the banks reacted in that way? Surely there must have been one or two disagreements on their part and if so, which aspects of the end solution were impacted the most? Or was it truly a meeting of minds and the three banks really did step up to an equal plate? (10:39)
  • How long did it take you to get to that point where the three banks were all on the same page as you? (13:29)
  • In terms of the two SAP environments, you didn’t consolidate them you implemented across two separate SAP platforms? (16:35)
  • In terms of the overall project and its size, can you give us a feel for the scope and scale of this programme, which the three banks project managed collectively? (22:04)
  • How many suppliers in total would that relate to? Are we looking at a few hundred or few thousand? (23:33)
  • Given that pricing was required to be the same across all three banks, what was the goal of having all three banks offer the programme to the suppliers? Was it to allow for the vender to have choices even though the pricing was equal or the same? (30:22)
  • If the customer wasn’t a client of one of the three banks, was onboarding problematic? (32:08)
  • You mentioned that the solution was implemented in a pretty quick time frame across two separate SAP environments, which areas of the SAP implementation were the most difficult and why? Did the three banks help you with the SAP component or was that done internally? (32:44)
  • Regarding the three banks, was there any particular reason for this number and the actual three banks that you chose? If you were starting this project today, would you do anything differently? (34:16)
  • Did legal or the Microsoft auditor require Microsoft to keep an arm’s length distance to the financing discussion with the bank? If so, how did Microsoft help ensure the pricing was the same across all three banks? (36:07)
  • How did Citi distribute the payment files to the other two banks? (37:53)
  • How were you able to reduce the impact of withholding taxes given the global width of the programme? (38:31)

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