Treasury Practice

Problem Solved: Transforming treasury with the right partner

Published: Dec 2023
Standard Chartered logo

Working with Standard Chartered Bank, STT GDC embarked on an ambitious treasury transformation project. The result: more efficient cash management activities, greater visibility over cash, and access to high-quality insights that support time-sensitive investment decisions.

Business partners shaking hands

Kelvin Ang

Group Treasurer
ST Telemedia Global Data Centres logo
ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (STT GDC) is one of the fastest-growing data centre providers with a global platform serving as a cornerstone of the digital ecosystem that helps the world to connect. Powering a sustainable digital future, STT GDC operates across Singapore, the UK, Germany, India, Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and Malaysia, providing businesses an exceptional foundation that is built for their growth anywhere.


When it comes to driving growth, data centre provider STT GDC takes a long-term view. In its organic growth strategy, it focuses on being a long-term operator of advanced, integrated and carrier-neutral data centres. Other than data centres that were acquired through mergers and acquisitions, the Group has the flexibility to either design and build all of its fully-fitted data centres or to enter into long-term core and shell leases contract alongside reputable developers. “During our acquisitions, we choose to take a controlling stake in countries like the UK and India,” explains Group Treasurer Kelvin Ang. “Another variation involves taking a significant minority stake, which still allows us to actively influence business strategy.”

In light of its development plans, STT GDC was looking to future-proof its operations and support growth in new markets. Specifically, the company wanted to improve consistency and control in the company’s banking operations across different countries, address existing inefficiencies and optimise financing-related expenses.

To tackle these issues and future-proof the business, STT GDC was looking to re-evaluate its existing banking and treasury setup. It was clear that a transformation project would be needed to help the company increase its scalability, improve the efficiency of treasury activities, enhance cybersecurity and improve the existing treasury operating model. “And of course, we also wanted to be environmentally responsible and maintain high quality corporate governance practices at all times,” adds Ang.

The specific goals of the transformation project included making better investment decisions, automating manual processes and establishing a group-wide policy governing treasury activities. To support these goals, the company took the decision to appoint a preferred cash management bank across the relevant countries.


Following a detailed selection process, STT GDC appointed Standard Chartered Bank as its cash management partner. “We had a clearly defined set of criteria, including technological capabilities,” recalls Ang. “It was also important to choose a bank that was a good match for our existing geographical footprint, as well as our potential growth markets.”

Working with Standard Chartered Bank, the company was able to harmonise its operational workflows – for example, users can now log into a single platform using mobile app face ID, instead of needing to use traditional banking tokens. Moving to a single banking platform has also enabled STT GDC to gain more visibility over its cash and transactions, resulting in improvements to the cash forecasting process. In addition, new cash pooling capabilities have resulted in more efficient cash management, while reducing the need for time-consuming funds transfer requests.

Sustainability was another key focus. As of 2022, 52% of the company’s electricity consumption is derived from zero-carbon renewable sources. “From a treasury standpoint, we have a deep commitment to growing our business in a sustainable manner, and working with our core banking partners on innovative and sustainable solutions,” comments Ang. “For example, we have established a sustainability-linked financing framework, and successfully achieved green financing for many of our data centres.”

As a company that embraces a digital-first mindset, STT GDC was well positioned to implement its treasury transformation project smoothly and effectively. “One key success factor was the strong buy-in and support from senior management, especially the Group CFO and Group Corporate Finance Officer,” says Ang. “This was important both at the beginning stages, when we were seeking budget approvals, and during the ongoing execution when we needed resources and support to get things implemented.” With a relatively lean treasury team, he adds, it was important to make sure that day-to-day operations continued smoothly during the implementation.

As a result of the project, STT GDC has achieved cost efficiencies across its global cash management and working capital activities, and increased visibility and control over treasury operations. The company is also able to harness more valuable insights: “The quality and timeliness of insights that we get from our bank partner is important because we need to make time-sensitive business investment decisions,” says Ang.

Looking forward, Ang says the treasury team’s future goals include adopting a suitable treasury management system and harnessing AI to optimise the FX management process. “One of our company’s core values is to strive for excellence. By challenging assumptions and pushing boundaries through a culture of innovation, we will continuously improve and excel,” he concludes.

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