Andreas Nestler, Treasurer, STRABAG SE, shares views and visions in an interview with Reval.
1) What has been the most challenging project in your treasury department in 2013?
STRABAG SE processes about 3 billion payments in 19 countries with 50 banks per year. As we have a lot of Euro payments, SEPA has definitively been the biggest challenge to our treasury team in 2013.
2) What is the biggest risk treasury is facing today? How are you mitigating this risk?
Increasing market volatility has made FX exposures a major concern. Therefore, we have developed an effective hedging program in order to control and minimize FX risk.
3) What will be the biggest drivers for change in treasury in 2014?
SEPA was just the beginning. It has started a revolution to the payment system. Beyond SEPA, the increasing harmonization of payments formats will provide enormous potential for corporate treasurers around the world. Additionally, ever-changing EMIR regulation with its upcoming deadline in February will challenge treasury in 2014. In general, I see the increasing regulatory requirements as biggest driver for change.
4) Which strategic initiatives will you focus on in 2014? How will technology support you to reach your goals?
Our focus will definitively be to further improve payments management. We will work on answering questions such as: How can we further streamline our enterprise-wide payments processes? Are there workflows that can be automated? Are we working with the right bank partners? Additionally, we are considering using the SWIFT network for payments management.
5) What technological innovations would help you to evolve your treasury function in the next 3 years?
I still have a vision of a paperless treasury. If we would be able to connect all banks enterprise-wide electronically, we would be able to process all bank correspondence such as transactions, money market deals, securities or settlements without paper.