Treasury Outlook with Swarovski´s Oliver Gygax

Oliver Gygax, Vice President Corporate Treasury at Swarovski shares views and visions in an interview with Reval.

1) What has been the most challenging project in your treasury department in 2013?

The new “Know Your Customer” requirements differ a lot from country to country, complicating bank relationship management. In some cases, opening a new bank account took several months. This was probably the most nerve-wracking challenge to me in 2013.

2) What is the biggest risk treasury is facing today? How are you mitigating this risk?

For certain, liquidity risk is a top risk, and as all financial data is gathered in one or more platforms, operational risk is another concern. Most treasury processes are software-controlled and, hence, a break-down of straight-through processing would be very expensive. At Swarovski, we have a plan B to reduce this risk including regular system back-ups, reporting and online banking.

3) What will be the biggest drivers for change in treasury in 2014?

I consider innovations to the IT infrastructure, new regulations such as EMIR, Dodd Frank Act or IFRS 9 and tax laws as well as SEPA, which will open new doors to simplify payment processes, as main drivers for change in treasury.

4) Which strategic initiatives will you focus on in 2014? How will technology support you to reach your goals?

In general, we will try to make our processes leaner and more efficient. A priority will definitively be to harmonize our payments management across the enterprise. There are already interesting solutions available that we will start evaluating in 2014.

5) What technological innovations would help you to evolve your treasury function in the next 3 years?

I would like to capture treasury transactions via voice recognition in our treasury system. As I don´t expect the regulatory jungle to decrease, it would be very helpful if software providers offer fast, flexible and competent solutions.