September 24, 2013
BofA Merrill Global Transaction Services Clients Actively Pursue Transformation
Finance Execs Hear From Walgreen Co., Get Treasury Insights Report at Conference
NEW YORK – Business transformation – defined as moving to the next level of innovation, standardization and sustainable long-term growth – is underway in 74 percent of companies in attendance at a conference being hosted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Chicago this week, according to a poll of participants. Another 21 percent said they plan to start a transformation within 12 months.
The conference, titled Ahead of the Curve – Transforming to Succeed, is being attended by financial and treasury executives from BofA Merrill middle-market and large corporate clients. Participants are hearing how other companies have approached transformation from the viewpoint of their peers and the BofA Merrill Global Business Solutions team, which consults with clients on treasury practices.
“Transformation, in its execution, probably means very different things to different people,” said Paul Simpson, head of Global Transaction Services (GTS) at BofA Merrill. “But at its core, the goal of business transformation is universal: to help a company succeed. A successful transformation requires radical and profound changes. It is a reinvention, not just fine tuning a few areas. Chief financial officers and treasurers, the keepers of a company’s financial nerve center, are fundamentally important to the process.”
Wade Miquelon, chief financial officer and president, international of Walgreen Co., delivered the keynote address at the opening of the conference. He spoke about how Walgreens managed its transformation from a domestic retail pharmacy to a global health and wellness brand, a move enabled in large part through an investment and planned acquisition of European pharmacy retailer Alliance Boots.
“A number of years ago, Walgreens anticipated phenomenal changes in both retail and healthcare,” Miquelon said. “We felt we had an opportunity to leverage our significant assets to transform our retail and healthcare experience domestically as well as beyond the U.S. Today, along with our partners, we are establishing the first global pharmacy-led health and wellbeing enterprise, and our company is really doing things no one has ever done before – making radical changes to the way we, and our customers, think about Walgreens.”
For further insight into transformation and other treasury topics, conference attendees were given a copy of the report Treasury Insights for Total Connectivity, produced by the BofA Merrill North America GTS team in conjunction with Treasury Management International magazine.
“Resilient and battle scarred, today’s treasurers have much to be proud of,” states Dub Newman, head of North America GTS, in the introduction to the report. “They have come through the financial crisis with stronger teams and greater influence than ever before. As companies shift their focus from survival to growth, what systems and strategies can be used to take advantage of the opportunities ahead?”
Among the topics featured in the report are:
– How treasurers can add value when integrating acquisitions.
– How Bechtel Group, Inc., implemented a global operating model.
– Optimizing foreign exchange risk management.
– Making the move from paper to electronic payments.
– How the Bank Payment Obligation is used for settlement of international trade transactions.
– How Alliance Lite2 has jump-started corporate interest in using SWIFT for financial transaction connectivity.
– The evolution of lockbox services in light of reduced check volumes and potential postal service cutbacks.
“During the crisis, treasurers spent significantly more time with their chief executive officer and boards of directors, discussing where the company’s money was and how to make the best use of working capital,” Newman adds. “As a result, treasury has naturally been elevated to a more strategic role within the organization.”
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