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The Resource for the Global Finance Profession

Pinnacle Finalists: Microsoft, Toyota Financial, Cliffs Natural Resources

  • By Staff Writers
  • Published: 2012-08-24

Microsoft, Toyota Financial Services and Cliffs Natural Resources are finalists for the Association for Financial Professionals 2012 Pinnacle Award. Sponsored by Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), the Pinnacle Awards have recognized excellence in treasury and finance each year since 1997.

Finalists were selected based on their dynamic solutions that helped their treasury and finance operations run more efficiently and effectively. The AFP Pinnacle Grand Prize winner will be named Oct. 14 at the AFP Annual Conference in Miami.

Wells Fargo will make a $10,000 donation to a charity of the winner's choice. Danny Peltz, executive vice president and head of Wells Fargo Treasury Management, and Jim Kaitz, AFP President & CEO, will host the award ceremony.

"AFP is pleased to honor the 2012 Pinnacle Award winners," said Kaitz. "The theme of this year's Annual Conference is Bold Visions for the Future, and the solutions presented by Microsoft, Toyota Financial Services and Cliffs Natural Resources certainly meet that high standard."


Microsoft was selected as a finalist for its approach to enhancing zero balance account arrangements. By working with its bank to add additional information to better identify transactions, Microsoft streamlined collection sweeps for hundreds of its bank accounts and created a just-in-time funding model for subsidiary disbursements. As a result, Microsoft's treasury team reduced its balances in Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain by more than 94 percent in the past year.

Toyota Financial Services

Meanwhile, the Toyota Financial Services treasury team led a cross-organizational effort to establish robust transfer pricing that was consistent across product lines. Instead of using a benchmark rate as an approximate cost of funds, each loan was match-funded based on its characteristics and expected monthly cash flows. The impact helped treasury, finance, analytics, sales, and marketing make more-informed decisions and more-accurate funds transfer pricing for 4 million consumer retail and lease loans outstanding and over 2,000 dealer lending loans outstanding.

Cliffs Natural Resources

Based in Cleveland, Cliffs Natural Resources was selected as a 2012 AFP Pinnacle Award finalist in recognition of how its treasury team managed transformational growth in two ways. First, while increasing staff from four to 14 in less than 18 months as the company grew globally, Cliffs implemented a global risk management policy to manage its increasing foreign currency exposures across many newly acquired business units. Second, Cliff's treasury team emphasized managing talent, developing bank relationships, and leveraging real-time data and technology throughout the process with its treasury groups in Australia and America.

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