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AFP Whitepapers Outline Best Practices for Treasury Transformation in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East and Africa Regions

The utilization of expert guidance, technological capability and investment in staff development are key focuses in APAC, while clear objectives, optimized operations, team empowerment and meaningful project evaluation are key focuses in MEA.

March 25, 2024 — Maryland, United States — The Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) has released two whitepapers, “Treasury Transformation: Insights from Asia-Pacific (APAC)” and “Treasury Transformation: Insights from the Middle East and Africa (MEA),” both underwritten by Standard Chartered, to provide a framework for managing any type of treasury transformation project.

Commenting on themes that emerged from the 2023 AFP Treasury Benchmarking Survey on Treasury Transformation, the two whitepapers identify best practices for treasury transformation in each of their respective regions.

In the APAC region, three keys to a successful treasury transformation project include:

  • Consulting with experts to navigate nuances in regulations and market practices across borders.
  • Considering the most effective use of technology to enhance operational efficiency and empower decision-making.
  • Identifying skill gaps early and proactively addressing them.

“Ensuring a successful treasury transformation can be a challenging process, especially across Asia where there may be significant differences in the operating and regulatory environment between each market,” added Ankur Kanwar, Head of Cash Products ASEAN and Global Head of Structured Solutions Development from Standard Chartered. “Drawing on our experience as an international bank equipped with local market knowledge, we hope the paper offers treasurers insights into some of the common factors to keep in mind when embarking on this journey.”

In the MEA region, four best practices for treasury transformation include:

  • Align project objectives through internal discussions and collaboration with industry peers and trusted external advisers, including banks.
  • Map out new operating procedures, processes and workflows, particularly within the context of technology integration.
  • Empower the treasury team by explaining the purpose and vision of the project.
  • Use meaningful evaluation to win crucial support for the project.

“While corporates have different reasons for transforming their treasury function, the one consistent takeaway from our clients who have successfully done so is the need to understand and stay focused on the core objectives of the transformation,” added Syed Khurrum Zaeem, Head of Transaction Banking, AME from Standard Chartered. “Working with a partner who has the local know-how and is able to share this knowledge and experience can be extremely valuable, especially when growing the business to new markets.”

“Given the specific requirements of individual companies and varying market conditions of jurisdictions, treasurers face a wide range of challenges when it comes to treasury transformation,” said Patrick Culkin, Executive Vice President of AFP. “The best practices outlined in the two whitepapers can help treasurers in the APAC and MEA regions successfully implement treasury transformation projects of all types.”

The 2023 AFP Treasury Benchmarking Survey on Treasury Transformation was undertaken in September and October 2023. Within the APAC region, the survey garnered responses from practitioners in 11 countries, with the majority working in publicly owned corporations. Within the MEA region, the survey garnered responses from practitioners in 17 countries, with the majority working in privately held corporations.

Please direct all press inquiries to Melissa Rawak, AFP Managing Director, at [email protected].

About AFP®

Headquartered outside of Washington, D.C., and located regionally in Singapore, the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) is the professional society committed to advancing the success of treasury and finance members and their organizations. Established and administered by AFP, the Certified Treasury Professional and Certified Corporate FP&A Professional credentials set standards of excellence in treasury and finance. Each year, AFP hosts the largest networking conference worldwide for about 6,000 corporate financial professionals.

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