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Dow Corning, Hilton and Covidien Named Pinnacle Finalists

  • By Ira Apfel
  • Published: 8/25/2015
PinnacleDow Corning, Hilton Worldwide and Covidien are the three finalists for the 2015 AFP Pinnacle Award. Sponsored by Wells Fargo & Company, the Pinnacle Awards recognize excellence in treasury and finance each year since 1997.

Finalists were selected based on their innovative solutions that helped their treasury and finance operations run more efficiently and effectively. The AFP Pinnacle Grand Prize winner will be announced October 18 at the AFP Annual Conference in Denver.

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

“AFP is pleased to honor the 2015 Pinnacle Award winners,” Kaitz said. “The treasury and finance groups at Dow Corning, Hilton Worldwide and Covidien truly set the global standard for their peers and their profession.”

Dow Corning

Utilizing Lean Six Sigma techniques, value-stream mapping and a return on human assets focus, Dow Corning overhauled its manual, process-heavy currency trading program, worth roughly $15 billion in notional and which conducts 2,000 trades per year. As a result, Dow Corning cut nearly $5 million a year in costs and was able to re-allocated nearly 600 hours of labor to value-added advanced analytics, thought leadership and strategic business consulting.

Hilton Worldwide

In anticipation of its return to public markets, including over $13 billion in debt refinancing and a $2.3 billion IPO, the largest ever in the hospitality industry, Hilton Worldwide needed to improve its liquidity forecast. It transformed a static, 13-week, rolling view of multiple business unit and regional forecasts into an agile, simplified liquidity forecast that saved $80,000 a year in costs, while helping the company achieve investment grade status by using substantially all of its free cash flow to prepay $1.5 billion of debt post-IPO and build equity value for shareholders. As a result, it improved its credit ratings and helped lead to an $8.8 billion increase (45 percent) in market cap.

Covidien

Conducted amid a corporate acquisition, Covidien (now part of Medtronic), put together a cross-functional, global team to consolidate exposures, centralized trade management and create an in-house bank to provide intercompany currency hedging services to 30 entities worldwide. The effort saved the company $1 million annually, reduced administrative time and labor, and eased regulatory compliance.

“We received a record number of high-quality, well-written submissions that conveyed the challenges and how these finance professionals overcame them,” said Tom Hunt, CTP, director of treasury services for AFP. “The judges want to congratulate all those that submitted for the award and recognize that submitting takes considerable time and effort. All in all, a wonderful group of submissions this year. The finalists are truly the best of the best.”

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