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Pinnacle Finalists: Toyota, ChildFund and Theorem

  • By Staff Writers
  • Published: 10/28/2014
The AFP 2014 Pinnacle Award finalists, Toyota Financial Services, ChildFund International and Theorem Clinical Research, will receive their awards Sunday night at the Opening General Session of the 2014 AFP Annual Conference.  The Grand Prize winner will also be announced at the event. Sponsored by Wells Fargo & Company, the Pinnacle Awards have recognized 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. Wells Fargo will make a $10,000 donation to a charity of the winner’s choice. David Trotter, executive vice president and head of Treasury Management Sales and Marketing at Wells Fargo, and Jim Kaitz, AFP President and CEO, will host Sunday’s award ceremony.

“AFP is pleased to honor the 2014 Pinnacle Award winners,” Kaitz said. “The treasury and finance groups at Toyota Financial Services, ChildFund International and Theorem Clinical Research are setting a global standard for their peers and the profession.”

To support Toyota Financial Services' rapid growth, the TFS treasury team developed a diversified funding platform. TFS treasury issued the industry's first asset-backed green bond, established a funding platform for diversity and minority-owned underwriting firms as well as a direct floating-rate commercial paper program in response to the uncertain rate environment. It issued structured notes to satisfy investor demands for complex and customized debt offerings.

ChildFund International operates in some of the most remote and dangerous regions of the world, where consumers have no access to banks and payroll has to be delivered by armored car. To surmount these challenges, ChildFund's treasury team rolled out a custom mobile payment program, procuring the phones and training consumers to use them, and it partnered with banks to release mobile-money payments. Today, ChildFund remits 2,500 monthly mobile payments, speeding payments while dramatically reducing risk and cost.

In 2011 a new management team wanted Theorem Clinical Research to grow revenue 20 percent per year in five years, but its revenue recognition system, developed in 1990, was obsolete and not up to the task. Outside software was determined to be too expensive and not right for Theorem's needs. In response, Theorem's IT and finance teams built an in-house replacement in one year—designing, programming, migrating data, and training staff. The new system launched in February 2013 and was on time and within 2 percent of budget. The internal build saved $700,000 in implementation and licensing costs, plus $35,000 in annual maintenance. Additional benefits include contributing to a gross margin increase of 13 percent, DSO reduced 28 percent, and $90,000 in annual labor cost savings.

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