Umicore is a global materials technology and recycling group. The company’s industrial and commercial operations, as well as research and development activities, are located across the world to best serve its global customer base.

The challenge

Umicore’s treasury team recognized that its decentralized treasury processes were hampering the company’s ability to maximize its liquidity and best support global operations. To improve its overall cash management efficiency, the Umicore treasury team wanted to further centralize its cash globally, ultimately into a single location and achieve enhanced visibility and control.

To address this situation, Umicore’s team launched a global cash management RFP in 2017. In addition, the company’s treasury team looked to rationalize its banking relationships around the globe and eliminate redundant and unnecessary accounts in order to drive efficiency.

The J.P. Morgan solution

Following the RFP process, Umicore selected J.P. Morgan to manage all the USD flows of the Umicore group (the “Group”) globally and to implement a USD cash concentration offshore.

This unique solution allowed Umicore to achieve its objectives of control, visibility and automation - bringing a lot of efficiencies into their cash management and liquidity centralization processes.

With this solution, all USD accounts of Umicore entities (starting with European entities, as well as North and South American entities) were opened in a central location, at J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., New York Branch. This solution ensures an optimized processing of the USD transactions, as well as efficient centralization, since the cash can be easily concentrated with same day value and on an end of day basis.

The Umicore affiliated entities incorporated in Asia will be added to the structure in a later stage, allowing Umicore to ultimately set up a truly global cash concentration structure in USD. The cash will thus ultimately be centralized at Umicore HQ level, ensuring an efficient use and redeployment of this cash within the Group globally.

The impact

Just a few months after the implementation of the first phase, Umicore has already seen clear benefits in terms of cash management optimization, leveraging J.P. Morgan’s leadership in the USD clearing and liquidity space.

  • In terms of processing enhancements, Umicore entities have benefitted from extended cut off time, access to ACH network for non US entities, higher book transfer and straight through processing rates, which led to a significant cost reduction for the Group
  • This solution also generated additional improvements in terms of global visibility, efficient reconciliation as well as an automated and secured end to end payment process
  • Through this centralized approach Umicore has improved its control and security putting in place harmonized processes, documentations and conditions for its entities around the globe, limiting the administrative workload for the Group
  • The cash management cost has also been improved and projected savings from this project are approximately $1Million USD

Umicore’s liquidity solution is truly global and scalable and thanks to the unique platforms and connectivity used for implementation, can be adapted further to meet the company’s evolving needs.

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