Global News & Views (GN&V): You recently served as a EuroFinance “Treasury Verdict” panelist in a discussion on issues facing businesses in Asia. Talk about some of the primary challenges for your regional clients.
Lillian Sim: Meeting greater expectations of growth in a somewhat weaker Asian economic environment compared to prior years is a challenge. Only 54% of Asian treasurers polled said they were confident about their 2014 business prospects.1 There is pressure on treasurers to improve profit margins. Cash visibility and access to trapped liquidity are important challenges. Lack of forecasting accuracy on consolidated multicurrency cash positions across the region can impair a treasurer's ability to make informed decisions. Finally, differing banking and regulatory environments across the various Asian countries often make standardization challenging, which hinders operational efficiencies.
GN&V: What do you recommend treasurers consider as they expand across Asia, and what role can J.P. Morgan play?
Lillian Sim: We would like to play the role of trusted advisor, sharing best practices, regional knowledge and regulatory updates to help clients establish the right cash management and liquidity management foundation for their growth and expansion. We recommend multinational corporations begin with the basics – for example, improving standardization, automation, risk management, as well as treasury and processing efficiencies. These recommendations can be achieved by rationalizing bank account structures to better manage counterparty risk, standardizing accounts payable and receivable functions into Shared Service Centers while continuing to meet local requirements, automating cash concentration in the region and mobilizing trapped liquidity. Accomplishing these objectives can help better position multinational corporations to achieve renewed growth and efficiency.
GN&V: The need for multinational corporations to simplify and standardize is critical for them to gain operational efficiencies. Please provide an example of how J.P. Morgan helps clients achieve these goals.
Lillian Sim: Many multinational corporations have duplicate operational processes and resources embedded in multiple locations with very little financial or process transparency. By establishing Shared Service Centers, companies are able to better standardize, harmonize and coordinate complex processes in a simplified and streamlined manner that can support more people in the organization. Leveraging best practices and cutting-edge technology, we advise clients on potential strategic approaches to help establish the right Shared Service Centers. When we benchmark and measure these approaches against a client's existing operational model, the positive impact to a client's bottom line can be eye-opening.
GN&V: What makes J.P. Morgan the right partner to help multinational corporations expand to or across Asia?
Lillian Sim: Choosing the right banking partner in Asia has never been more important. For more than 140 years clients across Asia Pacific have looked to J.P. Morgan to help evaluate their operations, recommend areas to improve efficiencies and implement strategies to help facilitate growth. Our commitment to clients and to providing them with excellent client experience remains strong. This is demonstrated through continual investments in our business, systems and technology across 14 countries in Asia, which includes providing clients with access to more than 40 clearing systems in the region. Clients recognize our capabilities, as well as our dedication to improving client experience, and in forming close, consultative relationships with them, as true differentiators.
For more information, please contact Lillian Sim at Lillian.email@example.com
1Source: 2013 EuroFinance “Treasury Verdict” session titled “Current Issues Facing Treasury and Finance Professionals in Asia”