The perfect storm

"The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed." This quote from William Gibson is heard regularly, but perfectly draws the current state of our working field. Today we are considering tomorrow’s opportunities and challenges. At Zanders, we’re used to working and thinking this way. For example, we are supporting our clients to deal with technology implementations. In June, this has led to recognition through two industry awards: an Adam Smith Award with our client Kongsberg Automotive in Switzerland for the ‘Best Fintech Solution’ (i.e. the intercompany credit rating and pricing solution on our cloud-based Zanders Inside platform) and a Kyriba Award as ‘Implementation Partner of the Year’ for a project at our client Royal FrieslandCampina.

Another example is our focus on exponential technology - such as RPA, APIs, Machine Learning, DLT and AI. Together with our partner Citi, we have produced a strategic series on The Future of Corporate Treasury. This innovative knowledge initiative addresses the key technology developments that the corporate treasury ecosystem now faces, which is a change of a magnitude we have not experienced before. The emergence of new technologies will create a fundamental shift in the corporate treasury role, the tools at its disposal and its relationship with the business.

Meanwhile, Facebook has revealed plans for a new global cryptocurrency, called Libra. Several payment industry experts say this might be a ‘game changing’ moment. With this new stablecoin, Facebook aims to enable 1.7 billion people around the world, of which a significant part still unbanked, to use it to make instant and (free) international money transfers from their mobile phones. So far, 28 groups have said they will become backers of this initiative and integrate Libra into their services, including payments companies, ecommerce groups, telecoms, venture capital companies and NGOs.

Yet, the future is more than new technology alone. Many of our clients need to implement new regulation into their business models. This spring, for example, we organized a breakfast session for financial institutions on IBOR replacement. In this issue you can read a report on this event. In the remainder of this year, various other informative, insightful events will be organized by Zanders. If you are interested to be kept up-to-date, please subscribe to our e-magazine or check our website regularly.

Next to regulation and technology, another key development discussed in this issue is a visionary article about the potential impact of climate change on the financial industry. This article provides a summary of the types of financial risks resulting from climate change and the various initiatives within the financial industry relating to the shift towards a low-carbon economy, and an outlook for the assessment of climate change risks in the future.

From various perspectives, many of our clients - multinational corporates, financial institutions and entities in the public sector - are facing complex challenges for the future. Their ecosystem is experiencing significant change brought about by exponential technology, in combination with new regulation and climate change. You could say that the world of treasury, risk and finance has entered a perfect storm. Yet, when utilizing the right technology and expert advisory, uncertainties can create opportunities too.