KPMG Treasury Forum in Munich

KPMG Treasury Forum in Munich

Industry 4.0, Change in the Global Economy and the Future of Treasury

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Be it political or economic risks or changes to business models in response to technical innovations: they all have direct, sometimes significant effects on the activities of Treasury.

The Treasury Forum held at KPMG Munich on 23 February 2016 focused on the underlying developments and putting them in a larger context with a view to 'the World in 2035' as well as highlighting and deriving possible and necessary specific actions. More than 30 participants – mainly Heads of Treasury of DAX and MDAX companies – had the opportunity to attend three presentations:

  • The futurologist, Dr. Heiko von der Gracht (Senior Manager Innovation & Strategic Growth Initiatives), gave us a glimpse of the world in 2035 and highlighted trends, technologies and issues of concern in the world of the day after tomorrow. Descriptions of technical developments, which are about to be marketed or already on the market, came as a surprise to many participants, because they still are generally considered phantasies of the future. Especially mind-controlled machines, virtual reality and the digitisation and dissemination of taste and smell fascinated listeners. 
  • In the following presentation, Carsten Jäkel (Partner Finance and Treasury Management) focused on the current and future effects on Treasury, both in terms of organisational structure and professional requirements and functions. The volatility of financial markets as a measure of the uncertainty of future developments and the derived necessity of thinking in terms of, and with, scenarios is certainly one of the main drivers of technical and process changes in Treasury, not to mention its ever greater integration with Controlling and Procurement.
  • Participants were firmly brought back into the present by the presentation of Andreas Karthaus (FiREapps, software for the determination and analysis of currency exposures), who demonstrated how complex issues of currency exposure management can be resolved already today with standard software, while at the same time significantly increasing the degree of automation.

This was followed by a podium discussion in which the three presenters answered questions from Christian Debus (Partner Finance and Treasury Management) and the audience. It was fascinating to see how close futurology has come to current issues that arise for Corporate Treasury from the effects of increasing regulation of the financial sector combined with the emergence of fintechs.

"Not only did participants consider this a very successful event because they were not bombarded with technical details for once, but also because there was room to discuss their own field of activity" said Carsten Jäkel, who added: "The fact that KPMG has access to a futurologist, Dr. Heiko von der Gracht, was also very well received".

It is planned to repeat this event during the year in Düsseldorf, and also in Stuttgart, as required.

Source: KPMG Corporate Treasury News, Edition 53, March 2016
Author: Carsten Jäkel, Partner, 

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