Treasury professionals and finance leaders in the Middle East certainly face their share of challenges, from concerns about payment fraud and counterparty risk to the time-consuming management of trade finance instruments such as letters of credit and bank guarantees. Meanwhile, many corporates in the region work with as many as 100-150 banks, leading to significant obstacles where cash visibility and connectivity is concerned.
But the region’s treasurers are well equipped to tackle these challenges head-on, and their achievements are highlighted annually by the ACT Middle East Treasury Awards for treasury professionals who have demonstrated innovation and excellence. This year, we were delighted that Kyriba was mentioned in no less than three of these prestigious awards.
The presentation of awards took place at the Magnolia Gardens, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. As the only strategic event for treasurers in the Middle East, attendees enjoyed networking with their peers, as well as the chance to meet thought leaders from around the world to discuss the latest developments in treasury best practices. This year’s awards were particularly noteworthy, with the ACT celebrating the ten-year anniversary of its Treasury Network in the region.
Related video: How Kyriba Delivers Value to Middle Eastern Corporates
Congratulations are due to Kyriba client OiLibya, which was awarded Best Small Treasury Team. Headquartered in Dubai, OiLibya is a key player in the African energy industry, serving 250,000 customers a day across 18 countries.
Until recently, OiLibya’s decentralized treasury function relied heavily on the use of spreadsheets – and even hard copy bank statements – for its forecasting and reconciliation processes. As a result, the company had limited visibility over its group-wide cash positions, short-term liquidity risk and FX exposures. The accuracy of data was a concern, while process delays meant that decision-making was not based on up-to-date information. The myriad effects of these issues extended to poor investment decisions, unforeseen bank fees and difficulties in negotiating favorable financing conditions.
In 2016, armed with a robust business case and detailed project charter, Group Treasurer Abdessalem Lassoued took the strategic decision to invest in Kyriba’s cloud-based treasury management solution. As a result, users in multiple locations are now able to provide a real-time, centralized view of the group’s cash position despite the challenges brought by the company’s geographical footprint. The result: greater visibility over cash, a more robust cash forecasting process and a more timely view of liquidity and FX risk exposures, bringing major improvements to the company’s operational costs and operational efficiency.
The impressive nature of OiLibya’s achievements was rightly highlighted by the company’s success at the ACT Middle East Treasury Awards. “We are delighted to congratulate OiLibya for their well-deserved win,” comments Baroutjian. “The scale of this project was particularly impressive, not least because of the considerable challenges OiLibya was facing at the outset. Congratulations are, of course, due to the other winners, and we look forward to returning next year – hopefully to celebrate further client success.”