Embracing Risk Management Excellence: An Interview with Zanders’ New Partner, Brecht van den Driessche

October 2023
4 min read

In a constantly evolving financial landscape, the significance of risk management cannot be emphasized enough.

Today, we engage in a conversation with Brecht van den Driessche, a new addition to the Zanders team, to explore his motivations for joining Zanders and his vision for the future of risk management.

Q: Why did you choose Zanders?

A: I've been familiar with Zanders for over a decade, and what has consistently impressed me is the professionalism and deep expertise in Risk Management demonstrated by its people. Consultancy is inherently a people-centric business, and the combination of professionalism with an engaging and enjoyable working environment was a key factor in my decision to join the Zanders team.

Q: What are your focus areas and goals for the short term and long term?

A: The landscape of expectations for Risk Managers and their regulators is rapidly evolving. Recent events such as the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and the takeover of Credit Suisse by UBS have highlighted the critical importance of proper Risk Management. Financial institutions must invest in a centralized risk function and supporting systems to enhance transparency and real-time Risk Management. Worldwide, there is a clear trend among banks to centralize data, improve Risk Management systems, and perform more frequent, granular, and standardized risk calculations and disclosures. Regulators are increasingly pushing banks to move away from spreadsheets and manage their financial risks with professional, often vendor-based systems. As a result, banks are moving away from legacy systems and heavily investing in new Risk Management Systems.

My primary focus is to assist our customers in embracing further digitalization to maximize the benefits of these investments. This includes strategic benchmarking, optimization, selection, and the implementation of fit-for-purpose Risk Management systems. To achieve this, we collaborate closely with a select group of world-leading suppliers of risk technology.

The ultimate goal is for Zanders to become the go-to expert for our clients, providing them with robust Risk Management systems to effectively manage financial risks and make informed decisions.

Q: How were your first weeks at Zanders?

A: Right from day one, I felt the positive energy and warmth that characterizes the Zanders team. Simultaneously, around 20 new colleagues embarked on their Zanders journeys across Europe, and the onboarding process was exceptionally smooth. I've already had the pleasure of meeting many colleagues, clients, and partners, and I am genuinely convinced that my decision to join Zanders was the perfect career move.

Q: Anything you want to share with the outside world about this career move?

A: If you're curious about our ambitions and how we can help you achieve yours, don't hesitate to reach out. Drop me a message, and let's connect.

In a world of ever-evolving risks and escalating expectations in risk management, Zanders plays a pivotal role in helping organizations navigate these challenges, propelling them toward success. With our unwavering focus on professionalism, expertise, and a commitment to embracing digitalization, we stand as a trusted partner for those in the finance industry. To learn more about us, please visit our About Zanders page.

How to manage SWIFT MT/MX Migration in SAP 

October 2023
4 min read

In a constantly evolving financial landscape, the significance of risk management cannot be emphasized enough.

SWIFT now supports the exchange of ISO 20022 XML or MX message via the so-called FINplus network. In parallel, the legacy MT format messages remain to be exchanged over the ‘regular’ FIN network; The MT flow for message categories 1 (customer payments), 2 (FI transfers) and 9 (statements) through the FIN network will be decommissioned per November 2025. 

As such, between March 2023 and November 2025, financial institutions need to be able to receive and process MX messages through FINplus on the inbound side, and optionally send MX messages or MT messages for outbound messaging. After that period, only MX will be allowed.  

CBPR+ and HVPS+ 

Another important aspect of the MX migration is the development of the CBPR+ and HVPS+ specifications within the ISO20022 XML standard. These specifications dictate how an XML message should be populated in terms of data and field requirements for Cross Border Payments (CBPR+) and Domestic High Value Payments (HVPS+). Note that HVPS+ refers to domestic RTGS clearing systems and a number of countries are in the process of making the domestic clearing systems native ISO20022 XML-compliant.  

Impact for Corporates 

As of today, there should be no immediate need for corporates to change. However, it is advised to start assessing impact and to start planning for change if needed. We give you some cases to consider: 

  1. A corporate currently exchanging e.g. MT101/MT103/MT210 messages towards its house bank via SWIFT FIN Network to make cross border payments, e.g. employing a SWIFT Service Bureau or an Alliance connection. This flow will cease to work after November 2025. If this flow is relevant to your company, it needs attention to be replaced. 
  2. Another case is where, for example, an MT101 is exchanged with a house bank as a file over the FileAct network. Now it depends purely on the house bank’s capabilities to continue supporting this flow after 2025; it could offer a service to do a remapping of your MT message into an MX. This needs to be checked with the house banks. 
  3. The MT940 message flow from the house bank via FIN also requires replacement. 
  4. With respect to the MT940 file flow from house bank via FileAct, we expect little impact as we think most banks will continue supporting the MT940 format exchange as files. We do recommend to check with your house bank to be sure. 
  5. High Value Payments for Domestic Japanese Yen using Zengin format; the BOJ-NET RTGS clearing system has already completed the migration to ISO20022 XML standard. Check with your house bank when the legacy payment format will become unsupported and take action accordingly.  

These were just some examples and should not be considered an exhaustive list.  

    In addition, moving to the ISO20022 XML standard can also provide some softer benefits. We discussed this in a previously published article

    Impact on your SAP implementation 

    So you have determined that the MT/MX migration has impact and that remediating actions need to be taken. What does that look like in SAP? 

    First of all, it is very important to onboard the bank to support you with your change. Most typically, the bank needs to prepare its systems to be able to receive a new payment file format from your end. It is good practice to first test the payment file formatting and receive feedback from the banks implementation manager before going live with it.  

    On the incoming side, it is advisable to first request a number of production bank statements in e.g. the new CAMT.053 format, which can be analyzed and loaded in your test system. This will form a good basis for understanding the changes needed in bank statement posting logic in the SAP system.  


    In general, there are two ways of generating payment files in SAP. The classical one is via a payment method linked to a Payment Medium Workbench (PMW) format and a Data Medium Exchange (DME) tree. This payment method is then linked to your open items which can be processed with the payment run. The payment run then outputs the files as determined in your DME tree. 

    In this scenario, the idea is to simply setup a new payment method and link it to a desired PMW/DME output like pain.001.001.03. These have long been pre-delivered in standard SAP, in both ECC and S/4. It may be necessary to make minor mapping corrections to meet country- or bank-specific data requirements. Under most circumstances this can be achieved with a functional consultant using DME configuration. Once the payment method is fully configured, it can be linked to your customer and vendor master records or your treasury business partners, for example. 

    The new method of generating payment files is via the Advanced Payment Management (SAP APM) module. SAP APM is a module that facilitates the concepts of centralizing payments for your whole group in a so-called payment factory. APM is a module that’s only available in S/4 and is pushed by SAP AG as the new way of implementing payment factories. 

    Here it is a matter of linking the new output format to your applicable scenario or ‘payment route’.  


    Classical MT940 bank statements are read by SAP using ABAP logic. The code interprets the information that is stored in the file and saves parts of it to internal database tables. The stored internal data is then interpreted a second time to determine how the posting and clearing of open items will take place. 

    Processing of CAMT.053 works a bit differently, interpreting the data from the file by a so-called XSLT transformation. This XSLT transformation is a configurable mapping where a CAMT.053 field maps into an internal database table field. SAP has a standard XSLT transformation package that is fairly capable for most use cases. However, certain pieces of useful information in the CAMT.053 may be ignored by SAP. An adjustment to the XSLT transformation can be added to ensure the data is picked up and made available for further interpretation by the system. 

    Another fact to be aware of is the difference in Bank Transaction Codes (BTC) between MT940 and CAMT.053. There could be a different level of granularity and the naming convention is different. BTC codes are the main differentiator in SAP to control posting logic.  

    SAP Incoming File Mapping Engine (IFME) 

    SAP has also put forward a module called Incoming File Mapping Engine (IFME). It serves the purpose as a ‘remapper’ of one output format to another output format. As an example, if your current payment method outputs an MT101, the remapper can take the pieces of information from the MT101 and save it in a pain.001 XML file.  

    Although there may be some fringe scenarios for this solution, we do not recommend such an approach as MT101 is generally weaker in terms of data structure and content than XML. Mapping it into some other format will not solve the problems that MT101 has in general. It is much better to directly generate the appropriate format from the internal SAP data directly to ensure maximum richness and structure. However, this should be considered as a last resort or if the solution is temporary. 

    Networking and new SAP Treasury insights in Chicago 

    October 2023
    4 min read

    In a constantly evolving financial landscape, the significance of risk management cannot be emphasized enough.

    As the first conference in the US since its 4-year hiatus, there was good attendance among corporates and partners. The SAP Treasury conference is an excellent opportunity for customers to see the latest developments within the S/4 HANA Treasury suite.  

    Christian Mnich, VP and Head of Solution Management Treasury and Working Capital Management at SAP, gave the opening keynote titled: "SAP Opening Keynote: Increase Financial Resiliency with SAP Treasury and Working Capital Management Solutions." 

     Corporate Structure changes  

    Ronda De Groodt, Applications Integration Architect at Leprino Foods, presented a case study that covered how Leprino Foods embarked on a company-wide migration from SAP ECC to S/4HANA, specifically implementing SAP Treasury, Cash Management, and Payments solutions in a 6-month time frame. The presentation also had a focus on leveraging SAP S/4HANA Cash Management and SAP machine learning capabilities while migrating to S/4 HANA. 

    Trading Platform Integration 

    In a joint presentation, Justin Brimfield from ICD and Jonathon Kluding from SAP discussed the strategic partnership between the two companies in developing a streamlined Trading Platform Integration. This presentation went into detail on how SAP leverages Trading Platform Integration between SAP and ICD and the efficiencies this integration can create for Treasury. 

     Multi-Bank Connectivity (MBC) 

    Another area of focus at the conference was the capabilities of SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity and how it can simplify and automate financial processes associated while having multiple banks. This was presented by Kweku Biney-Assan from HanesBrands. The presentation focused on answering some crucial questions corporates may have about SAP MBC, ranging from the possible improvements MBC can make to your Treasury Operations and Cash Management processes, to the typical timeline for an implementation. 

     Cash Management & Liquidity Forecasting 

    Renee Fan from Freeport LNG, gave a presentation overviewing the challenges the company faced in terms of cash management, reporting, and analytics. She gave an overview of Freeport LNG’s Treasury Transformation Journey and insights into the upgrades they had made, as well as a further focus on the benefits they have seen as a result of their new cash and liquidity solution. 

    In addition, the conference offered attendees the opportunity to share ideas, build networks, and discuss topics face-to-face. All this made this edition of the event a success!

    SAP Treasury conference in Amsterdam 

    October 2023
    4 min read

    In a constantly evolving financial landscape, the significance of risk management cannot be emphasized enough.

    Of the many attending corporates and partners were offered the opportunity to hear the latest ins and outs of treasury transformation with S/4HANA.  

    Next to the enhancements in S/4HANA Treasury, customers had a clear need to understand what it could means for their Treasury and how they could achieve it. The conference provided an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas with each other and learn from the many case studies presented on treasury transformation.  

    Treasury Transformation with SAP S/4HANA 

    Alongside Ernst Janssen, Digital Treasury and Banking Manager at dsm-firmenich, Zanders director Deepak Aggarwal presented the value drivers for treasury in an S/4HANA migration. The presentation also included the different target architecture and deployment options, as Ernst talked about the choices made at dsm-firmenich and the rationale behind them in a real-life business case study. Zanders has a long-standing relationship with DSM going back as far as 2001, and has supported them in a number of engagements within SAP treasury. 

    In addition, there were similar other presentations on treasury transformation with S/4HANA.  BioNTech presented the case study on centralization of their bank connectivity via APIs for both inbound and outbound bank communication. They are also the first adopters of the new In-House Bank under Advanced Payment Management (APM) solution and integrate the Morgan Money trading platform for money market funds. ABB and PwC talked about their treasury transformation journey on centralization of cash management in a side-car, functionality enhancement through APM, and integration with Central Finance system for balance sheet FX management. Alter Domus and Deloitte presented their treasury transformation via S/4HANA Public Cloud including integrated market data feed and Multi-Bank Connectivity. 

    Digital and Streamlined Treasury Management System 

    Christian Mnich from SAP laid out the vision of SAP Treasury and Working Capital Management solution as an agile, resilient and sustainable solution delivering end-to-end business processes to all customers in all industries. Christian referred to the market challenges of high inflation and rising interest rates calling for a greater need of bank resiliency and cash forecasting to reduce dependencies on business partners and improve cash utilization while avoiding dipping into debt facilities. The sustainability duties like ESG reporting and carbon offsetting appear to be more relevant than ever to meet global assignments. SAP’s 2023 product strategy was presented with Cloud ERP (public or private) at the core, Business Technology Platform as integration and extension layer, and the surrounding SAP and ecosystem applications, delivering end-to-end integrated processes to the business. 

    Trading Platform Integration 

    Another focus area was SAP Integration with ICD for Money Market Funds (MMFs) through Trading Platform Integration (TPI) application. MMFs are seen as an attractive alternative to deposits, yielding better returns and diversifying risk through investment in multiple counterparties. Quite often the business is restricted on MMF dealing as a result of system limitations and overhead due to the manual processes. Integration with ICD via TPI offers benefits of single sign on, automated mapping from ICD to SAP Treasury, auto-creation of securities transaction in SAP, email notification and integrated reporting in SAP Treasury. 

    Embedded Receivables Finance 

    Lastly, SAP integration with Taulia was another focus area to facilitate liquidity management in the companies. Taulia was presented as driving Working Capital Management (WCM) in the companies through its WCM platform and Taulia Multi Funder for efficient share of wallet or discovery of new liquidity. The embedded receivables finance solution in Taulia automates the receivables sales process by automating the status updates of all invoices in Taulia platform and the seller ERP.  

    If you are interested in joining SAP Treasury conferences in future, or any of the topics covered, please do reach out to your Zanders’ contacts. 

    Driving Treasury Innovation: A Closer Look at SAP BTP

    October 2023
    4 min read

    In a constantly evolving financial landscape, the significance of risk management cannot be emphasized enough.

    The SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) is not just a standalone product or a conventional module within SAP's suite of ERP systems; rather, it serves as a strategic platform from SAP, serving as the foundational underpinning for all company-wide innovations. In this article, we will delve deeper into some of the key offerings of SAP BTP for treasury and explore how it can contribute to driving innovation within treasury. 

    The platform is designed to offer a versatile array of tools and services, aiming to enhance, extend, and seamlessly integrate with your existing SAP systems and other applications. Ultimately enabling a more efficient realization of your business objectives, delivering enhanced operational efficacy and flexibility. 

    Analytics and AI 

    One of the standout features of SAP BTP for treasury is its analytics and planning solution, SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC). This feature seamlessly connects with different data sources and other SAP applications. It supports Extended Planning & Analysis and Predictive Planning using machine learning models.  

    At the core of SAC, various planning areas – like finance, supply chain, and workforce – are combined into a cloud-based interconnected plan. This plan is based on a single version of the truth, bringing planning content together. Enhanced by predictive AI and ML models, the plan achieves more accurate forecasting and supports near-real-time planning. Users can also compare different scenarios and perform what-if analysis to evaluate the impact of changes on the plan equipping organizations to prepare for uncertainties effectively. 

    Application Development and Integration 

    An organization's treasury architecture landscape often involves numerous systems, custom applications, and enhancements. However, this complexity can result in challenges related to maintenance, technical debt, and operational efficiency. 

    Addressing these challenges, SAP BTP offers a solution known as the SAP Build apps tool. The tool enables users to adapt standard functionalities and create custom business applications through intuitive no-code/low-code tools. This allows that all custom development takes place outside your SAP ERP system, thereby preserving a ‘clean core’ of your SAP system. This will allow for a simpler, more streamlined maintenance process and a reduced risk of compatibility issues when upgrading to newer versions of SAP. 

    In addition, SAP BTP facilitates seamless connectivity through a range of connectors and APIs integrated within the SAP Integration Suite. Enabling a harmonious integration of data and processes across diverse systems and applications, whether they are on-premise or cloud-based. 

    Process Automation and Workflow Management 

    Efficient process automation and workflow management play a pivotal role in enhancing treasury operations. SAP BTP offers an efficient solution named SAP Build Process Automation which enables users to design and oversee business processes using either low-code or no-code methods. It combines workflow management, robotic process automation, decision management, process visibility, and AI capabilities, all consolidated within a user-friendly interface.  

    A significant advantage of SAP BTP's  workflow approach over conventional SAP workflows is the unification of workflows across diverse systems, including non-SAP systems and increased flexibility, enabling smoother interaction between processes and systems. 

    The integration of SAP BTP for workflow with different SAP modules such as TRM, IHC, BAM is facilitated through the SAP Workflow Management APIs within your SAP S/4 HANA system. 

    In the context of treasury functions, SAP Build Process Automation proves invaluable for automating and refining diverse processes such as cash management, risk management, liquidity planning, payment processing, and reporting. For instance, users can leverage the integrated AI functionalities for tasks like collecting bank statements/account balance information from different systems, consolidating information, saving and/or distributing the cash position information to the appropriate people and systems. Furthermore, the automation recorder can be employed to mechanize the extraction and input of data from diverse systems. Finally, the SAP Build Process Automation can also be utilized to create workflows for complex payment approval scenarios, including exceptions and escalations. 

    Extensions to the Treasury Ecosystem 

    SAP BTP extends the treasury ecosystem with multiple treasury-specific developed solutions, seamlessly enhancing your treasury SAP S/4 HANA system functionality. These extensions include: Multi-Bank Connectivity for simplified and secure banking interactions, SAP  Digital Payment Add-On for efficiently connecting to payment service providers. Trading Platform Integration for streamlined financial instrument trading, SAP Cloud for Credit Integration to assess business partner credit risk, SAP Taulia for Working Capital Management, Cash Application for automatic bank statement processing and cash application, and lastly, SAP Market Rates Management for the reliable retrieving of market data. 

    Empowering organizations with extensive treasury needs by enabling them to selectively adopt these value-added capabilities and solutions offered by SAP. 

    Alternatives to SAP BTP 

    The primary driving factor to consider integrating SAP BTP as an addon to your SAP ERP is when there is an integrated company-wide approach towards adopting BTP. Furthermore, if the standard SAP functionalities fall short of meeting the specific demands of the treasury department, or if the need for seamless integration with other systems arises. 

    It's important to prioritize the optimization of complex processes whenever feasible first, avoiding the pitfall of optimizing inherently flawed processes using advanced technologies such as SAP BTP. It is worth noting that the standard SAP functionality, which is already substantial, could very well suffice. Consequently, we recommend conducting an analysis of your processes first, utilizing the Zanders best practices process taxonomy, before deciding on possible technology solutions. 

    Ultimately, while considering technology options, it's wise to explore offerings from best-of-breed  treasury solution providers as well – keeping in mind the potential need for integration with SAP. 

    Getting Started 

    The above highlights just a glimpse of SAP BTP's capabilities. SAP offers a free trial that allows users to explore its services. Instead of starting from scratch, you can leverage predefined business content such as intelligent RPA bots, workflow packages, predefined decision and business rules and over 170 open connectors with third-party products to get inspired. Some examples relevant for treasury include integration with Trading Brokers, S4HANA SAP Analytics Cloud, workflows designed for managing free-form payments and credit memos, as well as connectors linking to various accounting systems such as Netsuite Finance, Microsoft Dynamics, and Sage. 


    SAP BTP for Treasury is a powerful platform that can significantly enhance treasury. Its advanced analytics, app development and integration, and process automation capabilities enable organizations to gain valuable insights, automate tasks, and improve overall efficiency. If you are looking to revolutionize your treasury operations, SAP BTP is a compelling option to consider.  


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