MODEC’s step to an automated FX hedging process

MODEC, the world’s largest independent operator of offshore floating production systems for the oil and gas industry, was managing its foreign exchange (FX) hedging process manually.

Since our functional currency is US dollars, we are exposed to a significant FX risk

Qiurong Chong, Financial Planning & Treasury Manager


In 2020, the company decided to automate this process, successfully reducing the time spent on it from three days to within one day.

Headquartered in Tokyo, MODEC is a general contractor for the engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of floating systems for deep-sea oil production. These systems include FPSO (floating production storage and offloading) units, FSO (floating storage and offloading) units, floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facilities, tension-leg platforms (TLPs), semi-submersible platforms, mooring systems and new technologies to meet the challenges of gas production floaters.

As largest independent operator of FPSO’s in the world, MODEC specializes in units for offshore deep sea oil production. “Then we either sell it to our clients or own and operate it on client’s behalf for 20 to 25 years,” says Qiurong Chong, Financial Planning & Treasury Manager at MODEC. Her business unit is located in Singapore and handles the conversion and EPCI of the FPSOs. From there, majority of the constructed FPSOs are handed over to MODEC’s business unit in Brazil responsible for the operations and maintenance of the vessels. “Our operations are therefore substantially in Brazil. But we do have presence in Australia, Ghana and Vietnam too.”


Need for automation

As a global company, MODEC deals with a lot of vendors and major equipment suppliers. Chong: “Our vendors are located everywhere. Some are in China, where we usually do our transactions in US dollars. The major equipment vendors are located in Europe, such as Italy, Germany and The Netherlands. Therefore, the euro is one of the main foreign currencies. And since our functional currency is US dollars, we are exposed to a significant FX risk.”

MODEC’s finance department was managing the FX hedging process manually with the use of spreadsheets. By the end of 2019, there were approximately 350 outstanding FX forwards hedging the future cash flows of the purchase orders (POs) associated with MODEC’s projects. “The POs contain the information we need from the vendors for the FX process, including the cost in dollar value, the breakdown of the payment milestones and the expected payment date,” Chong explains.

The PO information was extracted from its system to be incorporated in an Excel overview driving their hedging activities. This was a labor-intensive process and since the expected number of FX transactions increased, MODEC decided to automate this process. Chong: “With Excel you have less control over the data integrity and only a few people had access to the account data. There were quite some governance concerns on this manual spreadsheet. We wanted to improve this process. And as our company grows, with an increasing number of projects running at the same time, the effort that we spend on updating and maintaining hundreds of transactions was too much.”

SAP TRM for straight-through-processing

Previously, all FX forwards were communicated via email, letter or phone and processed through a single cash centre between two banks. Bank accounts exist within each bank for all the currencies transacted, which total around eight for each bank. Monthly valuations are provided by the banks and upon settlement the bank automatically debits and credits MODEC’s bank accounts accordingly. GL journal entries were manually created in SAP. In the coming years, the number of FX forwards is expected to grow to 500 or more. 

In the summer of 2020, MODEC Finance decided to implement SAP TRM for the straight-through-processing of FX forwards. Chong: “We asked around in the market about what system they used for their FX transactions. Our accounting migrated to SAP in 2017, which is quite recent. And since our information on vendors and POs are all in SAP, we thought: why not integrate everything together? That is why we decided to choose SAP TRM.”


Meeting the requirements

Thereafter, the new system needed to be integrated and automated. “We had been working with SAP successfully for some time and they recommended Zanders to support us. We reached out and asked Zanders for a demo. During that demo the team showed us the flow and functionalities that the TRM module in SAP could offer. It met our requirements, and we felt comfortable as Zanders could explain what we did not understand. It is important to be able to communicate with consultants in very simple terms and things that our department could understand. That is why we chose Zanders to support us in this project.”

Chong then asked Zanders to customize a program that could correctly capture the exposure positions and hedge relationships with the FX forward contracts. “Once a new PO is created, it can read that information and integrate it into the treasury module. We had quite some difficulties in trying to make the program to what it should be. The way we use SAP is not very standard, at some points, things got quite complex, but Zanders was able to resolve the complexities. Now the program is running very well. This process is expected to provide hedge accounting documentation under IFRS 9 and generate GL journal entries for monthly valuations and settlement.”

We thought: why not integrate everything together?

Qiurong Chong, Financial Planning & Treasury Manager


Meeting the requirements

Thereafter, the new system needed to be integrated and automated. “We had been working with SAP successfully for some time and they recommended Zanders to support us. We reached out and asked Zanders for a demo. During that demo the team showed us the flow and functionalities that the TRM module in SAP could offer. It met our requirements, and we felt comfortable as Zanders could explain what we did not understand. It is important to be able to communicate with consultants in very simple terms and things that our department could understand. That is why we chose Zanders to support us in this project.”

Chong then asked Zanders to customize a program that could correctly capture the exposure positions and hedge relationships with the FX forward contracts. “Once a new PO is created, it can read that information and integrate it into the treasury module. We had quite some difficulties in trying to make the program to what it should be. The way we use SAP is not very standard, at some points, things got quite complex, but Zanders was able to resolve the complexities. Now the program is running very well. This process is expected to provide hedge accounting documentation under IFRS 9 and generate GL journal entries for monthly valuations and settlement.”



“We kicked off the project in August 2020 with a key user training, which was very useful – it prepared us well for the whole process. After that we had four weeks of requirements gathering, which was quite intensive but very productive. We had a few challenging areas that required additional effort by Zanders to do some research. Eventually all challenges were resolved, and we went live in February this year, so the project took about a half year.”

The systems are now connected. “So far, the systems are running well. There have been some small issues here and there – then we reached out to Zanders to resolve it. Zanders consultants Michiel and Mart were really very helpful throughout the whole process. Even our hedge accounting entries are done by the system. The automation reduces the processing time from an average of three days to within one day. The main beneficial part for us is that the business has the hedge documentation available from the system. In the past, we spent hours on computing effectiveness for the hundreds of transactions. When we were using Excel, we were only doing this on a quarterly basis. Now we can do it every month.”

Next steps

Are there still any challenges to be met for MODEC Finance? Chong: “We are still trying to stabilize the work process and get the hang of the new system. Once everything is more stable, there are some things we may explore. Automating this FX transaction was a first step for us in the treasury department. We are still doing many other reports manually for our headquarters in Japan. By bringing our HQ onboard this TRM module, we can have a seamless flow of information between us and them, which reduces any lag time and the need for us to extract the reports for them.”


Would like to know more about our treasury system support in Asia? Then please contact Michiel Putman Cramer via +81 3 6892 3047.

7 Steps to Treasury Transformation

May 2016
5 min read

Treasury transformation refers to the definition and implementation of the future state of a treasury department. This includes treasury organization & strategy, the banking landscape, system infrastructure and treasury workflows & processes.

Treasury transformation refers to the definition and implementation of the future state of a treasury department. This includes treasury organization & strategy, the banking landscape, system infrastructure and treasury workflows & processes.


Zanders has witnessed first-hand a treasury transformation trend sweeping global corporate treasuries in recent years and has seen an elite group of multinationals pursue increased efficiency, enhanced visibility and reduced cost on a grand scale in their respective finance and treasury organizations.

Triggers for treasury transformations

Why does a treasury need to transform? There comes a point in an organization’s life when it is necessary to take stock of where it is coming from, how it has grown and especially where it wants to be in the future.

Corporates grow in various ways: through the launch of new products, by entering new markets, through acquisitions or by developing strong pipelines. However, to sustain further growth they need to reinforce their foundations and transform themselves into stronger, leaner, better organizations.

What triggers a treasury organization to transform? Before defining the treasury transformation process, it is interesting to look at the drivers behind a treasury transformation. Zanders has identified five main triggers:

1. Organic growth of the organization Growth can lead to new requirements.
As a result of successive growth the as-is treasury infrastructure might simply not suffice anymore, requiring changes in policies, systems and controls.

2. Desire to be innovative and best-in-class
A common driver behind treasury transformation projects is the basic human desire to be best-in-class and continuously improve treasury processes. This is especially the case with the development of new technology and/or treasury concepts.

3. Event-driven
Examples of corporate events triggering the need for a redesign of the treasury organization include mergers, acquisitions, spin-off s and restructurings. For example, in the case of a divestiture, a new treasury organization may need to be established. After a merger, two completely different treasury units, each with their own systems, processes and people, will need to find a new shape as a combined entity.

4. External factors
The changing regulatory environment and increased volatility in financial markets have been major drivers behind treasury transformation in recent years. Corporate treasurers need to have a tighter grasp on enterprise risks and quicker access to information.

5. The changing role of corporate treasury
Finally the changing role of corporate treasury itself is a driver of transformation projects. The scope of the treasury organization is expanding into the fi nancial supply chain and as a result the relationship between the CFO and the corporate treasurer is growing stronger. This raises new expectations and demands of treasury technology and organization.

Treasury transformation – strategic opportunities for simplification

A typical treasury transformation program focuses on treasury organization, the banking landscape, system infrastructure and treasury workflows & processes. The table below highlights typical trends seen by Zanders as our clients strive for simplified and effective treasury organizations. From these trends we can see many state of the art treasuries strive to:

  • be centralized
  • outsource routine tasks and activities to a financial shared service centre (FSSC)
  • have a clear bank relationship management strategy and have a balanced banking wallet
  • maintain simple and transparent bank account structures with automatic cash concentration mechanisms
  • be bank agnostic as regards bank connectivity and formats
  • operate a fully integrated system landscape

Figure 1: Strategic opportunities for simplification

The seven steps

Zanders has developed a structured seven-step approach towards treasury transformation programs. These seven steps are shown in Figure 2 below

Figure 2: Zanders seven steps to treasury transformation projects

Step 1: Review & Assessment

Review & assessment, as in any business transformation exercise, provides an in-depth understanding of a treasury’s current state. It is important for the company to understand their existing processes, identify disconnects and potential process improvements.

The review & assessment phase focusses on the key treasury activities of treasury management, risk management and corporate finance. The first objective is to gain an in-depth understanding of the following areas:

  • organizational structure
  • governance and strategy policies
  • banking infrastructure and cash management
  • financial risk management
  • treasury systems infrastructure
  • treasury workflows and processes

Figure 3: Example of data collection checklist for review & assessment

Based on the review and assessment, existing short-falls can be identified as well as where the treasury organization wants to go in the future, both operationally and strategically.

Figure 4 shows Zanders’ approach towards the review and assessment step.

Figure 4: Review & assessment break-down

Typical findings
Based on Zanders’ experience, common findings of a review and assessment are listed below:

Treasury organization & strategy:

  • Disjointed sets of policies and procedures
  • Organizational structure not sufficiently aligned with required segregation of duties
  • Activities being done locally which could be centralized (e.g. into a FSSC), thereby realizing economies of scale
  • Treasury resources spending the majority of their time on operational tasks that don’t add value and that could be automated. This prevents treasury from being able to focus sufficiently on strategic tasks, projects and fulfilling its internal consulting role towards the business.

Banking landscape:

  • Mismatch between wallet share of core banking partners and credit commitment provided
  • No overview of all bank accounts of the company nor of the balances on these bank accounts
  • While cash management and control of bank accounts is often highly centralized, local balances can be significant due to missing cash concentration structures
  • Lack of standardization of payment types and payment processes and different payment fi le formats per bank

System infrastructure:

  • Considerable amount of time spent on manual bank statement reconciliation and manual entry of payments
  • The current treasury systems landscape is characterized by extensive use of MS Excel, manual interventions, low level of STP and many different electronic banking systems
  • Difficulty in reporting on treasury data due to a scattered system landscape
  • Manual up and downloads instead of automated interfaces
  • Corporate-to-bank communication (payments and bank statements processes) shows significant weaknesses and risks with regard to security and efficiency

Treasury workflows & processes:

  • Monitoring and controls framework (especially of funds/payments) are relatively light
  • Paper-based account opening processes
  • Lack of standardization and simplification in processes

The outcome of the review & assessment step will be the input for step two: Solution Design.

Step 2: Solution Design

The key objective of this step is to establish the high-level design of the future state of treasury organization. During the solution design phase, Zanders will clearly outline the strategic and operational options available, and will make recommendations on how to achieve optimal efficiency, effectiveness and control, in the areas of treasury organization & strategy, banking landscape, system infrastructure and treasury workflows & processes.

Using the review & assessment report and findings as a starting point, Zanders highlights why certain findings exist and outlines how improvements can be implemented, based on best market practices. The forum for these discussions is a set of workshops. The first workshop focuses on “brainstorming” the various options, while the second workshop is aimed at decision-making on choosing and defining the most suitable and appropriate alternatives and choices.

The outcome of these workshops is the solution design document, a blueprint document which will be the basis for any functional and/or technical requirements document required at a later stage of the project when implementing, for example, a new banking landscape or treasury management system.

Step 3: Roadmap

The solution design will include several sub-projects, each with a different priority, some more material than others and all with their own risk profile. It is important therefore for the overall success of the transformation that all sub-projects are logically sequenced, incorporating all inter-relationships, and are managed as one coherent program.

The treasury roadmap organizes the solution design into these sub-projects and prioritizes each area appropriately. The roadmap portrays the timeframe, which is typically two to five years, to fully complete the transformation, estimating individually the duration to fully complete each component of the treasury transformation program.

“A Program is a group of related projects managed in a coordinated manner to obtain benefits and control not available from managing them individually”.



Figure 5: Sample treasury roadmap

Step 4: Business Case

The next step in the treasury transformation program is to establish a business case.

Depending on the individual organization, some transformation programs will require only a very high-level business case, while others require multiple business cases; a high level business case for the entire program and subsequent more detailed business cases for each of the sub-projects.

Figure 6: Building a business case

The business case for a treasury transformation program will include the following three parts:

  • The strategic context identifies the business needs, scope and desired outcomes, resulting from the previous steps
  • The analysis and recommendation section forms the significant part of the business case and concerns itself with understanding all of the options available, aligning them with the business requirements, weighing the costs against the benefits and providing a complete risk assessment of the project
  • The management and controlling section includes the planning and project governance, interdependencies and overall project management elements

Notwithstanding the financial benefits, there are many common qualitative benefits in transforming the treasury. These intangibles are often more important to the CFO and group treasurer than the financial benefits. Tight control and full compliance are significant features of world-class treasuries and, to this end, they are typically top of the list of reasons for embarking on a treasury transformation program. As companies grow in size and complexity, efficiency is difficult to maintain. After a period of time there may need to be a total overhaul to streamline processes and decrease the level of manual effort throughout the treasury organization. One of the main costs in such multi-year, multi-discipline transformation programs is the change management required over extended periods.

Figure 7: Sample cost-benefit

Figure 7 shows an example of how several sub-projects might contribute to the overall net present value of a treasury transformation program, providing senior management with a tool to assess the priority and resource allocation requirements of each sub-project.

Step 5: Selection(s)

Based on Zanders’ experience gained during previous treasury transformation programs, key evaluation & selection decisions are commonly required for choosing:

  • bank partners
  • bank connectivity channels
  • treasury systems
  • organizational structure

Zanders has assisted treasury departments with selection processes for all these components and has developed standardized selection processes and tools.

Selection process for bank partners
Common objectives for including the selection of banking partners in a treasury transformation program include the following:

  • to align banks that provide cash and risk management solutions with credit providing banks
  • to reduce the number of banks and bank accounts
  • to create new banking architecture and cash pooling structures
  • to reduce direct and indirect bank charges
  • to streamline cash management systems and connectivity
  • to meet the service requirements of the business; and
  • to provide a robust, scalable electronic platform for future growth/expansion.

Zanders’ approach to bank partner selection is shown in Figure 8 below.

Figure 8: Bank partner selection process

Selection process for bank connectivity providers or treasury systems (treasury management systems, in-house banks, payment factories)
The selection of new treasury technology or a bank connectivity provider will follow the selection process depicted in Figure 9.

Figure 9: Treasury technology selection process

Organizational structure
If change in the organizational structure is part of the solution design, the need for an evaluation and selection of the optimal organizational structure becomes relevant. An example of this would be selecting a location for a FSSC or selecting an outsourcing partner. Based on the high-level direction defined in the solution design and based on Zanders’ extensive experience, we can advise on the best organization structure to be selected, on a functional, strategic and geographical level.

Step 6: Execution

The sixth step of treasury transformation is execution. In this step, the future-state treasury design will be realized. The execution typically consists of various sub-projects either being run in parallel or sequentially.

Zanders’ implementation approach follows the following steps during execution of the various treasury transformation sub-projects. Since treasury transformation entails various types of projects, in the areas of treasury organization, system infrastructure, treasury processes and banking landscape, not all of these steps apply to all projects to the same extent.

For several aspects of a treasury transformation program, such as the implementation of a payment factory, a common and tested approach is to go live with a number of pilot countries or companies first before rolling out the solution across the globe.

Figure 10: Zanders’ execution approach

Step 7: Post-Execution

The post-execution step of a treasury transformation is an important part of the program and includes the following activities:

6-12 months after the execution step:
– project review and lessons learned
– post implementation review focussing on actual benefits realized compared to the initial business case

On an ongoing basis:
– periodic benchmark and continuous improvement review
– ongoing systems maintenance and support
– periodic upgrade of systems
– periodic training of treasury resources
– periodic bank relationship reviews

Zanders offers a wide range of services covering the post-execution step.

Importance of a structured approach

There are many internal and external factors that require treasury organizations to increase efficiency, effectiveness and control. In order to achieve these goals for each of the treasury activities of treasury management, risk management and corporate finance, it is important to take a holistic approach, covering the organizational structure and strategy, the banking landscape, the systems infrastructure and the treasury workflows and processes. Zanders’ seven steps to treasury transformation provides such an approach, by working from a detailed as-is analysis to the implementation of the new treasury organization.

Why Zanders?

Zanders is a completely independent treasury consultancy f rm founded in 1994 by Mr. Chris J. Zanders. Our objective is to create added value for our clients by using our expertise in the areas of treasury management, risk management and corporate finance. Zanders employs over 130 specialist treasury consultants who are the key drivers of our success. At Zanders, our advisory team consists of professionals with different areas of expertise and professional experience in various treasury and finance roles.

Due to our successful growth, Zanders is a leading consulting firm and market leader in independent consulting services in the area of treasury and risk management. Our clients are multinationals, financial institutions and international organizations, all with a global footprint.

Independent advice

Zanders is an independent firm and has no shareholder or ownership relationships with any third party, for example banks, accountancy firms or system vendors. However, we do have good working relationships with the major treasury and risk management system vendors. Due to our strong knowledge of the treasury workstations we have been awarded implementation partnerships by several treasury management system vendors. Next to these partnerships, Zanders is very proud to have been the first consultancy firm to be a certified SWIFTNet management consultant globally.

Thought leader in treasury and finance

Tomorrow’s developments in the areas of treasury and risk management should also have attention focused on them today. Therefore Zanders aims to remain a leading consultant and market leader in this field. We continuously publish articles on topics related to development in treasury strategy and organization, treasury systems and processes, risk management and corporate finance. Furthermore, we organize workshops and seminars for our clients and our consultants speak regularly at treasury conferences organized by the Association of Financial Professionals (AFP), EuroFinance Conferences, International Payments Summit, Economist Intelligence Unit, Association of Corporate Treasurers (UK) and other national treasury associations.

From ideas to implementation

Zanders is supporting its clients in developing ‘best in class’ ideas and solutions on treasury and risk management, but is also committed to implement these solutions. Zanders always strives to deliver, within budget and on time. Our reputation is based on our commitment to the quality of work and client satisfaction. Our goal is to ensure that clients get the optimum benefit of our collective experience.

PDF Zanders Green Paper; 7 Steps to Treasury Transformation

Setting up an Effective Counterparty Risk Management Framework

July 2013
5 min read

Treasury transformation refers to the definition and implementation of the future state of a treasury department. This includes treasury organization & strategy, the banking landscape, system infrastructure and treasury workflows & processes.

In recent years, the counterparty risks that corporates are exposed to have dramatically changed. Besides the traditional default risk that corporates hold on their customers, there has been an increase in counterparty risk regarding the exposures to financial institutions (FIs), the total supply chain, and also to sovereign risk. Market volatility remains high and counterparty risk is one of the top risks that need to be managed. Any failure in managing counterparty risk effectively can result in a direct adverse cash flow effect.

There are two important factors that have resulted in greater attention being paid to counterparty risk related to FIs in treasury. Firstly, FIs are no longer considered ‘immune’ to default. Secondly, the larger and better-rated corporates are now hoarding a day’s more cash compared to their pre-2008 crisis practice, due to restricted investment opportunities in the current economic environment, limited debt redemption and share buy-back possibilities and the desire to have financial flexibility.

Several trends can be identified regarding counterparty risk in the corporate landscape. In a corporate-to-bank relationship, counterparty risk is being increasingly assessed bilaterally. For example, the days are over when counterparty risk mitigating arrangements, such as the credit support annex (CSA) of an International Swaps and Derivative Association (ISDA) agreement, were only in favor of FIs. Nowadays, CSAs are more based on equivalence between the corporate and FI.

Measuring and Quantifying of Counterparty Risks

The magnitude of counterparty risk can be estimated according to the expected loss (EL), which is a combination of the following elements:

  1. Probability of default (PD): The probability that the counterparty will default.
  2. Exposure at default (EAD): The total amount of exposure on the counterparty at default. Besides the actual exposure the potential future exposure can also be taken into account. This is the maximum exposure expected to occur in the future at a certain confidence level, based on a credit-at-risk model.
  3. Loss given default (LGD): Magnitude of actual loss on the exposure at default.

This methodology is also typically applied by FIs to assess counterparty risk and associated EL. The probability of default is an indicator of the credit standing of the counterparty, whereas the latter two are an indicator of the actual size of the exposure. Maximum exposure limits on the combination of the two will have to be defined in a counterparty risk management policy.

Another form of counterparty risk is settlement risk, or the risk that one party of the agreement does not deliver a security, or its value in cash, as per the agreement after the other party has already delivered the security or cash value. Whereas EAD and LGD are calculated on a net market value for derivatives, settlement risk entails risk to the entire face value of the exposure. Settlement risk can be mitigated, for example by the joining multicurrency cash settlement system Continuous Link Settlement (CLS), which settles gross transactions of both legs of trades simultaneously with immediate finality.

Counterparty Exposures

In order to be able to manage and mitigate counterparty risk effectively, treasurers require visibility over the counterparty risk. They must ensure that they measure and manage the full counterparty exposure, which means not only managing the risk on cash balances and bank deposits but also the effect of lending (the failure to lend), actual market values on outstanding derivatives and also indirect exposures.

Any counterparty risk mitigation via collateralisation of exposures, such as that negotiated in a CSA as part of the ISDA agreement and also legally enforceable netting arrangements, also has to be taken into account. Such arrangements will not change the EAD, but can reduce the LGD (note that collateralisation can reduce credit risk, but it can also give rise to an increased exposure to liquidity risk).

Also, clearing of derivative transactions through a clearing house – as is imposed for certain counterparties by the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) – will alter counterparty risk exposure. Those cleared transactions are also typically margined. Most corporates will be exempted from central clearing because they will stay below the EMIR-defined thresholds.

It will be important to take a holistic view on counterparty risk exposures and assess the exposures on an aggregated basis across a company’s subsidiaries and treasury activities.

Assessing Probability of Default

A good starting point for monitoring the financial stability of a counterparty has traditionally been to assess the credit rating of the institutions as published by ratings agencies. Recent history has proved however that such ratings lag somewhat behind other indicators and that they do not move quickly enough in periods of significant market volatility. Since the credit rating is perceived to be somewhat more reactive they will have to be treated carefully. Market driven indicators, such as credit default swap (CDS)spreads, are more sensitive to changes in the markets. Any changes in the perceived credit worthiness are instantly reflected in the CDS pricing. Tracking CDS spreads on FIs can give a good proxy of their credit standing.

How to use CDS spreads effectively and incorporate them into a counterparty risk management policy is, however, sometimes still unclear. Setting fixed limits on CDS values is not flexible enough when the market changes as a whole. Instead, a more dynamic approach that is based on the relative standing of an FI in the form of a ranking compared to its peers will add more value, or the trend in the CDS of a FI compared against that of its peers can give a good indication.

A combination of the credit rating and ‘normalised’ CDS spreads will give a proxy of the FI’s financial stability and the probability of default.

Counterparty Risk Management Policy

It is important to implement a clear policy to manage and monitor counterparty risk and it should, at the very least, address the following items:

  • Eligible counterparties for treasury transactions, plus acceptance criteria for new counterparties – for example, to ensure consistent ISDA and credit support agreements are in place. This will also be linked to the credit commitment. Banks which provide credit support to the company will probably also demand ancillary business, so there should be a balanced relationship. While the pre-crisis trend was to rationalise the number of bank relationships, since 2008 it has moved to one of diversification. This is a trade-off between cost optimisation and risk mitigation that corporates should make.
  • Eligible instruments and transactions (which can be credit standing dependent).
  • Term and duration of transactions (which can be credit standing dependent).
  • Variable maximum credit exposure limits based on credit standing.
  • Exposure measurement – how is counterparty risk identified and quantified?
  • Responsibility and accountability – at what level/who should have ultimate responsibility for managing the counterparty risk.
  • Decision making to provide an overall framework for decision making by staff, including treatment of breaches etc.
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – Selection of KPIs to measure and monitor performance.
  • Reporting – Definition of reporting requirements and format.
  • Continuous improvement – What procedures are required to keep the policy up to date?

To set up an effective counterparty risk management process, there are five steps to be taken as shown below; from identifying, quantifying, setting a policy to process and execute the set policy regarding counterparty risk.

Treasurers should avoid this becoming an administrative process; instead it should really be a risk management process. It will be important that counterparty risk can be monitored and reported on a continuous basis. Having real-time access to exposure and market data will be a prerequisite in order to be able to recalculate the exposures on a frequent basis. Market volatility can change exposure values rapidly.

* A credit default swap protects against default. In the event of a default the buyer will receive compensation. The spread (CDS spread) is the (insurance) premium paid for the swap.

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