The world over, treasurers are seeking improved visibility and control over their data. After all, data is the lifeblood that drives corporate treasury success. Martin Bellin, Founder and CEO, BELLIN, believes that having a tool capable of aggregating that data “has exponential utility”. Is he right, and more to the point, does it really exist? In this executive interview, he explains his treasury worldview, talking freely of bridging the gap between corporations and the services they need.
Eleanor Hill, Editor, TMI (EH): Do you agree that treasurers are now truly ‘strategic players’ and, if so, how does that translate in today’s operating environment?
Martin Bellin (MB): Treasury’s role is undoubtedly becoming more significant as twin forces work together: liquidity management is rising in importance as markets become increasingly volatile; and at the same time, corporates are seeking to become more bank-agnostic. Over the past years, CFOs have learnt that there is a function within their organisations that can deliver on these demands – and more: treasury. As the collector and controller of financial information about the future of the company, even M&As and carve-outs, treasury’s promotion into the strategic heart of the finance department was perhaps inevitable.
Technology is part of that story and is playing a pivotal role in shaping the overall finance function. Routine accounting work can, and will, be automated. And while there are repetitive aspects of treasury that machines will perform more and more, treasury will always require strategic thinkers to anticipate the future. Being a great treasurer requires intuition and opinion as part of a wise decision-making process.
Of course, well-informed decisions also require the assimilation of vast pools of information. This is why, compared with other finance functions such as accounting, treasury is increasingly visible. In fact, treasury is a data gold mine.