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Peer Insight: Tech20 Fall 2006 Meeting

July 02, 2007
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In the Fall of 2006, members of the Tech20 Group of Treasurers met for a two-day exchange of ideas and best practices. Sponsored by UBS Investment Bank, the meeting focused on the structural misalignment between cash needs and location and how it affects capital markets, investments and foreign currency risk-management decisions.

1) Investment Management. More cash means more pressure to increase returns, but members reported that duration extension, not the introduction of alternative asset classes, is the most popular way to enhance yield.

  • Key Takeaway: While identifying the right trade-off between risk and return is a growing challenge, outsourcing the front- and back office is making it manageable for treasury to handle growing cash levels.

2) Capital Market Out-takes. To offset slower-growing cash, tech companies have sought creative ways to boost returns in the US, e.g., issue converts to buy back stock.

  • Key Takeaway: The economics of the convert/buyback structure depend on multiple variables, but the group agreed that the "old" buyback approach no longer provides a big positive.

3) Treasurer Career Development. Rambus CEO Harold Hughes explained how treasurers can move into the C-Suite.

  • Key Takeaway: Treasurers must know the business and be at the ready as opportunities arise. 

4) FX Risk Management. UBS’s Brian Jennings led a discussion around FX risk-management strategies and execution issues.

  • Key Takeaway: Against the backdrop of a weakening US dollar, treasurers should assess strategies and performance metrics, but treasury’s focus remains on exposure identification and mitigating the effects of currency moves on enterprise performance.



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