As the leading bank to Japanese corporates globally, MUFG's Japanese Corporate and Investment Banking team invited Finance and Treasury professionals from a broad range of sectors to reflect on how to deliver effective change.

Kazu Nakajima, Head of Japanese Corporate Banking, MUFG EMEA, provided the opening keynote, sharing perspectives on the importance of transformation to ensure corporates can be agile and respond to the fast-changing external environment including: COVID-19, geopolitical tensions, energy prices, inflation and supply chain issues.

Following this, Michael Moffett, PwC Partner, Transformation and Daniel Windaus, PwC Partner, Working Capital, shared insights on solutions delivered to transform corporates' balances sheets and operations. This included a broad range of areas such as operational efficiency, procurement and cross organisational partnerships. Next, Dil Khan, Director – Securitised Products & Supply Chain Finance, MUFG EMEA, provided an overview of how MUFG has used Supply Chain Finance solutions to drive finance and operational transformation for its clients. During the pandemic, the number of corporates using Supply Chain Finance to support their supply chain increased, enabling suppliers to access capital early.

The final speaker was Amit Singh, Group Treasurer, Takeda, who presented insights from his experience of global Treasury, being a key stakeholder in the Post Merger Integration (PMI) between Takeda and Shire, as well as personal learnings on cross cultural working. For post-merger integration and cross-cultural collaboration, communication is critical from the start to ensure frequent engagement and ongoing alignment.

Some of the key takeaways from the session include:

  • Business headwinds continue to evolve. In addition to COVID-19, corporates face issues such as: supply chain disruption, inflation and interest rate rises, changing climate change regulations and ongoing Brexit impacts.
  • Key transformation focus areas include workforce, third party spend, property and automation. Decision making must be data driven to successfully identify and implement opportunities.
  • The majority of sectors saw a deterioration in working capital during the pandemic due to exceptional volatility. This required corporates to transform their supply chains through enhanced forecasting, availability and transparency.
  • Supply Chain Finance solutions have become increasingly popular as a method for corporates to improve their working capital and supplier relationships.
  • Transformation during Post Merger Integration requires focused decision making, agility and prioritisation. All areas of finance and treasury should be reviewed to seek synergies and cyber security should not be overlooked.
  • Corporates were required to rapidly transform to adjust to the impacts of COVID and now will have to again review their business model as and when COVID recedes.

As we begin the new year with new uncertainties, the event provided a chance to rethink focus areas for transformation and share best practices. MUFG's Japanese Corporate and Investment Banking team is committed to continuing to support its clients through providing thought leadership. MUFG would like to extend its thanks to all the speakers and attendees who took the time to participate in this event.

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