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How to build a treasury in six months, the Ebusco way

VIDEO | Suddenly flushed with more funds than it knew what to do with after an IPO, Dutch electric bus manufacturer Ebusco needed a treasury, and fast. At the Treasury 360° Nordic conference, Guus Groote Schaarsberg, Senior Associate at Orchard Finance, and Jan Hermans, Ebusco’s Treasury Manager, shared how they built one to help the firm manage €315 million – in six short months.

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Before Ebusco had a treasury, they had Peter Bijvelds, the Founder CEO, and Björn Krook, the CFO. The firm’s forex policy was Peter Bijvelds’ alone. An avid trader, he handled Ebusco’s FX activities – and kept track of it all with an Excel sheet.

As for Björn Krook, “He could initiate payments, approve payments, and send them to the bank without any limits. With €300 million in the account – it’s not that I don’t trust the guy – but I didn’t sleep that well,” Jan Hermans jokes.

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Getting serious

Setting up a treasury where there didn’t use to be one meant accepting formalised structures and processes. Some start-up behaviours simply had to go, but some – such as the lack of red tape and multiple layers of approval – played to the firm’s advantage.

Guus Groote Schaarsberg mentioned that it is common for corporations, when selecting a TMS system, to start with a long list of 10 options before shortlisting to five, while asking many questions in between. With Ebusco, “they asked me for the best two fits for their company, I shared two names, and we only focused on those two.” 

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

The team eventually decided on Coupa Treasury, linked to 360t and Infront for FX activities and market data, a set-up that Jan Hermans described as a plug-and-play solution that’s also future-proof and scalable.

“This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Ebusco,” he says. “We had nothing, so there was no legacy. We didn’t have an old system we needed to replace; we could do whatever we needed to and make it happen, so we had to make sure that we can use it for the coming years as well.”

Guus Groote Schaarsberg is Senior Associate, Orchard Finance, and
Jan Hermans is Treasury Manager, Ebusco.

 

• News around Treasury 360° Nordic 2023, on 20 April, is gathered here.
• The conference info site, with detailed agenda, is here.
• For post-event access to recorded sessions, our video list will grow here.
• By the way … are we connected on LinkedIn already, as 1,300 pros are already? Follow us here.

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