100 days to onboard – Assa Abloy’s formula for M&A success

With the global and ever-changing nature of corporate treasury, predicting tomorrow’s challenges is impossible. What we can do, however is seek to get solid structures in place today that will set up a solid foundation for the future. On stage at Treasury 360° Nordic 2024, Anneli Walltott of Sandvik and Sigrid Pettersson of Assa Abloy, together with Marion Reuter of Standard Chartered shared how to manage this.

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In her two years at Assa Abloy, Petersson has seen 43 acquisitions, which has resulted in the opening of “at least 100 bank accounts”, by her estimation. As if the sheer volume of this wasn’t challenging enough, the firm’s treasury also has a policy of onboarding new entities within 100 days.

Despite the pressure it puts on the team, Petersson assured the audience that the policy is one that “works well”. In addition to having a dedicated integration manager assigned to every acquisition, the key to success lies in getting “the acquisition to work right from the beginning”.

“It’s really important to invest time with the company that has been acquired and with their teams,” she advised. “If you start at the beginning to really educate on how you do business and how you do treasury – explaining (to the acquired entities) ‘you need to do FX with us; use our relationship banks’ – if you really try to explain why, and it’s part of the big picture, you’d really get them on board and to own it.”

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Although Sandvik hasn’t had as many acquisitions as Assa Abloy, and thus doesn’t have as thorough a process already set up, Walltott agreed with Patersson on the importance of diving into integration as early as possible.

Unfortunately, “changing banks, for some companies, is as difficult as changing a wife,” she quipped, and that is only one part of every treasury integration, which may include getting the new entity to join the firm’s treasury management system (TMS), as well as guarantee and invoice systems.

The panellists were:
Anneli Walltott, Deputy Group Treasurer, Head of Cash Flow Management, Sandvik Treasury,
Sigrid Pettersson, Global head of Cash Management, Assa Abloy,
Marion Reuter, Managing Director, Regional Head Transaction Banking Sales, UK and Europe, Standard Chartered, and
Jonas Landebrink, Director, Transaction Banking Sales Nordic, Standard Chartered.

 

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