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Michael Gerhards: a new partner strengthening the KPMG Treasury Advisory team

Michael Gerhards: a new partner

Further expanding our expertise in introducing and optimising treasury management systems

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Michael Gerhards

As of 1 September 2019, Michael Gerhards will join KPMG as a partner working primarily in the area of advisory of corporate treasuries for introducing and enhancing FIS systems (Quantum, Integrity, Trax and others). In the past 20 years, he gained extensive experience in setting up and expanding treasury units as well as commodity trading and risk management. Gerhards was pivotal in establishing a treasury function in connection with the carve-out of Covestro and became the Head of Group Financial Controlling in 2015. In this role, he was responsible, with his team of seven staff, for risk controlling and reporting, financial planning, treasury operations and treasury systems. As project manager, he successfully introduced FIS Quantum in just eight months. He is also the Head of the Quantum User Group in Germany. Before that he worked as an independent consultant for treasury and commodity trading and risk management for ten years. He started his career in commodity trading and risk management at PwC Consulting (later: IBM Consulting). 

With this new appointment, KPMG's Finance & Treasury Advisory is enhancing its expertise in essential IT systems for Corporate Treasury. Currently, more than half of the KPMG experts are already specialised in the implementation of treasury functions using applications of SAP (SAP TR, IHC,BCM), ION (WSS, ITS) and Bellin (tm5). With Gerhards and other FIS specialists providing access, KPMG will be able to cover the majority of systems used in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and thereby further strengthen its position as the leading system-independent treasury IT advisory firm.

Objective and in-depth advice on the selection of a suitable system for the specific requirements of corporate treasury requires a combination of profound technical expertise and thorough knowledge of the functionalities and specifics of the systems available for selection. System functionalities can be tested and developed in the various test systems in the course of introductory projects. As the interface between KPMG departments and system manufacturers regularly represents one of the greatest project risks, it is crucial for the successful implementation of IT solutions in treasury to also master the procedural and methodological best practices in treasury, understand the functional possibilities of systems and have experience with the management of large projects. 

Implementing digital solutions requires a stable basis of fundamental system functionalities. Before starting digitalisation initiatives, treasuries should therefore remove deficits in the existing IT landscape and upgrade it with state-of-the-art technology. Moreover, successful digitalisation requires careful consideration of the functionalities of IT solutions for treasury processes and methods. In addition, extensive transformation projects in treasury are always associated with the implementation or standardisation of IT systems.

Extensive expansion of functionalities has become necessary for treasury systems in recent years, not least because of amendments to IFRS. A number of systems have performed major upgrades, including SAP (S/4 HANA) and ION (WSS V8). Automation will have to be accelerated even further in the course of digitalisation. Accordingly, around 70% of those on the most recent panel of Der TREASURER interviewed named treasury IT as the greatest challenge.

Source: KPMG Corporate Treasury News, Edition 92, June 2019

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