The 2020 VDT Innovation Award in Cash Management

In 2019, the Cash & Liquidity working group of the VDT organised a professional scouting of FinTechs via the FintechQuartier in Frankfurt with the event "Treasury meets Fintechs". This generated the idea of offering a new platform where optimisation and digitisation projects could be presented to the treasury community, true to the spirit of “from treasurers, for treasurers".

Several companies accepted the invitation and presented their projects by presenting a brief description, the duration of their project, the number of treasury staff involved, the benefits in terms of economic efficiency, the scope as well as the innovative character and integration into the corporate strategy. .

A jury consisting of members of the Cash & Liquidity working group as well as Dr. Thomas Funke, Managing Director TechQuartier and Dr. Jochen Stich, member of the Board of Directors of VDT e.V., evaluated the applications according to defined criteria and selected seven companies. These included:

  1. Brose International GmbH:
    Andreas Meyer, Head of Treasury / Finance

  2. CORESTATE Capital Group:
    Tobias Wriedt, Director Treasury

  3. Dachser Group SE & Co KG:
    Dieter Bellinger, Head of Corporate Treasury
    Alexander Gugler, Corporate Treasury

  4. Deutsche Bahn AG:
    Dr. Gerd Berghold, Head of Financial Services / Head of Digital Treasury

  5. Deutsche Post DHL:
    Volker Mademann, Team lead Back Office Corporate Treasury Cash & Banking

  6. Doehler Group SE:
    Michael Wolff, Head of Group Treasury

  7. JENOPTIK AG:
    Andreas Wiederhold, Head of Treasury

Due to the pandemic, the event was held in a "hybrid" format on 6 October 2020 in the TechQuartier in Frankfurt. The event saw onsite presentations being streamed to viewers live as well as remote presentations from the nominees’. The event was moderated by Regina Deisemann as well as Franz-Xaver Puy Michl and Sebastian Niemeyer. The award ceremony was framed by a keynote speech by Dr. Thomas Funke, Managing Director of the TechQuartier on the subject of "Innovations" and a keynote speech by Ole Matthiessen, Global Head of Cash Management at Deutsche Bank, on the "Assessment and Outlook of Digitisation in Cash Management".

Nominees were given 10 minutes to present their projects and answer audience questions, with VDT members then casting votes for their favoured project, delivering a win for the Deutsche Bahn project, presented by Dr. Gerd Berghold. With its agile resources and innovative know-how, the project team used modern technologies (e.g. RPA and AI) to automate tasks such as fraud prevention, reduce manual processes and create innovative dashboards. All these efforts were seamlessly integrated into the corporate strategy and bear a pilot character for further digitisation measures within the Deutsche Bahn group.

That said, from the VDT’s perspective all finalists have cause for celebration. Through their projects, they have demonstrated the courage to change and have mastered the challenges of digitisation in their companies. Furthermore, the project presentations made an important contribution to the treasury community, as experiences were shared. An open exchange of know-how cannot be taken for granted and is therefore highly appreciated. Thus, the VDT hopes that this event gave an impulse to "do even more".

With more than three hundred "player impressions" (counted via the livestream) and the positive feedback afterwards, this event was a success, to which the participants, the viewers and not least the committed VDT office team contributed.

Svatopluk Alexander and Prof. Dr. Christian Bartsch for the Cash & Liquidity working group

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