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TRADE FINANCE | Roxanne Uy, Singapore
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These are the changes BofAML's new head of Asia Pacific payables and receivables is planning for

Check out how Venkat ES sets his eyes on these 3 goals.

Name: Venkat ES
Bank: Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Job Title: Head of Asia Pacific Payables and Receivables
Age: 49

ABF: What makes you excited about your new position?
Asia Pacific stands at the forefront of economic growth globally. Supported by its diverse manufacturing and service industry base, the region has been a catalyst for growth in the international market place following the global financial crisis.

Given this backdrop, treasury services have clearly evolved in its prominence and structure at corporate level, but obstacles remain. For example, within Asia Pacific, treasury services operate amidst a challenge environment, especially as each country has its own unique clearing and payments infrastructure.

For prominent Fortune 500 global corporations with regional treasury centers and shared service centers in this region, the geographic diversity of Asia Pacific does present certain challenges of this nature, but also provides ample opportunities to develop cutting edge solutions, which both excites and inspires me.

With its customer centric focus, commitment to innovation, network strength, and investment in people and platforms, Bank of America Merrill Lynch is clearly pursuing the right growth strategy and offers the perfect platform for someone who is keen to address some of the challenges faced by our clients head-on.

ABF: What three goals are you focused on?
Firstly, further enhancing client engagement will be a major priority. From where we stand, client engagement plays a primary role in our ability to devise and deliver solutions.

It also allows us to embed ourselves and serve as an integral part of a client’s overall business processes across the financial supply chain. This is of clear importance.

Secondly, I’ll be focusing on building on our robust product strategy and action plan. We’re constantly expanding our suite of capabilities locally, regionally and globally.

Specifically, I’ll be looking to further develop our regional strengths across platforms, network and people. The foundation is strong here and I’m confident that we can take our platform and service strengths to the next level.

Thirdly, our unwavering commitment to innovation will also frame my business and personal goals. There are broad opportunities for us to set the bar by developing benchmark payment and settlement mechanisms in the region.

With the right talent and ideas we can premeditate the solutions that will provide the broadest benefit to our clients.

ABF: What will you do differently in this position?
Specifically, I will be looking to leverage the global network and strengths of Bank of America Merrill Lynch for our Asia Pacific client base. Our existing leadership and ongoing investment in this business uniquely positions us, whereby we can make global solutions locally relevant.

ABF: What changes are you planning for?
Clearly, expanding our engagement with clients and better understanding their business and requirements will be an obvious focus area.

Furthermore, remaining close to the market, leveraging on-the-ground networks, helps us identify opportunities and challenges ahead and to devise suitable solutions to optimize the benefit to customers and to the Bank

ABF: What are your key business philosophies?
Listen to your clients, connect with your clients and adapt and transform for the sake of your clients.

ABF: What previous positions prepared you for this one and how?
There have been several roles. For example, I was GTS Head for a global MNC bank in the Middle East. This role was based in Dubai and provided me with the experience of dealing with global MNCs and large Asian conglomerates.

A core component of this role was delivering clients a thorough understanding of business flows and dynamics across the treasury, trade and FX spaces.

I also served as the global product manager for corporate payments at the same firm and have had the benefit of exposure to Asian clearing and settlement mechanisms, regulatory frameworks and market practices throughout my career.

ABF: Anything else you'd like to add?
Our Asia Pacific business is entering an exciting phase as the transaction banking industry continues to evolve.

Across the region, we will see challenges in the form of increased convergence of the physical and financial supply chain, newer and sometimes disruptive payment and settlement infrastructures, greater transparency in payment flows, enhanced risk and risk mitigation strategies by banks and market players, gradual adoption of Basel III and many more.

However, all these developments augur well for the transaction banking industry as it further develops in Asia Pacific. Only those banks that provide a consistent and complete focus on the clients will emerge as clear winners in the short and long run.
 

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