EAG honored with treasury accolades at London awards
ABU DHABI: Etihad Aviation Group’s (EAG) treasury team has once again been acknowledged for airline treasury management excellence with four key accolades at the 2017 Adam Smith Awards presented by Treasury Today magazine. Following a string of successes in recent months with leading awards from various international organizations, the group took home further honors at the annual event held in London. For the third consecutive year, Etihad Aviation Group has been recognized by the leading publication for its ongoing commitment to Treasury excellence.
EAG won the award for Best in Class Treasury in the Middle East, and was Highly Commended in three further categories - Best FundingSolution, Best Risk Management Solution and Best Trade/Supply Chain Finance Solution. The awards were nominated by EAG partners, including Openlink, First Abu Dhabi Bank, ADCB, Citibank and MUFG. More than 200 entries spanning 30 countries were received for the prestigious Adam Smith Awards, now in their 10th year and firmly established as the ultimate industry benchmark for exceptional achievement in corporate treasury.
Treasury Today said this year proved particularly challenging against a backdrop of a tough operating environment, as innovation and creativity within treasury departments were key criteria for the winning entries. Ricky Thirion, Etihad Aviation Group Interim Group Chief Financial Officer, said: “These awards are testament to the great work by the treasury team in finding solutions to further strengthen the business in a challenging environment. “Our treasury team has worked very hard over the yearsto deliver a best in class global treasury department, and the fact that we were nominated by our key financial partners demonstrates their confidence in our business.” The Best in Class Treasury in the Middle East award was for a number of innovative practices, including raising US$1.5 billion through a debut Sukuk, the largest ever in Abu Dhabi, as well as a Murabaha program for US$145 million - the airline’s first Islamic private placement. The Best Trade/Supply Chain Finance Solution accolade acknowledged EAG’s agenda to centralize treasury operations in the UAE by overhauling processes using technology and reducing manual intervention with its growing supply chain network.
The Best Funding Solution award recognized Etihad’s treasury team for leading a short-term, cost effective bridging solution of US$230 million over a six-month period for two new A380s in the wake of the suspension of European credit agency support for Airbus aircraft deliveries. The Best Risk Management Solution award reflected the high level of investment in technology aimed at reducing manual processing of all key treasury requirements.
Etihad Airways’ treasury team, hailing from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities, leveraged off each other’s skills to make a positive impact to the business.
The team manages and oversees cash and liquidity, risk management and hedging funding, as well as relationships with banking partners, investors and rating agencies. The treasury team is also responsible for insurance, direct customer payments, as well as group wide tax management. From its Abu Dhabi base, Etihad Airways flies to, or has announced plans to serve, more than 110 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of over 120Airbus and Boeing aircraft, with 204 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777Xs, 62 Airbus A350s and 10 Airbus A380s.
Adam Boukadida, Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) Acting Group Treasurer, centre, Roger Fleischman, of J P Morgan, left, and Michael Guralnick, of Citibank, pose with some of EAG’s Adam Smith awards.