The world of trade financing (receivables and payables financing) is cloaked in mysterious providers and often incorrectly tagged labels. Supply chain finance, one of the most misused terms in trade financing lingo — approved trade payables financing is an accurate description — is a perfect example. But one of the firms at the original center (actually, its principals) of the SCF boom is Greensill Capital, which we welcome to the Spend Matters 50/50 list for 2015. A number of members of the Greensill team led SCF for Citi as these programs were just getting off the ground.
Greensill, while quiet about what it has achieved, is one of the more innovative players in the world of trade financing today, expanding far beyond SCF and serving both investment-grade and non-investment-grade clients. It bills itself as a “finance company specializing in working capital and margin improvement solutions around trade payables and receivables.” But it’s more than that. Greensill is a bank (it has German bank license) and also an expert in bringing technology solutions to clients to enable a spectrum of trade financing solutions.
Today, Greensill works with 75 different banks and institutional investors, as well as its own banking arm, to serve more than 80 customers spread across Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia. From a working capital perspective, Greensill offers a range of accounts receivable financing, accounts payable financing and property lease back products. (Again, it is an “integrator” of these solutions, bringing skills, capital, technology and expertise.) In the margin improvement area, Greensill targets both expedited payment programs and project finance.
Greensill stands alone in the world of trade financing today for different reasons than most. It’s a collection of personalities and experts that approach payables and receivables financing solutions from all angles. Beneath a somewhat stuffy veneer are eccentric and clever subject matter experts who are far more than bankers. For example, among financial services providers in the trade financing area, Greensill’s knowledge of how to embed and align technology across both purchase-to-pay and order-to-cash processes is unique — as is their knowledge of the vendor ecosystem. Indeed, they know far more than most management consultants about procurement and supply chain.
We’re excited to have Greensill as a part of the Spend Matters 2015 50/50 list. And we promise: a conversation with them would no doubt prove refreshing and educational for all the procurement and finance organizations that read Spend Matters.