Goodwille – a Clear Treasury case study
Key account manager
Goodwille is a company whose need for effective foreign exchange management is fundamental to the very core of its business. It provides professional business services to foreign-owned companies and organisations looking to move to the UK, open a British office, register a branch or set up a UK subsidiary. Theirs is an end-to-end product offering everything from legal services to finance, people management, payroll and setting up virtual offices.
This meant our initial introduction felt as natural as it was inevitable – and was a great example of the power of partnerships to deliver results for everyone involved. So much so that is was one of our current partners, Euro Partnerships, who first introduced us to Goodwille. An intro email from our partnerships team soon led to a meeting at their Kensington offices. This was May 2018.
Crunching the numbers
The objective of partnering with Goodwille was simple – boost its service offering to include a reliable, fast, accessible and competitive FX solution and save its many international clients some serious money.
We started with a cost analysis covering everything from bank exchange rates to time, date and size of transaction. Looking at 15 to 20 anonymised FX transactions across a range of amounts and currencies over the previous two months, it quickly became clear we could and would save Goodwille’s clients significant amounts in fees and overheads. Crucially, they were relying on traditional banks to make their currency exchanges and so were subject to uncompetitive rates and often ridiculous charges.
A simple ‘this is how much you could have saved’ presentation demonstrated our value both to Goodwille and its clients as a secure, quick and cost-effective way to make their FX transactions. The result? We’re now Goodwille’s exclusive FX partner.
As CEO Alex Goodwille so succinctly puts it, “By partnering with Clear Treasury, we can offer our clients better exchange rates on transfers between the UK and their global businesses.”
The FX partnership process – a working model
We’re already working with a number of Goodwille’s clients to improve their FX experience all round, but with several hundred businesses in its growing roster the potential for bigger things is obvious to both us and the Goodwille team.
Currently, Goodwille takes care of all FX transactions on behalf of its clients – a job that involves a huge amount of work for each of their financial controllers. With lots of businesses varying in size, requirements and time demands, it’s a complex and exacting process.
Typically, a client will come to them needing to set up a presence in the UK but without the time, resources or inclination to take care of the administrative side itself. That can be any or all of a wide range of services including financials, payroll, invoicing, back office, general admin and FX transactions.
Goodwille then quotes a price to its client, which it pays from their overseas bank account direct to Goodwille’s UK bank account. This gives Goodwille access to funds to carry out their business, but is an inefficient process that brings with it big banking fees as added salt to the wound. Now we’re helping them cut out that banking middle man.
Our partnership helps streamline and facilitate FX transactions by giving the Goodwille financial controllers access to our dedicated payments platform on their clients’ behalf. This means they can take care of all their FX needs quickly, effectively and without having to worry about anything – from the technical side to whether they’re getting the best deal available. Because that’s our department.
This is also why we’re constantly working on our own processes and technologies to make sure we’re providing the simplest, most efficient and most effective service possible that can cater to as many Goodwille clients (and every other client for that matter) as need it.
Treasury and FX consulting is part of the partnership
As with everything, it’s not always as simple as pushing a button (truth be told, it’s never that simple – but our platform does help make it as easy as possible). Part of our FX service however, is to create tailored hedging strategies for our clients that help them manage larger and more complex international payments.
A recent Goodwille client, for example, was making close to €4,000,000 in FX transactions over the course of three months. This left them exposed to significant currency risk as exchange rates fluctuate – often dramatically thanks in no small part to the ongoing political tensions and looming Brexit date at the time of writing.
Our FX team works with Goodwille or directly with its clients to understand their FX needs – timings, amounts, risk assessment and acceptable tolerances – and advise on the most efficient way to move their money across borders. By using forward contracts to fix a set date, amount and rate for an FX transaction, we can take many variables out of the equation to help relieve any immediate pressure and aid in longer term financial planning and forecasting. It also helps that they’re making often vast savings over bank-based FX transactions!
This is the beauty of a partnership like ours – by dealing with the bank, Goodwille’s clients had no support or guidance and were often exposed to huge financial risk and unnecessary (bordering on outrageous) charges. With our platform and consultancy services, we remove much of that risk automatically just through our expertise and technological support. It’s the best of every scenario for everyone – exactly what a partnership should be.
The power of collaboration
The strength of any partnership is derived from mutual collaboration and finding the sweet spot where each partner is beneficial to the other. That may sound easy, but it’s just as easy to let a partnership lapse into a funk of familiarity, tradition to minimal quantifiable mutual benefit. They take work to make them work.
We partner with Goodwille purely on mutual agreement. No contracted deliverables, no commissions, no set return on investment, and because of that there’s no burden of expectation between us. After one year it’s working well – we’re working with several of their clients, now feature in their magazine as a preferred partner and have even been on the odd darts night with the team!
Every one of Goodwille’s clients has an FX requirement, which gives us great expectations for the future – and we look forward to helping bring more and more new businesses into Britain from all corners of the world.
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