Meridian is one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies and the country’s biggest renewable energy generator, employing around 1,000 people across Australasia. ETOS middle and back-office services have been underpinning Meridian’s treasury operations for around 20 years.
Group Treasurer, Janine Crossley sees ETOS as an integral part of her team. “ETOS fully supports our middle and back-office function, and we are confident in the best practice control and segregation the team provides across our day-to-day operations. ETOS support allows us to focus on the strategic treasury tasks that add value for our shareholders.”
The relationship began when Meridian was newly formed with a small team and a number of significant hydro assets. Over the years the energy company has expanded to include wind farms and solar assets, spreading geographically across New Zealand and Australia, with business interests as far afield as the USA and the UK during some periods. Expansion created more complexity for the treasury area, with a diversified funding base and a range of risk management instruments. Meridian also acts as a bank to subsidiaries and as the number of subsidiaries grew across various locations, so did the internal funding arrangements and transactions. ETOS worked closely with Meridian, providing more services as the company grew.
“ETOS is not ‘one size fits all’,” said Janine. “We work together to modify service arrangements as our requirements change. ETOS is always looking for the best way to support our treasury function. Over the years it has made no difference to me at all that ETOS is an outsourced resource. We work closely together. They are very much a part of the Meridian team.”
Business continuity support
When Christchurch was hit by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake in February 2011, Meridian’s offices were badly damaged, and staff needed to focus on their personal situations. ETOS was immediately able to offer practical support to maintain business continuity.
“ETOS was able to step in in the very early stages and assist with payment processing. Our team was just not available to do the work, so ETOS was able to help and keep things going.”
Middle and back-office functions are completely outsourced to ETOS including deal input settlements, daily cash management, hedge accounting, and reporting. ETOS has built up an in-depth knowledge around Meridian treasury systems and operations, providing a stable dedicated team that reports into Janine as Group Treasurer. Services have been modified over the years to provide the best approach to support Meridian’s changing requirements.
“ETOS expertise in the services they provide is extremely valuable, particularly around segregation and Key Person Risk. We know we’re covered on any given day with the outsourced resources provided to meet whatever needs we may have. ETOS follows best market practice, so we have confidence that the right controls are continuously in place.”
The next phase of work is to further streamline processes and optimise treasury system functionality, concludes Janine. “It’s a continuing evolution. We’re always looking to use ETOS more wherever possible.”