Meredith Vance wants to go further. As senior vice president and treasurer of an international IT services company, it’s safe to say that she’s already traveled considerable distances to secure that position, but she’s also learned a lot on the way—and that knowledge is a continuing source of power.
“Looking back, my time as a treasury advisor in Big Four accounting firms gave me a unique opportunity to fast-track my technical treasury knowledge in different functional areas—and create and implement cash/financial risk management solutions for organizations across various industries, size and complexity,” she says. “The compressed timeline required to understand a client’s business and operations in order to drive meaningful results prompted my desire for continuous knowledge, my appetite for accelerated growth.”
That’s good news for NTT DATA Services, a global IT services provider based in Plano, Texas, that operates in more than forty-five countries. With Vance heading up the treasury function, the company is in the midst of an impressive growth streak that has included major acquisitions and large-scale international expansion. But Vance says there’s more opportunity to provide solutions and outcomes to its clients on an even wider global scale in the not-so-distant future.
When NTT DATA acquired Dell Services in 2016, a lot of things changed quickly for the company. Where once it had been a North American operation, it now did business in more than forty countries that comprised nearly as many currencies. Vance had to adapt to the change and understand a new operating system just as quickly. The acquisition overhauled the treasury function at NTT DATA.
“We had a treasury organization before I joined the company, but the missions and goals of the function at that time were not commensurate with the growth and strategic acquisitions we were seeing. We needed to rebuild our core to be in a position to focus on the complex,” Vance says. “When I joined the company to begin this transformation, I knew right away our focus needed to shift from purely operational to an operational plus strategic one.”
To the benefit of NTT DATA, Vance had experience with that kind of big-picture strategic focus. As a leader in the treasury function at PayPal, she helped steer the separation of the company from global commerce leader eBay in 2015, handling billions of dollars in assets while also playing a key role in supporting two separate treasury organizations—an endeavor she calls “instrumental” in the work she does now and for her overall career.
“It was certainly the most complex and highly visible project I had been involved in my career. To be a key contributor in the separation of two multibillion-dollar organizations, our deadlines were tight, and quality could not be sacrificed for speed,” she says. “In addition to the broader company separation, it was a rigorous effort to strategically and operationally separate the treasury function, ensuring the right people, policies, systems, and processes were in place to stand up two equally robust treasury departments on day one.”
The preparation paid off. Bringing that kind of fortification to NTT DATA is a front-of-mind objective for Vance as she partners with financial juggernauts JPMorgan Chase and Lockton Companies, which she says support her efforts in transformation with worldwide market and risk management insights, global liquidity structuring, and managing the company’s cost of risk.
It was essential to think differently as the company went from operating in a handful of countries to doing business in forty-four countries with more than thirty-five different currencies to consider.
“As new technology emerges and the way companies do business shifts, treasurers need to be prepared to adapt, embrace change, and take advantage of new business opportunities while creating efficient treasury structures,” says Roberta Burke, the tech, media, and telecom lead for North America Wholesale Payments Sector Head of West Coast for JP Morgan. “In partnering with Meredith Vance at different organizations throughout her career, we knew that Meredith has the mind-set, strategic focus, and vision to make a positive impact. It is important for companies to understand the importance of partnering with a financial institution that can bring all of this together.”
The NTT DATA treasury team needed to build a strong foundation for the new governance framework, global liquidity structures, a foreign exchange risk management program, and a strong insurable risk approach, Vance explains.
“We further enhanced our core with the creation of an International Treasury Center trailblazing establishment in the US and wrapping systems around our solution to automate,” she says. “This has been a material contributor to the benefits we’re now seeing in mitigating volatility in the P&L as well as being able to protect our balance sheet.”
“When I joined the company to begin this transformation, I knew right away our focus needed to shift from purely operational to an operational plus strategic one.”
Understandably, she’s outfitting the treasury team at NTT DATA with proven, driven individuals. Vance says that she can tell within the first few minutes of conversation with a potential candidate if they will be the right fit for her fast-paced, high-intensity organization.
“It’s about passion for what you do just as much as your technical abilities,” she says. “Experience absolutely matters, but passion keeps you focused on the road to success.”
It’s a lesson that Vance says she’s internalized from a very young age.
“I didn’t grow up envisioning I would be a treasury and finance professional,” she laughs. “As far back as I can remember, I completely thrived on being competitive—whether that was in sports, school, or even in my first job. I always had the passion to be the best, but I knew that in order to do that, I had to continuously practice on the field or study or research—and I knew that surrounding myself with experts who could teach me was very important.
“As I’ve grown in my career, I prided myself on carefully choosing each opportunity in a way that allowed me to take on a new responsibility or functional area of the treasury while purposefully seeking an organization with a different complexity than before,” she adds.
That passion and desire for accelerated growth and seeking new challenges has her facing an open horizon of possibilities for NTT DATA.
Lockton Companies congratulates Meredith Vance & her team on this well-deserved recognition. Her extraordinary vision, leadership and friendship have been vital in developing Lockton’s risk management partnership with NTT Data. We look forward to helping Meredith achieve her goals for many years to come.