JPMorgan Treasury Services recently acquired SymPro, Inc, a provider of software that helps public-sector treasurers to manage investment, debt, and cash portfolios.
The public sector is a "important, strategic" business for JP Morgan Treasury Services, says Irv Cohen, senior vice president of financial markets solutions. "By integrating the capabilities of SymPro and JPMorgan, we can open the door to a number of treasury operations best-practices, and let our clients even more successfully manage and stretch their financial resources in today's difficult environment."
Indeed, public-sector treasurers have some catching up to do with their private-sector counterparts in the use of technology. "It was never the most sophisticated end of the treasury management spectrum," says Cohen.
Yet with widespread budget difficulties in government, the spotlight falls upon the public-sector treasurer to come up with effective cost-saving measures. One way is to make better use of the funds at hand. "The whole idea is to provide a greater working capital liquidity management solution, and to look at things as solution-based instead of transaction-based," says Cohen.
Another cost-saving measure is letting banks take over responsibilities that had previously been done in-house by government employees. "We also see this as a continuation of the entire broad-based outsourcing phenomenon that's going on in the treasury services industry now," says Cohen.
Looking ahead, it's quite likely that elected officials and the public will have easy access to detailed, real-time information about the fiscal health of numerous government entities that pursue this trend. But right now, it's hard to assess the potential impact of such a dramatic shift. "Ask me in a year or two," says Cohen.