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Western Union CFO Balances Global Risk with Market Expansion

Western Union CFO balances global risk with market expansion

In a recent interview with CFO Magazine, Western Union CFO Scott Scheirman said that while financial, political and other risks can certainly threaten his business, this has not prevented the firm from expanding

In a recent interview with CFO Magazine, Western Union CFO Scott Scheirman said that while financial, political and other risks can certainly threaten his business, this has not prevented the firm from expanding into developing markets.

Scheirman said that while the obvious countries of India, China and the Philippines remain important markets for growth opportunities for his business, a number of European countries have recently presented new gateways to development.

"In France and Germany up until about 18 months ago, we had to do business through banks and post banks," Scheirman explained. "Now we can sign up retailers in France and Germany. Retailers are in the neighborhoods where our customers live and work, and they tend to have extended hours of operation and may be from the customer's home country."

In dealing with fluctuating exchange rates, Scheirman added that Western Union has receivables and payables and signs short-term agreements in order the hedge them one to two years in advance. Then, the company translates revenues from foreign currencies back to U.S. dollars. The most important thing, the CFO says, is that his company seeks to maintain predictability about the currencies whenever possible.

This strategy is particularly important these days, as currencies such as the euro are continuing to plummet.
 

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