Martin Bellin: From Treasury Vision to Treasury Mission

Written by Henry Martin . Posted in Strategy

Some say that the best ideas are born out of a genuine personal need. There is nothing like finding a solution to your own problems as the first step to empowering others to achieve the same. This is certainly the story of Martin Bellin, former treasurer turned treasury management system entrepreneur and innovator. When he founded BELLIN 20 years ago, he was driven by a vision that was inspired by his own experience in a sector that he found to be thoroughly unequipped. Today, the BELLIN Group is the global leader in technology for corporate banking and treasury, providing solutions for the financial sector and a range of clients from large multinationals to SMEs and banks.

What has been a long and sometimes bumpy road, all starts with Martin Bellin, the treasurer in the early 1990s. We are talking about a time when fax machines were state of the art, the Internet and Excel were still in their infancy, and treasury operations were far from centralised. All in all a setup that made treasury management – as we understand it today – virtually impossible. The problem Martin encountered was as simple as it seemed overwhelming: how to get data? Where to store data? How to leverage data?

But instead of turning away in frustration, Martin turned this experience into ambition: if what was needed was an adequate treasury management system that would enable group-wide treasury, and if such as system was simply not on the market yet, then the logical conclusion was that he would have to invent one. And so Martin set out to create a tool that would not just revolutionise his own work as a treasurer but that of all his peers as well. He bought a computer and worked after hours and at weekends before giving up his day job to fully concentrate on his new business: BELLIN. He had no other source of income, no proper business plan, no employees, partners or banks, no boardroom-approved concept and no plan B. What he did have was exceptional drive and determination, the full support of his wife, and complete confidence in his idea.

It wasn’t easy to get a foot in the door but eventually Martin did – and he’s never looked back. The vision that has made him unique has made BELLIN unique, and that is the vision of a global treasury network, built on collaboration, connection and shared data – on the belief that a treasury management system is more than software, and that a treasurer is more than a “data gatherer.” A treasury management system after Martin’s heart inspires informed decisions and strategy. The answer to his problems – and the perfect solution for tens of thousands of treasurers since.

From the outset, BELLIN has aimed to make a fundamental difference in the world of corporate finance, searching for the next great idea and the next great technology to delight multinational organisations. What’s more, to Martin Bellin this has always been about more than simply pursuing profit. Inspired by values such as team spirit, stewardship, integrity and respect, he has not just built an exceptionally successful brand but also a new approach to treasury management that benefits everyone. In 1998, he set out to conquer the world of corporate finance. 20 years later not much has changed – he is still the CEO of BELLIN and he still diligently pursues innovation – and yet everything has changed. We now live in a world where treasurers are more important than ever before – and finally they are well equipped to meet those expectations.

Pictured: Martin Bellin

BELLIN was founded in 1998 by Martin Bellin, a corporate treasurer, in Ettenheim, Germany, and today consists of over 150 employees focused on creating solutions that reflect the pragmatic, efficient nature of German engineering. 

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