Treasury – making your next career move

Treasury incorporates a range of disciplines including cash management, accounting, corporate finance, risk management and corporate governance. Key to determining a firm’s financial strategy and policy, treasury is increasingly pivotal to a sustainable competitive advantage. 
Here are six common questions that we are regularly asked by finance and treasury professionals:

1. I haven’t had much exposure to treasury – how do I know if it’s for me?

Treasury can offer you a varied, commercial and project based role in which you will deal with a company’s debt, financing, cash, banking relationships and asset management. It is a role that is truly situated at the heart of a company. Being a qualified accountant is a great foundation to getting into a treasury role where you can broaden your existing skill set. 
Whether you are leaving practice or training at a corporate, if you enjoy interacting with stakeholders and want a more diverse role, it is worth considering where the treasury path can take you. We frequently get mandates requesting candidates from a finance background who are looking for a change.

2. I am currently considering enrolling for the MCT – is it a worthwhile investment?

The MCT is a very challenging and time consuming qualification, however it can also be incredibly rewarding depending on what your ambitions are. 
In the current market, there is a very strong preference for group treasurers or deputy treasurers at FTSE 250 firms to gain this qualification. It is a competitive market and CFOs are regarding this qualification as a prerequisite for someone stepping in as treasurer. 
There is no doubt that qualifications are in demand right now – the more you have the better off you are! However, it is not easy – make sure that before you enrol you have the full support of your line manager and organisation.

3. In an evidently improving market, are many treasurers making the step up to CFO?

For the treasurer, as with any senior level or c-suite role at the moment, it is difficult to move company and gain a promotion. However, it is not impossible and there are examples of individuals who have succeeded in making this difficult move upwards. 
Identifying where your experience falls short will help you plot your path to achieving your goal. It is therefore imperative that you position yourself internally or accept a sideways move externally, to gain these skills so you can move closer to that promotion.  

4. I am at a crossroads in my career and am thinking of contracting to gain more experience, how should I proceed? 

Many are faced with the dilemma of either climbing the corporate ladder in permanent roles or joining the lucrative treasury contracting market to try and fast-track their experience while earning a premium. However, the decision to join the interim market is not one to be taken lightly if you are already in a permanent role. Entering the market as a contractor is a great way to gain experience – but do bear in mind that contracting is by its nature, unpredictable. 

5. I have recently completed my AMCT exams – what’s next for me?

Firstly, congratulations! A lot of individuals will see this achievement as a springboard towards exploring further opportunities and new challenges; either internally or externally. If you are keen to keep developing, bear in mind where your strengths lie and what sort of organisations or situations will give you exposure to the skills you need for growth. It is important to keep an open dialogue with your line manager about your development and your career, but the onus is on you to make sure it is on their agenda.

6. I currently feel that my company isn’t paying me market rate – I love working there but feel financially undervalued. What should I do?

It is always a tricky situation to be in. The first step is to do your research. It is crucial to get an accurate and honest idea of what the market rate actually is and this will depend on your experience, qualifications, the size of the company, line reports, location and the complexity of the role. 
Once you have gathered information and done some analysis of what your market rate should be, start preparing your business case. Book in some time with your boss and get an idea of upcoming salary reviews or promotions that may impact your approach. Then in an impartial and objective manner, discuss your findings with your line manager. Hopefully this will result in them taking action. If they are either unable or unwilling to address the salary imbalance, then you will need to weigh up your options and decide if it is a deal breaker or not.

Michael Page Treasury 

At Michael Page Treasury we are proud of our market knowledge and recruitment expertise and we are more than happy to share it with you. If you feel you are at a crossroads in your career or you are looking for that next step, we are here to help. 
If you would like to discuss any of the above in more detail, or have any questions of your own, please contact Jessica Timelin.
T: 020 7269 2474