Employer profiles

Read about what employers think about CPD, why they support the ACT CPD scheme and why treasury is important.

BP

Nick Bamfield
Deputy Group Treasurer

What does CPD mean to you?

We need our employees to develop and build on their professional skills throughout their careers. CPD provides a structure to support this development.

Why do you support the ACT CPD scheme?

The ACT CPD scheme reinforces the link between continuing professional development and training within BP’s existing development plan approach. It enables our employees to leverage dedicated in-house training and experience gained in their roles to support their careers and their professional development.

What has been your experience with the ACT?

The ACT is very well respected within BP Treasury for its high quality and relevant training. It plays an important part in providing structured professional external training to complement our internal development programmes.

Why is treasury important?

A corporate treasury in a large multi-national sits at the heart of managing financial risk. This has never been more important than in the current global environment.

What skills are involved in treasury and how are your team supported?

We believe Treasury professionals need a blend of Treasury technical, commercial and interpersonal skills and competencies. The ACT is a key provider of Treasury technical skills to BP and complements our own in-house training programmes and the in-role experience that our staff gain.

Describe your career path

My own career path is typical of BP’s corporate treasury professionals. After studying English Literature at University, I qualified as a Chartered Accountant at Arthur Andersen before joining BP in 1988. The first part of my career in BP was spent in a variety of financial and commercial roles in the Group centre and our Chemical businesses. I moved to BP Treasury in 1995 to get broader financial experience but became fascinated by corporate treasury as a discipline and its interaction with financial markets. Eighteen years later, I still find it just as interesting.

Chatham Financial Europe

George Karalis
Chatham Financial Europe Ltd

What skills do you need to work in treasury and why is it important to keep these up to date.

Corporate treasury is a dynamic and diverse environment and I believe that analytical and presentation skills combined with project management experience are required for an individual to be a well-rounded treasury professional.

The analytical skills help in identifying and analyzing risk exposures as well as discovering risk mitigation solutions. The technical skills are very important given that the risk management as well as financing tools available to the treasury team require technical knowledge and expertise. The communication and presentation skills are very relevant in relation to dealings with both internal (senior management, accounting etc) but also with external relationships (banks, investors, rating agencies etc). Project management is important given that many treasury projects require engagement with multiple stakeholders.

How did you first get started with CPD and what format do you use to record this?

I started fairly recently. I use the word document that is available on the website as I find this a flexible way of recording what I am doing – and it is easy to pull up whenever I need it.

How have the ACT’s resources supported you/ helped you to develop?

The qualification process as well as the magazine, conferences and seminars provide the opportunity to build on the core skills and continuously refresh and improve upon them.

In addition to that, through the different events provided, there are lots of opportunities for sharing ideas and discussing considerations and trends with the wider treasury community.

How do you make sure you reflect on your learning?

I think reflection is very important as it helps me to understand what forms of learning work for me. I find regular attendance at ACT events (seminars, training, conferences) work well – and I always ensure I have a ‘take home’ message at the end of the event to focus my learning.

What have been the tangible outcomes of your CPD?

Having to focus on my professional development has helped me to assess areas for improvements on my skills set and the tools available to address those so that I continuously work towards becoming more efficient.

Deloitte

Dino Nicolaides
Director, Treasury Advisory
Financial Instruments, Treasury & Securitisation

What does CPD mean to you?

CPD is vital in performing my job and developing my career. In my view a professional who does not keep up to date with new developments in his/her profession cannot provide a high quality service to his/her clients.

Why do you support the ACT CPD scheme?

The ACT CPD scheme is there to help me look at my professional development and to support my career progression. The CPD framework provides a structure for me to monitor my development – without it I have had to find my own means of ensuring I develop to an adequate level and it is good to now use a more widely used system.

What has been your experience with the ACT?

Very positive – this applies from my student days to date.

Why is treasury important?

I believe that treasury lies at the heart of the cash health of any organisation and sound treasury management is vital to its survival and future development. It is my job to help clients achieve this.

What skills are involved in treasury and how is your team supported?

There are 2 broad skill sets needed to work in treasury – 1) technical skills, for which the ACT qualifications are an excellent starting point. These along with the practical experience gained on-the-job enable you to get the deepest understanding in treasury issues. 2) soft skills, communication skills are very important, especially in consulting, and there is a range of mandatory and optional courses available at Deloitte to support my team.

Describe your career path

I qualified as an ACA at Deloitte while working in Financial Services audit. I then moved to Cyprus, where I worked as a Partner in a local firm. It was while working here that I became interested in corporate finance and treasury. Having completed my Corporate Finance (CF) qualification I then decided to look at treasury – and took the AMCT to support this. I am now head of the Corporate Treasury Advisory Services team at Deloitte in London.

Gazprom Marketing & Trading

Ben Street
Senior Treasury Analyst

What does CPD mean to you?

CPD is a tool that allows a structured approach to ensure that Treasury knowledge and skills are kept up to date. It provides a consistent method for continuous development for all members of the ACT.

Why do you support the ACT CPD scheme?

Being part of the ACT accreditation scheme benefits our team in 2 main areas;

Treasury staff – the staff that are studying for ACT qualifications or are already associate members or members have the assurance that the Learning and Development program provided by GM&T Ltd has been considered by the ACT to provide the necessary support to fulfill the CPD requirements. This means the team will be supported to develop their Treasury skills and knowledge through internal and external training and ensure they can continue to provide a top class service to the Business.

Recruitment – The association with the ACT gives an important signal to potential employees that GM&T Ltd is dedicated to developing their Treasury staff. This will help attract high caliber applicants.

What has been your experience with the ACT?

My first interaction with the ACT was when I first moved into the Treasury field 7 years ago and decided to study for the AMCT.

The ACT is a very professional organization that provides a range of sources of up to date Treasury news, information and guidance and also creates a great opportunity to network with other Corporates and FIs.

Why is treasury important?

Treasury is a vital function in all businesses. Without liquidity control, companies can face insolvency even if they have strong revenues or profits. As a risk management function the Treasury department’s importance has grown recently due to market conditions and the benefit of having a strong Treasury team is being recognized across the rest of the business.

What skills are involved in treasury and how are your team supported?

A Treasury professional requires a wide range of skills, the key areas being technical knowledge and communication. The ACT provides a number of courses on top of their qualifications that can help build and improve an individual’s technical knowledge. Through networking at the ACT conferences, our own development plans and on-site training programs our team’s communication skills are supported and developed to ensure a great Treasury service is provided.

Describe your career path

I joined the Gazprom Marketing and Trading Ltd Treasury team in 2012. In my current role as Senior Treasury Analyst I am responsible for Investments, Interest Rate and FX Management for the Group.

I started my career with E.ON UK Plc in 2004 working in the Retail Business, the Energy Trading Business and then the Treasury Team in 2006. I then worked as Finance Manager for the London Array Windfarm construction project before joining GM&T Ltd.

Imperial Tobacco Group

Stephen Brown
Treasury Manager - Front Office

What does CPD mean to you?

CPD means that I take action to keep up to date with my profession and continually add to my knowledge of treasury. This has the knock on effect of ensuring that I can add value in my role.

Why do you support the ACT CPD scheme?

Without some kind of structure in place we naturally become complacent with our development. The discipline of a CPD scheme keeps me focused on continual improvement.

What has been your experience with the ACT?

Since making the move into treasury, over 6 years ago, I have seen the ACT develop into a much more focused association. The goal to achieve the Royal Charter has speeded up this development still further.

Why is treasury important?

Treasury is evolving to become a strategic partner in the business, not just focusing on liquidity management.

What skills are involved in treasury and how are your team supported?

Treasury demands a very wide range of skills from financing to regulation, reporting to risk awareness. Managing relationships with external and internal parties at all levels is key.

Our team is supported by an array of different learning opportunities. We have in-house training, exam support packages, ACT materials and access to bank seminars and conference calls. We also encourage individuals to present to the rest of the team and share knowledge.

Describe your career path

Having initially trained as an ACCA I have worked in various businesses on the reporting side. I completed an MSc in financial reporting in 2004 and ultimately took a different path away from accounting and into treasury in 2006 when I became a treasury dealer with a FTSE 25 company. Following completion of my AMCT in 2009 I became the Front Office Manager and have continued to develop my knowledge and understanding of treasury and managements skills.

Shell

Nick Wakefield
Vice President – Treasury Operations

What does CPD mean to you?

Underpinning CPD is the need for all professionals to commit to life-long learning if they are to continue to add value to their business and maintain their marketability as an employee. This is truer now than ever. We are going through immense change driven by the aftermath of the financial crisis, the IT revolution, demographic changes and shifting economic power. Being professionally qualified is a great starting point, but staying up-to-date and growing professional and leadership skills is absolutely essential for career progression.

Why do you support the ACT CPD scheme?

The ACT CPD provides a structured approach to firstly assessing CPD needs in the context of personal goals and secondly providing support and guidance on how development gaps can be bridged. I appreciate the pragmatic and broad view that the ACT has taken of CPD, recognizing that everyone is different and that a member may have CPD requirements through other professional bodies. Bringing to bear the wealth of student and technical resources of the ACT though CPD online resources also makes it very easy to access relevant learning. It’s easy to make excuses for not doing CPD - the ACT has taken away most of them!

Career path to treasury – your own experience

My career path is not typical. I started my working life as an Aeronautical Engineer, switched to finance by qualifying as Chartered Accountant and then went into industry. In my time in Shell I have worked in and out of finance including M&A, strategy, managing start up businesses, running payment card operations, business finance and accounting. I worked first in Treasury early on in my career and then returned in my current role some 15 years later.

What has been your experience with the ACT?

First and foremost, the ACT is unparalleled in the quality of education it offers for treasury staff. We rely heavily on its programmes to ensure that our staff in the UK and overseas have the technical skills to perform their job properly. At a time at which the financial sector is facing huge and complex regulatory change, I have also really appreciated the ACT’s work in helping members stay abreast of the changes and implications; and ensuring that the voice of the corporate is heard through the consultation processes. Lastly, the ACT provides a professional network, whether you are looking for best practice or simply a sounding board.

Why is treasury important?

The old adage that “cash is king” has returned front of mind for all businesses following the financial crisis. Whether it is in protecting cash resources, ensuring that surplus cash is efficiently redeployed or that the business has the right capital structure to survive and prosper in tough times, treasury has never had as much visibility or relevance to the business agenda. We should not get carried away though. Treasury is only one of many disciplines that are needed to be successful in business.

What skills are involved in treasury and how are your team supported?

What I am looking for are people who are commercially savvy, numerate, challenge the status quo and can help shape the business agenda with sound treasury solutions. We network extensively with the business, shared service centres and other functions to ensure what we do is driven by the business agenda and that we are involved early enough in decision-making to make a difference. To that end, I very much encourage aspiring treasurers to seek broadening assignments outside treasury and we also see treasury as an important development area for finance staff. There really is no substitute for that kind of experience.

Tate and Lyle

Philip Brown
Vice President, Head of Group Treasury

What does CPD mean to you?

I believe that it is essential to keep up-to-date with best practice and treasury developments to remain effective as a treasury professional. CPD provides a tool that helps to achieve this objective. At least once a year, I will reflect on the areas where there might be gaps in my technical or wider business skills in order to achieve my business objectives and look to develop a plan to plug those gaps. Although, training and professional development are key in the early stages of any career in treasury, it is important to retain an open mind and positive attitude towards learning.

Why do you support the ACT CPD scheme?

The ACT’s CPD scheme recognizes the importance of on-going professional development and training throughout a treasury professional’s career. It provides a framework which should help anyone in treasury to plan their training and personal development.

What has been your experience with the ACT?

I passed the MCT qualification in 1988. So, I have been involved with the ACT for over 25 years. As the ACT is relatively small compared with other professional bodies, I think it is straight forward for anyone to become involved and make a difference. I have worked on the ACT’s Education and Editorial Committees. As well as providing running comprehensive treasury training and technical support, I have found that the ACT provides strong networking opportunities.

Why is treasury important?

Most businesses are exposed to various financial risks which have a significant impact on shareholder value. For example, at the height of the Financial Risk access to funding and liquidity was constrained and for many treasurers it was an opportunity to demonstrate their value. As a treasurer, I have enjoyed treasury because you need to be forward-thinking and your decisions make a difference.

What skills are involved in treasury and how are your team supported?

I believe that treasury professionals working in a corporate treasury function need strong technical knowledge, the ability to work as part of a team and capability to communicate effectively. I encourage members of my team to take relevant training to develop their technical and develop softer skills. The ACT qualifications provide the benchmark for anyone looking treasury training.

Describe your career path

I am Vice President, Head of Group Treasury at Tate & Lyle PLC where I am responsible for all aspects of the Group’s worldwide treasury including financing, management of surplus cash and management of currency and interest rate risk. I joined Tate & Lyle in June 1998 prior to that I spent ten years in various financial roles at Rio Tinto, and was appointed Assistant Group Treasurer in September 1993. I read economics at university before joining Price Waterhouse where I qualified as a Chartered Accountant. I have an MBA from City University Business School (now CASS Business School).

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