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These pages are specifically designed to help you and your treasury career. Whether you need practical advice on interviewing techniques, or want to find the latest job vacancies – you’ll find it all here.

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Meet your peers

See how colleagues have developed their careers:

Janice Watson, Head of Treasury, Visa Europe

Describe your current role.

I oversee the treasury function, which is divided into Corporate Treasury - which undertakes more traditional treasury activities such as FX, cash and investment management and maintaining banking relationships and Settlement Operations - which entails settling and reconciling the amounts due among our member banks in multiple currencies.

What do you like about working in treasury?

I was initially attracted to treasury as I was fascinated by identifying risks and finding solutions. I enjoy my current role as the treasury department at Visa Europe is fully embedded in the business – we are a core part of our product offering. We’re integrated into the system infrastructure and the whole business proposition, which is a very rewarding place to be.

What has been your experience with the ACT?

Getting the MCT early in my career opened my horizons quite considerably. I found the exams an extremely useful way to get a breadth of scope and exposure to the kinds of things that prepare you for the next job. Once you have a theoretical background, you have a sound basis for anything else that might come along.

Why is treasury important?

Treasury is fast-paced, analytical and constantly evolving. We have a big impact on what happens within the business. For example, liquidity is a massive priority for Visa Europe. We can make billions of euros in payments on a given day – and certain times of the year, such as Easter when the banks are closed but people are still spending – bring heightened liquidity demand. It is the treasury department’s role to ensure that we have sufficient liquidity.

Alex de Vries Robbé, Risk Management and Conformance, Barclays Treasury

Describe your current role.

My main focus is to advise Treasury on managing risks in capital and interest rate risk in the banking book. I also travel to businesses outside the UK to verify that these businesses work to similar standards. In addition, I am responsible for the Group Asset and Liability Management Committee.

What do you like about working in treasury in a bank?

It is highly complex and ever changing. I have now been in Treasury in Banking for 14 years and it has always been very exciting and challenging.
What has been your experience with the ACT?

When I tell a Corporate Treasurer at an ACT event that I work for Barclays, they usually assume that I am attending because I want to sell them a financial product. What people forget is that banks are also corporates. Some Treasury issues are similar (e.g. foreign exchange risk), whereas others are specific to banking (e.g. regulatory capital ratios). Even those often require the same skills to resolve.

For this reason, once I decided on a career in Treasury, I reviewed the qualifications available and completed the AMCT. It was a very good decision. The qualification is widely recognised, including in banking. Equally importantly, it is useful for a wide range of roles.

Why is treasury important?

Decisions taken in Treasury can influence the future of banks. And as we now know, the future of banks can impact the world economy.

For a bank, surviving a crisis is not a matter of luck but of careful planning and decisions made both before a crisis and during one. The size and composition of liquidity buffers and capital are particularly important and it is the task of Treasury to manage these. In order to do so, banks work very closely with regulators in every country in which they operate.

What skills do you need to work in treasury in a bank?

As with any job, you need to be passionate about it. Additionally, you need to have excellent analytical skills and a good maths background. You should also be able to take rational decisions under pressure.

Bank Treasuries employ staff in areas such as Funding/Liquidity, Asset and Liability Management, Capital Management and Treasury Finance. If you are interested in a role in Treasury in a Bank, you should ideally decide on that at an early stage in your career. Qualifications which are useful (sometimes required) for a role in Treasury include: an academic qualification, AMCT or MCT, and accountancy qualifications.

In the larger banks, many of the roles in Treasury are highly specialised and the Treasury departments are large. In the smaller banks, roles often cover a much wider range of activities. There are also often roles at divisional or country level, sometimes a combination of Treasury and Finance or Risk.

Mark Flawn, Assistant Treasurer, National Grid

Describe your current role

I manage a team of five covering back office and compliance at National Grid, which includes UK & European cash management; subsidiary funding; commercial banking facilities; LC’s & Guarantees; deal confirmations; FX hedge administration; and Debt & Regulatory compliance.

What do you like about working in treasury?

Treasury is at the heart of most businesses – it is key in determining the firm’s financial strategy and financial policy, and in National Grid’s case funding a huge capital investment programme and controlling the risks associated with that challenge. In addition, the treasury department at National Grid is niche and I enjoy working with like minded professionals.

What has been your experience with the ACT?

The professional qualifications are excellent – the AMCT gave me a broad knowledge of all aspects of the treasury function and the MCT is the gold card for a treasury career.

Why is treasury important?

Cash is king; get it wrong and the business falls over. Economic woes illustrate the fundamental importance of managing financial risk effectively.

What skills do you need to work in treasury?

There are a number of issues you need to understand in order to work in treasury – the key ones are knowledge of best practice; an awareness of regulatory and market developments; and the ability to influence the wider business community. The first two are impossible if they are allowed to lapse and ensuring you look after your professional development enables you to keep up to date and ultimately helps further your career.

Tim Barrass, Treasury Manager, Old Mutual plc

Describe your current role

As Treasury Manager at Old Mutual I support the treasury team across a wide range of treasury’s responsibilities, including; liquidity and financial risk management, funding, cash flow forecasting, transfer pricing and capital management.
What do you like about working in treasury?
In treasury no day is the same, as there is always a new challenge or new opportunity to consider.

What has been your experience with the ACT?

I initially trained as an accountant and then transitioned into a treasury role, so it seemed an obvious next step to join the ACT. I followed the fast-track route to become an associate member, and found the exam syllabi to be very relevant and useful in my roles. I think the ACT continues to provide strong support to members, both through the formal courses and training, but also by creating a forum for treasury professionals to connect.

Why is treasury important?

Treasury is at the centre of any business and provides the cash and capital resources to drive the business forward, and additionally we also have responsibilities to ensure financial risks are well managed. It is a good place to get a holistic view of the business.

What skills do you need to work in treasury?

I believe to work in treasury you require a range of core skills and you have to find a balance between focusing on the detail, whilst also being able to take a step back and view the bigger picture. You also need to be adaptable and have the ability to respond quickly to change and new challenges.

Sarah-Jane Chilver-Stainer, Senior Vice President and Group Treasurer, GSK

Describe your current role

I am SVP & Group Treasurer of GlaxoSmithKline. It is a fantastic job and always interesting. Treasury at GSK consists of 3 Centres of Excellence – Corporate Finance; a Global Treasury Consultancy and Global Cash Management. My responsibilities have recently expanded to include Pensions Risk Management (a new small team) and Insurance.

What do you like about working in treasury?

I like working in treasury as each year is completely different, depending on the underlying activities of the company. I have a small team and the activities undertaken by treasury have a direct impact on the financial performance of the company.

What has been your experience with the ACT?

I have always been a keen supporter of the ACT and encourage those who work for me to take professional qualifications, particularly the MCT exams, as I did myself. I am a member of the Technical Committee, who always debate relevant and interesting topics. The ACT is a great source of knowledge, providing a professional network for subjects that are not an area of expertise for myself or my team.

Why is treasury important?

Treasury is at the heart of any organisation. Without the basic functions provided by liquidity and good cash management, any good company can fail, as we have seen over and over again. In addition, I think that treasury has a significant role to play in providing value to an organisation. It is possible to control financial risks whilst delivering value through everyday activities.

What skills do you need to work in treasury?

I think that to be a really good treasurer you need a mathematical mind, combined with formal training, ideally the MCT qualification. However, any team has many parts and strength is provided by variety, so I think it important to keep an open mind. Good communication skills are essential. You can be as brilliant as you like, but if you have not kept your colleagues abreast of your activities, you will have wasted your efforts. I also encourage my team to develop strong written communication skills, as we write many Board and other papers. Working in treasury is fun, so I will add here “Good sense of humour”.

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