Corporate treasurers are employed by major/multinational companies operating within a range of industries including retail, telecommunications and manufacturing. Their aim is to ensure the financial success of these companies by managing their money and financial risks. Typical responsibilities of the job comprise:
- assessing, reviewing and protecting company financial wellbeing
- ensuring cash flow is adequate
- handling daily cash balances and the money market
- ensuring that proposed projects are likely to be beneficial
- managing major projects such as company refinancing
- assessing the likely impact of problems such as late payments, limited cash flow etc
- making decisions about company funding options, insurance contracts and other financial issues
- carrying out risk management activities
- liaising with company investors, bankers and senior managers
- negotiating and evaluating overdrafts and loans with bankers
- maintaining records
- recruiting, training and supervising junior staff
- attending board meetings
- making company board presentations
- keeping up-to-date with developments within the profession/industry.
Corporate treasury is a popular career choice, offering only a small number of direct graduate entry vacancies each year. The majority of these arise in London and other major UK and international cities. Vacancies are advertised online, such as on the Association of Corporate Treasurers’ (ACT) website, by careers services, specialist recruitment agencies, in national newspapers, and publications (online and print) such as TARGETjobs Finance. Undertaking relevant sector/company research, attending presentations, networking and speculative applications are strongly advised.
There are routes into a career in corporate treasury for both university graduates and school leavers, although it is generally more common and easier for graduates to work in this role. Graduates should have either a degree in accountancy, finance, economics, banking or business studies, or any other degree plus a year’s treasury work experience. This will allow you direct entry (ie exemption from some exams) to complete professional qualifications with and become a member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT); these are highly regarded by employers.
School leavers and those with an unrelated degree and no work experience can also become members of the ACT by first taking their Certificate in Treasury Fundamentals and working their way up from there.
Employers look for adaptable graduates with good IT, analytical, interpersonal, numerical, time management and verbal/written communication skills. Familiarity with how the money markets operate and the work of corporate treasury departments is advantageous. As corporate treasurers can be dealing with substantial sums of money, the role can generate a lot of pressure.