A keen financial mind and an understanding of an organisations day-to-day business demands are key to the role of a corporate treasurer
As a corporate treasurer, you will play an important role in improving or maintaining the financial health and success of a business. You could be responsible for:
This is a varied and responsible role that ensures a company has the capital to meet its obligations, involving raising funds from banks, as well as debt and equity markets and, in some companies, actively trading in the foreign exchange, commodity and money markets.
Other activities may involve dealing with property, taxation, insurance and pensions.
There are five core treasury functions that you could specialise in as a treasury professional, as defined by The Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT). These are:
Within these functions typical work activities may involve:
For corporate treasurers with professional qualifications and sufficient experience, there are opportunities for self-employment in consultancy or in interim management during times of change or crisis in a company. Average rates are between £300 and £1,000 per day.
Salaries generally tend to be higher in London and the South East. They also vary according to the type of role occupied within a treasury department. Bonuses and benefits packages are also usually provided.
Income figures are intended as a guide only.
Work is generally Monday to Friday with standard office hours, though these are often subject to extension during busy periods for meeting project deadlines and attending meetings.
Part-time roles are extremely rare.
This area of work is open to graduates from most academic backgrounds, but business or finance-related degrees are most relevant. The following degrees subjects might be useful:
Entry with an HND or foundation degree alone is highly unlikely.
A Masters in a financial or management-related subject would give you an insight into areas such as treasury, and may give you an edge over other candidates.
Entry tends to be competitive due to the limited number of direct-entry graduate training roles.
Corporate treasurers, and other financial professionals, who require knowledge of treasury management (for example, accountants or public sector financiers) take examinations administered by the ACT.
The key ACT professional qualifications are the AMCT Diploma in Treasury, which provides associate membership and the MCT Advanced Diploma in Treasury, Risk and Corporate Finance. However, they do offer other qualifications such as a Certificate in International Treasury Management (CertITM), amongst others. Employers may provide funding and time off to study for these examinations.
Working towards professional qualifications as soon as possible may be helpful to career development.
You will need to show:
Having some evidence of relevant work experience will enhance your job applications, as it is important to be familiar with the nature and demands of the job.
Specialist financial recruitment agencies can be a source of permanent and temporary opportunities. Becoming a member of the ACT will be helpful and will get you networking early on to build up contacts.
The increasing complexity of the financial instruments that are integral to managing modern companies, combined with the major changes in accountancy standards, has led to a growth in demand for corporate treasurers in all industries. Financial institutions also offer more specialist treasury opportunities.
Corporate treasury is a role that is likely to continue to grow in breadth and responsibility in the future. While most companies need to perform some treasury functions, they must also be of a sufficient size to warrant and support their own treasury department.
Corporate treasurers are likely to work in the head offices of large companies in the private sector, many of which are based in London or the South East.
However, you can also find treasury specialists in the public sector, including central and local government, health and education and the larger charities.
Experienced treasury professionals may also join management consultancies and advise clients on improving their cash management, capital raising and risk management procedures.
The size of treasury departments varies in extremes from company to company. A large company will have anything from three to 50 treasury staff, while a medium-sized company would usually have between one and five.
The number of treasury staff employed by a company can depend on the complexity of their transactions and on the level of international activity.
Most aspiring treasurers will join as graduate recruits in the finance divisions of medium to large companies and multinationals where the training programme may include placements across several specialised functions, for example:
Look for job vacancies at:
Corporate treasurers usually undertake training for professional qualifications such as the AMCT Diploma in Treasury offered by the ACT.
It is the ACT's core treasury qualification and delivers understanding and knowledge of the essential topics within treasury, risk and corporate finance. It includes four written exams covering the following topics:
For further information, see the ACT's AMCT Diploma in Treasury.
The ACT also offers the MCT Advanced Diploma in Treasury, Risk and Corporate Finance. This diploma is especially useful if you aspire to hold a senior position. It is pitched at an MBA level and is the UK's only professional qualification in treasury management.
Keeping up to date with developments in accounting and treasury is an essential part of the job. The breadth of many corporate treasury roles and the demands of increasing legislation can make this challenging but gaining membership with somewhere like the ACT may help.
The Treasurer magazine is published monthly by the ACT and is available as an online subscription. This is a very good source of information on current developments.
Career development is very much your own responsibility. Treasurers liaise with many departments in and outside of their own companies, so there is potential to branch out into other financial areas.
There are a range of opportunities within a variety of companies. Look out for companies that are developing quickly, as they are likely to offer more long-term career development options.
Specific challenges to career progression may lie in the nature of the company and its treasury department, as well as the particular needs of the company.
There are not as many jobs in treasuries as there are in other areas of finance. If a department is small, opportunities to progress may be limited. It may be necessary to take a position in another company in order to progress or to increase knowledge and experience. This could require a move to another part of the country, so mobility and flexibility can be helpful.
From more junior roles as a treasury assistant or analyst, treasury professionals may progress to more specialised roles, perhaps as treasury manager in:
With sufficient experience and qualifications, you may be able to progress to the position of group treasurer and even very senior roles such as director of finance or chief financial officer (CFO).
Alternatively, some experienced and qualified treasurers may progress to other senior financial positions on the basis of their knowledge of accounting, tax and administration.
Companies not large enough to support a treasury function might consider applicants who have a treasury background and qualifications from the ACT for senior financial posts.