Corporate Treasurers have a PROBLEM!
Cost savings created by good treasurers easily exceed the sum of salaries of their team. They can help open doors that otherwise stay closed for their business colleagues and they can help avoid risks. Then why do they have this modest seat at the table of CFOs and are they often not considered for succession of her/him? Why are SMEs complaining about the lack of funding opportunities, when treasurers have them available? Why are Basel regulations made by bankers and politicians, where are the corporate treasurers? Why does treasury education not have a more prominent place in education? Why do bankers earn the bigger bucks? Corporate treasury has a PROBLEM!
The non-treasurers (CFOs and business owners) often do not know, so they do not consider this a problem. I think they should, given my introduction. The treasurers I meet often experience the problem: they want to be educated, make career progression, be involved in business and have better salaries. Why do controllers or non-financials not encounter this issue, or at least in a lesser degree?
Based upon my many interview notes and the first results of the dataset of the Treasurer Test I have a first hypothesis (there will be more): the personality of people working in treasury. A Big5 personality assessment has been done in a treasury population of 100. What I see is that treasurers, on average, are easily as driven as the general population. That should be a proper foundation. Where they score substantially different is in two aspects:
- They do not make contact quickly
- They are not focused on convincing other people.
The two obvious solutions are bringing people with a different personality into the treasury field and stimulating the current population to speak up. As recruiters we hope to contribute by bringing (for example) bankers into corporate treasury. Bankers often show a different personality profile. Furthermore I think we should not try to change the personality of the current population, but skills training will most definitely help.
Do you see the problem and want to step up? I hope so.
Pieter de Kiewit