So, what's the deal with treasury, according to this rising star?
In this competitive market, finding the hidden gems in treasury can be quite a challenge. There must be some talented candidates out there, but how do companies find them? We put this question to one of the hidden gems that was actually found. Hanan Peerun is a Treasury Operations Specialist at GroFin, a financial institution. Her insights will go a long way to answering the question, 'How do I find and train a great treasurer?
Do we know you?
"The funny thing is that when I tell people I'm in treasury, I often get the same question: 'What does that mean? Even a lot of people who have a finance background don't know what a treasury job really entails. So I think maybe there is not enough information out there about treasury.
Peerun, like other experts in the field, is convinced that there are many talented people out there for treasury jobs. But they often can't be found because they simply don't know (enough) about the job profile or what exactly a treasurer does. This was also the case for Peerun when she started a finance internship and got in touch with the treasury department. "I knew about bank treasury but not about corporate treasury. Often when we talk about cash management, liquidity, funding or fundraising, it is assumed that this falls under corporate finance, and treasury is not often mentioned specifically."
Train and develop your own
Coincidentally, when Peerun started her finance internship, the former treasurer had just left for another company. She was given the opportunity to take over some of those tasks, and it really clicked. "While I was doing the job, I really enjoyed it. I was really curious about the work and took on as many tasks as I could. It was also a good fit with my previous education and work experience in finance. At one point, my CFO thought, "Well, she's doing the job, and she's good at it, let's offer her a job in treasury instead of an internship. And that's how I grew into this great treasury career."
Peerun started as an intern at a junior level. But as she worked her way up, she was promoted to Treasury Operations Manager. She's been with GroFin for four years now, overseeing many different aspects of treasury. In the meantime, she has continued to educate herself. As one of the requirements for the treasury role is a postgraduate degree, last year, she took the initiative to do a Master's in Finance. In a very short time, Peerun has shown how valuable it can be to give young people the chance to grow into the treasury role.
Is there such a thing as the 'ideal treasury candidate'?
There is another problem for companies when it comes to filling their treasury vacancies: they are not always aware of the type of candidate they should be looking for. Whether you're developing your own treasury talent or recruiting them at a later stage in their career, the profile has to fit.
Is there an ‘ideal candidate’?
When we ask Peerun how to profile the 'ideal candidate', one thing stands out: curiosity. "Treasury offers such a wide range of tasks. In my day-to-day work, for example, I deal with many different topics, such as liquidity management, risk management and foreign exchange management. I also maintain relationships with banks and brokers and look after our payment procedures. I love having such a wide range of activities in my job, it really makes it more rewarding and definitely interesting. So I would look for a person who is really curious, that is one of the basic qualities you need to enjoy the job".
Another thing a treasurer needs, according to Peerun, is good people skills. Although treasurers are sometimes profiled as the number-crunching type, this is definitely not the one quality that needs to stand out the most. "It is so important to realise that there is a very human aspect to the job. Treasurers have to talk to so many different people, and you have to be able to do that and really enjoy it. It is all about meeting people, either internally or externally. Interaction is key."
Support your treasurer
Developing and keeping your treasurer requires a special focus. Because if you don't support your treasurers, either in their work or in their personal needs, they will definitely leave for another company. Being the employer of choice is definitely not just about paying the best salaries anymore.
"The one thing treasurers need to grow and continue to grow is the support of their line manager. I report to the CFO and I am very happy that we can interact and that he gives me the opportunity to grow. In general, I would advise treasurers not only to look for a great job but also to look for a great line manager. It is good to have someone who has your back and is willing to give you guidance or help you in any way possible".
Peerun is very happy with the way things have worked out for her and is looking forward to a future in treasury. "It's such a diverse job that once people know more about it, they will definitely come and apply. So getting the word out is urgent at this point. And companies should not forget to be open about their mission and vision as well, because that is what attracts young candidates who can really fit in, grow and stay with you for longer.
More in-depth insights into Treasury career development?
Would you like to know everything about the career developments for treasurers? We have interviewed more experts in the field next to talented Treasury professionals. You can read all about their opinions and insights into the current market and the future of Treasury in the report 'Hidden Gems, The Subtle Art of Finding Your Next Treasurer."