2018 CONFERENCE SUMMARY
The goal for the Treasury Recruitment Company in 2018 was to grow our presence on a global scale and to continue our long-term objective of becoming the ‘go-to consultancy for all Treasury professionals globally’.
To achieve this, our initial plan was simple – speak to as many Treasury professionals as we could in the quest to improve their recruitment prospects whether they were seeking a new role or looking for new talent.
So where would we start?
We knew that to succeed with this plan we, of course, would continue with our regular communication and engagement with our network, but to really drive it forward, we would need to completely immerse ourselves with the wider global treasury community. This meant increasing our presence and participation, in as many treasury events and conferences that we could.
Our theme for the year would be “Investing in Your Treasury Career“- a subject which evolved from listening to the challenges faced by our candidates and clients in the ongoing battle of career advancement and professional development. We focused on five key topics which included;
- career planning and defining your goals
- skills development and continuous learning
- the value of investing in a mentor or coach
- leveraging the power of networking and personal branding
- the power of marginal gains
So, in January 2018, we set about our worldwide tour which would take us to 9 events in 11 months; involved catching 10 flights with 5 different airlines; and resulted in the successful engagement with over 1,000 Treasury Professionals.
Our goal = well and truly smashed!
But what does this mean for you?
Well as we draw a close on what has been a busy year, it is time for reflection and self-assessment. We have learnt many lessons from our experience and we wanted to share these with you as you start to plan for 2019.
This is our story – an insight to our lessons learnt from a crazy year spent speaking to 1,000 treasury professionals.
January: London – The Treasury Recruitment Company Networking Evening
We hosted our first networking evening of the year to great success. We were delighted to be joined by so many of our valued partners in a relaxed and informal setting whilst talking shop and discussing plans for the year ahead.
The consensus within the group predicted that the focus for the year ahead would be to ‘recruit-to-replace’. In other words, new hires would be required as a result of natural movement and attrition, rather than growth, acquisition or reorganisation. Many individuals were also planning to stay within their current roles for at least the first half of the year in order to collect annual bonuses and share options.
Conversely, initial predictions for 2019 appear far less conservative, with many clients expecting to develop and grow teams rather than remaining stable through existing team structures and headcount.
May: Liverpool – ACT Annual Conference
This conference provided a terrific opportunity to meet with many leading Treasury professionals in the industry and for me personally, to run a series of one-to-one sessions with over 30 of my existing senior treasury clients providing networking opportunities galore!
The feedback from many was that there is a lot of support for the work of the ACT and the education programmes provided by the organisation, but many asked what was new in the program?
The continued focus on cash management left many saying that they felt the program needed a face lift! Hopefully, the focus on “Business Disruption and Innovations in Technology” in 2019 will provide the improvement needed.
May: ATEL, Luxembourg – LinkedIn & Personal Branding Evening
This was an exclusive, invitation-only evening for ATEL members and it was a fantastic success. I was delighted to be attending the event with Dan Welham who heads up our European division. This was the first time Dan had attended an international conference and was a great introduction for him.
We were invited to run a workshop focused on LinkedIn and the importance of personal branding. The emphasis of the session was how to elevate your LinkedIn presence and the dangers of leaving your profile to ‘gather dust’ – the results of which can be more damaging than not having one in the first place.
View the full talk over on our Treasury TV channel.
May: Chicago – Windy City Summit
This was my 5thconsecutive year speaking at this great conference in front of another receptive audience of around 120 delegates. There is always a real buzz and sense of excitement at this event and I thoroughly enjoy attending year after year. I was delighted this year to be joined by Craig Martin the Director of our US Treasury Recruitment Practice. Our ‘Investing in Your Treasury Career’ session received positive feedback and we are very much looking forward to speaking again at next year’s conference.
It was also at this event that the inspiration for our podcast www.TreasuryCareerCorner.com materialised.
After speaking with many individuals at the conference, there was a common thread to the questions Craig and I were being asked. Questions focused around how as an individual you can drive career progression and achieve success. What are the steps you should be taking and how can you push your career forward?
We decided a great way to demonstrate this was by speaking with Treasurers who have successfully taken these steps themselves. In the podcasts, we speak with senior treasury professionals from around the globe about their treasury careers, how they got to where they are today and where they see themselves and the treasury profession developing. We have had the opportunity to speak to some truly exceptional individuals and it makes for very interesting listening – tune in here, you will love it!
September: London – Group Treasurers Exchange
Back to the UK post-summer just in time to hit the Group Treasurers Exchange in London. This was the first time this conference had been held in the UK, having relocated from Munich. The event was attended by a great mix of international treasury guys and contained lots of relevant and valuable content.
This event also played host to the first set of our video interview series where we spoke to leading Treasurers about their careers and their thoughts on key initiatives happening in the industry. This included #MeToo and the ‘Women in Treasury” initiative. Go to YouTube to check out the videos.
September: Luxembourg – ATEL Conference
This was ATEL’s national treasury conference with over 150 attendees and I was delighted to be joined by my colleague Dan Welham who leads our European division. One key topic which seemed to be on the agenda for many of the individuals was the rise of Luxembourg as a Treasury Centre replacing demand in areas such as Brussels and Switzerland as organisations start to make changes as a result of BEPs. The feeling was one of excitement and positivity in anticipation of new activity and future opportunities within the region.
Whilst at the conference we were invited to run back-to-back masterclasses, the first focusing on LinkedIn and the second, how to master an interview from the interviewer’s perspective. The sessions were very honest and a real eye-opener allowing us to identify key areas where we can add value and provide support to our clients moving forward.
Perhaps the most staggering statistic was that out of a class of 35, none had ever received any formal interview training, yet over 90% of them were expected to interview potential candidates for their teams!
It formed an invaluable learning experience for us all.
November: Chicago – AFP Conference
This is the ‘big-one’ in the US! Over 7,000 treasury professionals all come together at what is a fantastic event. What became clear from speaking with many individuals at the conference was that the US Treasury recruitment market has really come back to life. Many were predicting a need for increased headcount and it seemed every person Craig and I met were considering their own career and wanted to actively seek a new role in 2019.
Chris Fulton, the CFO of Selendy & Gay PLLC, Craig and I led a panel discussion to an audience of 350 people focusing on our overall theme of ‘Investing in Your Treasury Career’ – the discussion offered real-world accounts and practical experiences from each of our panel members. The feedback from attendees was incredible with an 83% approval rating from the audience, we’re aiming for 90% plus next year! With numbers like that, we hope we are invited to speak at next years’ AFP Treasury Conference in Boston in October.
November: Vienna – The Inaugural Austrian Corporate Treasury Association Conference (ACTA)
This was the first ever Austria Treasurers Conference and what a success it was. A free event for Treasurers run for the good of its members which is fantastic to see. It offered huge networking opportunities and valuable educational information. As this was the first time a conference had been held of its type in Austria, there was a real excitement and buzz around the event.
This was not only a first for the ACTA but also a first for me as it was my first ever Keynote speech. Quite a nerve-wracking occasion but I received a very warm welcome from an attentive audience who laughed at all my jokes – what more could I ask?!
November: London – Treasury Leaders’ Summit
This was the last stage of our world tour and what a lovely way to end it, back on our home turf in London.
The Treasury Leaders’ Summit is a relatively new conference and only the second time it had been run. The conference was split into 3 streams which included Treasury Technology, Treasury Strategy and Treasury Management. I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to chair the Treasury Management Stream which was a great success and received positive feedback from participants.
From a content perspective, the conference was very well covered however the challenge for delegates came when needing to select which stream to attend. Many were interested in more than one stream and found they had to make hard choices in the selection process. Perhaps next year, this could be run in a more holistic way by organising the work streams at different times allowing people to attend multiple programmes.
We started the year with a clear goal – to grow our presence on a global scale and to continue our long-term objective of becoming the ‘go-to consultancy for all Treasury professionals globally’.
1,000 Treasury professionals over 11 months – I’d say that goal was well and truly achieved!
What has surprised me the most over the past year however is how many more positive things have come from this experience. Things that I had no plan for at the start of the year but have evolved as a result of the valuable conversations we have had with you guys.
The launch of the www.TreasuryCareerCorner.com Podcast providing real-world examples of how to achieve career success from leading treasury professionals. Our renewed YouTube channel offering informational videos and advice about the state of the market and how best to position yourself. These are just two examples of the by-products that have evolved from our conversations throughout 2018. Conversations that have enabled us to gain accurate, live and current insight into the world of Treasury professionals today, on a global scale.
So, there you have it – 1000 Treasury professionals over 11 months and what an experience. I hope you will join us on our journey next year as we continue our goal to become the world’s number 1 treasury recruitment consultancy.