We’re delighted to have released the results of our Spring 2019 Salary Survey, an invaluable document that aims to provide the treasury community with a clear and factual picture of the treasury market as a whole. It not only allows for accurate salary benchmarking on a global scale, but also an understanding of the opinions and behaviours of those operating in this demanding and ever-changing industry. Here’s what the results revealed on the Senior treasury market…
GENERAL MARKET TRENDS
It has been an interesting year from a senior treasury perspective with mixed reactions to the economic twists and turns that have been taking effect. On the one hand, small to mid-scale businesses have sought to strengthen their finance and treasury functions through the creation of Head of Treasury / Group Treasurer level roles, which has opened up a number of new opportunities for those ready to take the step into the top job and subsequently, provided promotion opportunities for those further down the chain. Conversely, in the larger scale businesses, the common view amongst senior and exec level treasury professionals (i.e. Assistant, Deputy, International / Regional and Group Treasurer levels) has been to stay put and ride the storm. The net result has been a drop in the number of new positions opening-up in this space.
For those candidates that have been in the market for new opportunities, there has been an interesting shift in priorities. Historically, a key motivator when considering new roles focused primarily on scale of package and overall financial gain. More recently, however, motivations have become less financially driven and more qualitative in nature. Current priorities when considering new roles have been centred on factors such as scope and breadth of role, overall job satisfaction, the potential for career progression as well as the capacity to enhance and develop new skill sets.
Similarly, these characteristics have formed the foundations of whether an employee has been prepared to transition from a ‘non job seeker’ into a ‘passive’ or even ‘active’ candidate. With higher levels of expectation, if candidates felt that their level of learning was beginning to plateau or the opportunities for advancement in their existing companies appeared to diminish, they would be very quick to react. This did not mean there was a mass influx of senior level candidates in the market all seeking new opportunities, rather after ten turbulent years in the economy, candidates have grown thicker skins – if their companies won’t look after them and their careers as a priority, they will have to take greater responsibility for their own futures by looking externally for their goals to be realised.
Candidates have been very much in the driving seat when it comes to recruitment activity and this has had a knock-on effect in terms of recruitment processes. With fewer active candidates in the market due to falling unemployment levels and higher candidate expectations, clients have had to work much harder to attract and secure the top talent. These changes have had a positive effect on the speed of recruitment processes which have become less protracted and drawn-out, as businesses have been eager to shorten process rather than running the risk of losing their top candidate to the competition. We should however add a note of caution, as it is important to recognise that there does need to be a healthy balance here – pushing candidates too quickly through the hiring process may result in an unsuccessful outcome if they have not thoroughly bought into the company and what a new role may offer them in terms of progression and personal development.
The most notable shift in terms of regional trends has been across Europe. This has been driven by the increasing number of businesses looking to relocate their Treasury Centres due to BEPS. Switzerland and Belgium traditionally two long-time hubs of treasury activity, seem to be less appealing in favour of fast growth areas like Luxembourg and The Netherlands, where tax regimes have been more welcoming.
Similarly, across the US there has been increased demand in areas outside the traditional treasury centre locations, and likewise in the UK, more and more senior level opportunities have been arising in areas outside the M25.
TEMPORARY / INTERIM MARKET TRENDS
The perception of the senior interim market has altered over recent years. Historically, candidates would sit in one camp or the other, classified as either ‘permanent’ – working in a series of permanent roles for life until retirement, or ‘interim’ – moving from one assignment to the next, company to company. There would be limited opportunity to move between the two camps, once you’d made the shift into the interim market, it would be hard for you to return to a permanent position and vice versa. More recently, however, things have changed and it is not uncommon to see individuals move back and forth between permanent and interim roles.
On the candidate side, this shift in attitude has been driven by the desire for career advancement – whether the opportunity is permanent or interim is irrelevant, the biggest pull is what the role can offer in terms of skills development and challenge. On the client side, the priority is expertise and limiting risk. It is purely about identifying the ‘right’ person for the job irrelevant of whether they come from a permanent or interim background. This change in attitude offers an exciting period of evolution for the industry and will open up huge opportunities for those operating in it.
To explore the interesting statistics on the current Senior treasury market or to learn more about the UK, EU and US treasury markets, take part in our Spring 2019 Salary Survey here and you will receive the full report via email.