The Big Picture: Treasury in the US

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 US treasury market…


The market in the US has been relatively buoyant with a broad mix of opportunities across all levels of the treasury spectrum. This has most certainly been driven by growth and the increasing pressure for tighter controls around risk. The ever-evolving impact of globalisation has also contributed with rising demand for strong FX specialists. Additionally, with greater emphasis on the strategic role treasury plays within the wider business-mix, many companies have sought to strengthen their treasury armoury with new senior level hires.

On the flipside however with falling unemployment levels, the labour market is getting tighter and this has meant employers have really had to up their game in order to attract and retain the top talent. Those that are ahead of the curve with this have recognised the importance of selling their value proposition and defining what it is that makes them an employer of choice amongst a far more demanding candidate base. They are ensuring that their offer is not only clearly defined and allows for competitive positioning from a financial and reward perspective, but also provides longevity and scope for development – all critical steps in the fight to retaining talent in a highly competitive market.


The dominant areas have continued to be the cities with already well-established treasury centres. Areas such as New York, Washington, Boston and Atlanta on the East side as well as Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Columbus on the West. LA, San Francisco and Seattle have also seen a healthy pipeline of new opportunities.

From a candidate perspective however, there has been an interesting shift in priorities. Where previously first and second tier locations were on the top of the priority list, these areas have now become less appealing in favour of smaller, less densely populated cities where house prices and the cost of living is lower. As this trend continues, it will pose new challenges for employers and will certainly require some innovative and creative approaches to attracting new talent.


As the demand for more specialist skills and senior level expertise has increased, the competition for talent has intensified. As a result, candidate pools have become increasingly saturated and it has been harder to identify locally based talent. This has led to the need for searches to be run on a wider geographical scale across different cities, states and even coast to coast. One of the biggest challenges here however has been convincing clients that this would require additional investment in terms of relocation support. Candidates have been very reticent to consider opportunities outside their home towns if there was no apparent financial incentive to do so. This scenario is likely to continue moving forward and businesses must recognise that to attract the right candidate, with the right level of experience and expertise, relocation support will need to be included as part of the offer package. Those businesses that do not embrace this requirement will most certainly limit their candidate pool and risk key positions lying dormant.


At the senior end of the market, there has been a noticeable increase in demand for interim support, particularly for assignments that were project-based in nature. Historically, businesses have favoured outsourcing these roles to professional accounting firms however with increased pressure on budgets and the need for greater controls, clients have had to look at alternative solutions. In line with this shift in demand, candidates appeared quick to adapt with many opting to make that transition from permanent employment into interim assignments. The promise of higher earning potential and a steady flow of upcoming projects, being the main pull-factor for this decision. Candidates have also been a lot more open to considering interim positions outside of their home town therefore opening up the talent pool for many clients struggling to find the expertise more locally.


Things are looking very promising in terms of growth for the US market. It is likely that opportunities will start opening up in 3rd, 4th and even 5th tier cities which will bring about exciting developments for local talent within those areas as well as external talent that are open to relocation opportunities.

The major push at the senior end of the market will be focused on bringing in specialist skills to strengthen existing treasury structures and advance expertise in specific areas. At the junior end, it is likely that new positions will open up internally therefore offering candidates the chance to expand new skill sets and enhance careers through promotion opportunities. This will however impact the volume of opportunities for external hires at this level, as the incentive to ‘stay put’ outweighs the benefits of ‘moving on’.

To explore the interesting statistics on the current US treasury market or to learn more about the UK, EU and Senior treasury markets, take part in our Spring 2019 Salary Survey here and you will receive the full report via email.

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2019-10-15T09:10:55+00:00April 20th, 2019|