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Recruiting Your Next Treasurer

I am often asked what key skills do CFO’s and Finance Directors look for when they are recruiting a Group Treasurer?

As their recruiter they must be the same thing? Actually no – they are not the same.

When I am in a client briefing discussing recruiting a new Head of Treasury the usual definition of their next Treasurer will be a list of the duties and responsibilities of their current Treasurer and asking for the same again but with better results!

They want to see a real improvement in the treasury team and greater deliverable value from their new treasury professional.

This harks back to my previous article when I tried not to rant rather provide an observation that clients need to “Stop Recruiting the Same People and expecting different results!”

So back to my initial header question if you want more from your new Treasurer and an improved treasury department then what should you do?

Firstly let me do my job. Let me recruit a Treasurer for you who has the potential to grow into the role of Treasurer rather than a carbon copy of your previous treasury professional.

The key difference when I’m shortlisting and presenting candidates for the role of Treasurer is the word POTENTIAL.

Let me source a candidate with potential for your senior Treasury Role who;

  • Has bags of potential
  • Is not the fully rounded article but who has room to grow and develop
  • Has a fresh viewpoint that has a steady hand but they need time to become a fully functioning Treasurer

OK so why do my clients want 100% fully functioning replacements for their Treasurers who are clones of their previous Treasurers who have the exact same qualifications, backgrounds i.e. industry, same level of Treasury experience?


Because it’s an immediate solution to their immediate problems.

Is it best for the long term? I would say not.

If you replace like for like, how is your treasury department going to improve? Evolve?

Exceed future expectations?

They are NOT.

I realise that CFO/ FD’s are under more pressure then perhaps ever before which has then forced them into the decisions they make. However it is only those who act with courage and who aren’t afraid to invest time and effort that are able to choose candidates who will help the treasury department improve over the longer term.

Is experience outside of treasury important when you want to move from the role of Treasurer into the CFO / FD role?

It is extremely useful to have had a wider business background rather than to have spent your entire career within treasury, although I find that many treasurers tend to have developed their Treasury/ Finance expertise within just the Treasury “stream”.

Is a straight treasury background an active choice Treasurers make?

I feel this is by accident rather than design i.e. once you develop excellence within a particular area of finance why wouldn’t you utilise that to your advantage? If you are a treasury expert the financial reward is on offer and in these challenging economic times who could blame an expert for wanting to be rewarded as such.

All this being said of the CFO’s that I know who have had a background within Treasury have always worked in other areas within finance either as part of their treasury career path i.e. they have become expert in the treasury area and have moved into another senior business role or senior finance position. As senior treasury professionals, they have made active choices to move into financial controller or planning roles in order to experience finance as a whole this enables them to better sell themselves when applying for the CFO/ FD position.

I am often asked are all the Treasurer positions you recruit advertised?

I regularly recruit roles at the Group Treasurer level – do I publicize all the positions I recruit at the senior level? No I don’t.

Would I like to? I’d love to!

However I am often asked by clients to recruit on a confidential headhunting basis for more senior positions.


Reasons such as;

Internal Sensitivity – I may be replacing the current Treasurer who may not have announced their move to their team and the company as whole and they want to do it in the right manner before they move into a more senior role

External Sensitivity – There may be factors whereby the Finance Director wants the new Head of Treasury agreed in advance so they can introduce them to their banking and financing partners in advance so they are comfortable with the change

A Planned Change – the incumbent may not be aware of an impending change and the CFO wants to ensure they have an effective and immediate changeover in place when required

They don’t want you to know! Some clients simply want to have a direct switch that is agreed between the outgoing and incoming Treasurer and they want it to be under their terms

The “Hassle Factor” – clients trust us to find their next Treasurer and they don’t want to face a barrage of calls and questions from recruiters who want to recruit the role when they already have us as a preferred recruitment partner, they don’t have either the time or patience to tell other parties to leave them alone.