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Mastering the Art of Treasury in Turbulent Times with Henrik Welch

In this week’s episode of the Treasury Career Corner podcast, Henrik Welch, Vice President and Head of Group Treasury at Alfa Laval shares his career journey and the challenges he faced while working in the banking sector and in a state-owned organization.

Henrik is currently at Alfa Laval, a leading global provider heat transfer, separation and fluid handling products. With his extensive experience in corporate finance, M&A transactions, structured finance and trade finance, Henrik brings valuable expertise to the treasury profession.

On the episode Henrik discusses his early career in banking, where he focused on structured trade finance and worked with treasuries and corporates. He then transitioned to the Danish Export Credit Agency, EKF, where he gained experience in strategic discussions with CEOs and CFOs of companies in emerging markets.

Henrik later joined Vestas Wind Systems during a challenging period of financial crisis and led the treasury team through a restructuring process. He then moved on to SSAB and eventually joined Alfa Laval, where he currently leads the treasury function.

On the podcast we discuss…

• Henriks career journey to date  
• Insights into the importance of a banking background in treasury roles        
• The role of treasury in supporting sales and financing solutions for customers        
• Challenges and lessons learned during a financial crisis and restructuring     
• The significance of working capital management and cash flow forecasting
• The future of treasury, including digitalization, sustainability, and challenges related to KYC and sanctions.

You can connect with Henrik Welch on LinkedIn (

Are you interested in pursuing a career within Treasury?

Whether you’ve recently graduated, or you want to search for new job opportunities to help develop your treasury career, The Treasury Recruitment Company can help you in your search for the perfect job. Find out ( more here ( Or, send us your CV ( and let us help you in your next career move!

If you’re enjoying the show please rate and review us on whatever podcast app you listen to us on, for Apple Podcasts click here (!

Subscribe to the Treasury Career Corner podcast newsletter to receive a link to every week’s episode as soon as it’s published via click ( here! (

Joel Campbell talks about his remote working and WFH Policy

We've morphed to three days in the office. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday are kind of our core days in the office. We built an office for 450 people. We have about 450 - 475 in Kansas City. So we built out a beautiful new office, really cool spaces that we created to try and draw people back in. On average, we have about 160 to 180 that come in those three days a week.

If we have a food event or some other activity, a happy hour, we'll get 200, 225 maybe. I don't think we've seen 250 or above in two years now, or in a year and a half that we've been in our office. So the ultimate point there is, as much as we want people to come back, there are a number of people, that will never want to come back to an office.

They love to work at home, and perhaps they're more productive at home than maybe I see or appreciate. So I think Lee-Anns point is exactly right. I think we have to show some love to the people that work for us.

And I think the way you do that is to figure out what works best for each individual person. They still have to meet standards. They still have to be accountable for their work, performance still has to be there.

You can't just kind of shut down and mail it in and work through four hours a day. So there has to be some constraints around it. But at the same time, you have to show people love and the way you do that is giving them opportunities to do work a little differently.

So the second part of that is we're in three days a week, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. As we head into 2024, our private equity owners have asked us to consider, to consider how do we get people to be more collaborative?

How do we kind of maybe force the issue to bring those reluctance back into the office to be more interactive? So we're likely going to move to a core weeks concept.

There are a few companies that have done this where you're required if you live within a certain radius of the office to come into the office one week a month or two weeks a quarter or something like that.

So that we have a more fulsome feeling because when we have those days and we've got 225 people in the office, there is a different level of energy. There's a different level of interaction across the whole and the whole group, not just the executive team or some of the back office teams like finance and legal that we were in all three days all the time. There's a different level of energy. And so we want to expose people to that by kind of forcing the issue, not being difficult about it, but forcing that issue.

And then secondly, for the weeks that you're at home, you have to have your camera on. You have to be presentable at work. Like those kind of just parameters around it to set the stage in a tone that you have to have an office -like area.

You cannot have kids running around in the background. Your cat can't walk across the keyboard. You know, just some of those things to put constraints around it so that people can feel like they're more engaged with us in the office.

Why The Treasury Recruitment Company Don't Do Remote Roles

Listen, we don't do roles that are remote. People don't need us. They'll put an advert up on LinkedIn, they get 152 hundred applications, slim it down and they might get the right person.

We do hybrid roles and things like that because that's where clients need help. And we're not doing that as a sales pitch. I'm doing it more as if you are a Treasurer here and you're thinking about hiring, what do you need?

Do you need that person in the office five days a week? You know, my client in Texas realized they didn't. And actually, that's cascading throughout the entire company.

Introduction to Lee-Ann Perkins

Hi, everyone, I’m Lee-Ann Perkins, I've been in Treasury for about 19 years. It is my passion and I think of my Treasury career as both my prose and my poetry.

My prose is that it's something I do on a daily basis. It's how I communicate my story of Treasury and what I do. But the poetry of Treasury for me is being in the advocacy of the function and of just uplifting the Treasurer into the future.

I think Treasury is such an amazing yet understaffed function in a company. And it's really coming to it so in these days. And I have been so fortunate to sit on many boards and committees where I can help to uplift the Treasury function, where I can make new changes and advocate for regulations in the industry. One of my favorite things to do is to be on the board of NATCHA where we helped as practitioners to raise the same -day ACH limit to a million dollars.

There are just so many great things I've been involved in and that's where I think I get my passion from and where I want my career to go in the future. I've done a lot of things over the years from starting as a Treasury Analyst to reaching my goal of being a Treasurer of both a private and a public company.

So I've really worked hard. I've educated myself through the years and during COVID was, I think for me, the pinnacle of my education, getting a Treasury license in the UK.

It's the hardest thing I've ever done. I'm never studying ever again. It was really great. So I think to sum up in a nutshell, I just really love Treasury. I love the function. And anyone who wants to talk Treasury is always welcome to talk with me and hear about how I have moved myself of my career path and just still enjoy the passion for what I do.

Introduction to Joel Campbell

So my name's Joel Campbell, I'm the Chief Financial Officer at a company called TreviPay. We're a B2B payments company based in Kansas City. Prior to that, I had a 27-year career in corporate Treasury and four large public companies and have done just about every kind of function within Treasury that you can imagine.

I also have a passion for Treasury. I fell into Treasury back in the late 1990s, had no idea what Treasury was, became my passion as well.

I've been fortunate enough to kind of segway out of Treasury now, and even though I still love it, I've segwayed out into a broader CFO role of a private equity owned company and have brought my horizons using my Treasury experience in the background I've brought to help grow a company very quickly and generate a return for our private equity owners over time.

So I share the same passion. We have perhaps different perspectives which we're going to share with you today. We got the band back together. Some of you may remember we did a very similar session last year on how to progress your career within Treasury which was really well received and a lot of fun.

What has Lee-Ann Perkins experience of remote working been like?

OK, so the topic of the day, post -pandemic, prior to hybrid, wasn't even a word. It was about cars and everything else.

Then suddenly it's like, are you in office? Are you out of office? Remote? What do you do?

So let's talk about remote hybrid for each of you. We'll start with Lee-Ann and then we'll go to Joel. What's your experiences, particularly to share with the audience, about remote and hybrid for you?

Well, I've been remote since March of 2020. And I think we all had that experience when COVID hit and we all suddenly had to go home and work.

It was supposed to be for two weeks, mask up, and we'll be back in the offices. It turned out to be three years for some of us. But there was definitely a learning curve when we were all sent home.

I didn't necessarily have the IT things at home to help set me up properly. Fortunately, I had a house big enough to be able to have my own office, but I certainly wasn't equipped to work well at home.

But it took a while and we all realized that you have to be agile in order to succeed. And we all learned about Zoom. We all had to figure out how to install that on our machines and get it to work.

How to get a camera to work. You were always on pause on your microphone, but it took a while, but we managed. And my company that I was with never went back to the office.

So we all stayed at home and we all just figured out how to do it. There were definitely some difficulties at first where we didn't have boundaries, where you started work at seven and you finished at seven.

Because there was so much to do, there was so much stress in the industry that I was working in. It was oil and gas. So the times were really bad. It was very difficult. So we had a lot of capital market transactions we did from our homes.

I remember my boss having to work from his car with his cell phone charger to help the kids be at home and his wife be at home and work. So we all just did what we had to do to get through. But it was definitely challenging.

But in order to make it work, we all shifted our attitudes, we, we got what we needed, we, you know, supply chain was tough, but we all got a microphone and we all got a screen and we just carried on working.

And then I think we also just settled into a rhythm. We didn't have to get up and drive for an hour each way to get to work. We just use that time wisely. And then you had to learn things like boundaries.

So once work was done for the day, you shut your door, and you move on and you enjoy your evening and start again the next day. So it was definitely a learning curve. But for me, it worked out really well.

I'm the type of person who likes to wake up really early, get started for the day. And then I'm done by like six o 'clock, I don't think any more after that. So it worked out well for me.

I was home and I could get on with the rest of my life. But it has also been a time where, you know, I just like to work by myself. If you give me something to do, and you can consider it done, because I'm just going to sit down, work it out and figure it out. I don't necessarily need direction from my boss or a lot of interaction. So I'm the kind of person that I think remote work is well suited to.

And I know there were team members and there were people in my office who struggled. They needed that interaction. There were more extroverts than me, so they got their energy from other people.

And I'm not, you know, that way inclined. So while I like being interacting with people and being in teams, it wasn't necessary for me. So I think, you know, for my personality and for what I do in Treasury, it works out really well.

What has Joel Campbells experience of remote working been like?

I started out very similarly. Maybe some of you will relate to this. I started out in my basement in what I would call a Barca Lounge, but it was a little nicer than that, sitting at a game table for the first three months when I went home, because I thought, hey, this is just for two weeks, we're going back to the office. Why would I invest in creating an office?

Four months later, I was in the middle of doing a debt deal for my prior employer, which I had done dozens of times before, but had never done one from home in my basement, sitting at a Barca Lounge. We pulled it off. We were actually very successful in what we did, but it taught me a lot about, you know, I'm a little bit different than Lee-Ann.

I'm an extrovert. I thrive on being around people. I get my energy from processing things out loud with other people. So for me, going and working in my basement for, you know, 12, 14 hours a day drove me absolutely crazy. The fact that I got really frustrated was sitting and having to be on Zoom calls after Zoom calls, after Zoom calls. At any time I wanted to talk to someone, I had to get on a calendar and wait for them to be available. And I actually found myself working more than if I had gone to the office. Maybe some of you experienced that?

You could walk by your computer and, you intend to check emails for 20 minutes and three hours later, your family wonders if you're still alive in the basement or not!. So my experience was a little bit different.

I would say, though, as Lee-Ann said, we settled into a new way of doing things. So I actually got an office chair, I got a desk, I set up a proper office to make it feel more like something that was professional, that at least gave me a space to go to, something to do, and then I could go, retire to a different life, hopefully after hours.

The thing I would say that I learned through hybrid working, though, once we kind of morphed two years after COVID, I worked for, again, a private equity -owned company. They were very forceful, very big on us being back together, so we actually built out an office. We are now in a true hybrid work schedule, and that, for me, has been a very welcomed opportunity to get back and be with people, to be around people and interact and collaborate and solve issues quickly.

Those are things that I got frustrated with in a hybrid environment. Maybe some of you did as well. The thing I saw in some of my staff is you really started to see kind of the bifurcation of the introverts and the extroverts, and you could really start to see who did really well. You could see people who were struggling. We had to get a lot more intentional around having tea meetings and drinks over Zoom at five o 'clock on a Friday night just to make sure people were staying connected.

I think we all suffered through all those issues. Now I think we're in a post -pandemic environment. Now what do we do? I think we're facing into maybe this is the new norm, but what does that new norm look like and will it evolve and change even further? God forbid if there's another pandemic or if there's another crisis that we have to go through. I think as leaders of your companies, we all have to think through those issues and the impacts that they have on our people.

What has Mike Richards experience of the world of remote working been like?

And for me as a recruiter it's quite a weird world.

Prior when I was recruiting, prior to COVID, I'd be asked, so what's the job? Who's it for? What's the salary? And maybe 1 in 10 brave people might say, what's your flexible working policy?

I say flexible ….out the door!

Now, if I did that, I'd have no one working for me. And, you know, if I don't ask that question to my clients I don't get to help them recruit, because that's what I get asked.

I was just talking to Lee- Ann before and saying that I've been recruiting for a client in Texas, thankfully I placed the role, but I approached over 150 candidates for the role. And it was weird, the responses I got back. I would get the following list of questions, and here we go, just so I got it right. So I'd send out the job description, I'd send the link to the job, and then the first question was;

• So is the job in the office, hybrid or remote?
• What's the salary?
• Where is it?
• What's the job again?

I was literally doing this, and I'm like, crumbs, and what happened?

We actually got to the final stages with this one candidate that they fell in love and thought was really great. And what they were finding is he said, actually, I'm not going to be in the office, I'll be hybrid.

And the company itself has actually changed, because they realized that their IT teams were a bit separate. They were in the office two or three days a week, but all the finance was coming in five days a week and they're like, well, actually, do we need to?

We just had two years of working from home. And it's just as Joel talked there about intentionality.

I gave a session at the New York Cash Exchange, and Steve Rosenthal from Broadridge one of our podcast guests, he talks about the fact that within their offices, they were finding they were going back to their offices. And then he would go into his cubicle or his nice office and the fact was then at five o 'clock he'd leave and he wouldn't have seen any of his team.

They were just doing the job. So what they actually did is they pivoted a little bit. I can't remember the exact phrase, but he says it's about intentionality.

He said, "If you're going to come in, come in for a reason. Have meetings in your diary, don't just come in for the sake of it. Actually, make a difference otherwise, you're just giving money to the state for your travel and all this and you're wasting time, you've proved it.”

Joel Campbell talks about why bosses struggle to manage remote staff

Why are bosses and senior staff reluctant, would you say? Is it down to a drop in productivity or a lack of trust? How do you train your junior staff? Creation of a team ethos becomes more difficult so how do you deal with that yourself, Joel?

Yeah, I think that the two things I've struggled with as a boss is, one is collaboration. I touched on that before. I'm big on collaboration. I'm not necessarily a consensus decision maker, but having people and getting input and perspectives from multiple people, I think that really became a challenge in the Zoom world. You can set up a call and you give people together, and some people are better on Zoom than others.

Some people would have their camera on, some people wouldn't, they'd have kids in the background, or the cat crawling across the keyboard. It was really hard to have kind of a normal conversation in a controlled environment where you could actually talk.

So that collaboration for me just started to fall apart, and I would get frustrated with that. So we would do things where we would have, all right, everybody has your camera on. Everybody looks presentable today.

Everybody's cat is in a different room. Like we would try and do things where you could actually have a conversation and try and get business things meted out so that you could actually have meaningful conversations.

So collaboration was a big one. And then I think most of us have undersold the social aspect of work. I'm a social person. I love that social aspect. I could talk about Ohio State football until the cows come home. But I love that aspect of work, and I will stay at work for an extra hour or two to make up the time that I've been social throughout the day because I think those social interactions, particularly for the younger generation with senior people, the things they can learn from the experiences we've been through, what we have to share in terms of our career path, whatever that looks like.

I think that social interaction goes a lot further in a work environment than people give credit to. And so even if you are an introvert and you love being at home in your basement and your barca lounge or working, that's great for you. But I think you're missing out on social opportunities to interact with senior people.

And those interactions can pay dividends down the road when it comes to whether it's your performance or whether it's job opportunities or being seen as someone who could potentially interact with more senior members of management and be pushed forward to a different level.

So those are two things that I think that I went through. I still even consciously, a couple of team members here today, I still consciously work through those things because I think it's really important that we collaborate and that we realize that the social impact of work.