Many treasurers want to give team members the skills to move to other areas or companies.
NeuGroup members at a recent Treasurers’ Group of Thirty meeting delved into the nuances of treasury department organizational structures and how they meet specific company needs. Participants enjoyed seeing on a screen exactly how other treasury teams have been put together and why. And they had a laugh when one person didn’t recognize his own org chart.
- But many members clearly feel the weight of managing relatively small teams with highly specialized skills where advancement is difficult, turnover is high among analysts, and competition for skilled talent is fierce, resulting in shallow benches at some companies.
- Given that set of circumstances and other factors, some treasurers feel duty bound to prepare their staffs for the future and change by ensuring they have the training and experience to move ahead.
PE realities. The treasurer of a private-equity owned company noted the inevitable: “We’re going to get sold someday, so how do I make sure that [team members] have all the skills necessary to look good for their next job?” he said.
- He seeks to provide staff engaged in otherwise segregated duties with exposure to different areas within treasury, so they’re “marketable” outside their current functions. “We talk to the private-equity [staff], and about the goals we’re setting as team; we share everything,” he said.
- NeuGroup meetings play a role in educating team members, he said, noting that his company recently hosted the cash management peer group.
- He recently switched the roles of two employees, the directors of treasury operations and of liquidity and capital markets.
- The treasurer looks for cross-functional opportunities, such as the capital markets director working on a project with the tax team.
Transformation opens opportunities. Mergers mean change, and a peer group member who started as treasurer at a company digesting a transatlantic merger has required staff to have a “sense of urgency and the ability to knock down barriers, find solutions and execute,” or depart.
- Some professionals had been in treasury functions for a decade or more, leaving a shallow bench that in part will be rebuilt with recruits hired fresh out of college. They will be trained across treasury “infrastructure,” including bank account statements and management, TMS and bank portal, with the goal of moving them up.
- The treasurer also communicates openly to staff about his own departure: Whenever that arrives, it will provide opportunity for advancement to others. “Until that happens, my job is to provide training and career development, so they have the right sorts of skills to go somewhere internally or externally and be successful.”