Members of NeuGroup for High Potentials also discuss the value of the Certified Treasury Professional Designation.
At a meeting this spring, NeuGroup’s High Potentials group discussed critical skills and career management that included observations on the value of the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) designation and current hiring challenges facing treasury teams. Following are takeaways from NeuGroup’s Andy Podolsky, who moderated the session.
A skills checklist. The meeting included a survey about what skills members believe every treasury professional should possess. Highlights:
- FX got the most votes, with 70% of respondents listing it, followed by capital markets with 60%.
- About one-third of respondents listed these skills: project management, cash forecasting, entity structure, accounting and capital planning.
- Bank management and TMS received votes from 20% of respondents, while insurance and taxation got 10%.
Challenges. Members shared on common challenges including trouble filling open positions for more junior roles. Other topics that surfaced:
- New hires who are often not familiar with what treasury does.
- A sense that the CTP designation is perhaps not as valuable as it once was.
- The importance of hiring candidates with deeper business intelligence (BI) and data management skills.
CTP critique. The group divided almost evenly into three groups: those having their CTP, those considering it, and those thinking the CTP may not be worth the trouble.
- Only a tiny minority (10%) felt the CTP was “extremely important” (see chart). Fewer than half (40%) said it’s “somewhat important” to have the designation.
- Many of these young leaders believe the general skills of curiosity, acting as team players and displaying an ability to learn are more critical than treasury technical skills that can be learned over time.
- Other skills in demand include good working habits, an ability to think outside the box, real-world experience, and internships that expose candidates to finance and allow them to hit the ground running.
Hiring woes. The group agreed that hiring people for treasury roles is particularly challenging these days. These managers found that candidates are not trained well by universities on what treasury teams do, and are disinclined to take, or even apply for, jobs that will be 100% in the office.
- Training those people who do accept jobs is problematic in a virtual world where training is often limited to “throwing new hires into the deep end and seeing who can swim and learn on the job,” as one member put it. “I wish there were better preparation by colleges.”
- As a result, hiring managers seem to be shifting their focus to raw talent they can mold into treasury specialists.
- This gap is something business schools will hopefully add to their curriculum—functional awareness and an overview of corporate finance functions.
- In the meantime, one member’s advice to colleagues new to treasury: “Take advantage of your bankers to ask the ‘dumb’ questions you don’t want to internally. They’re a great source and always happy to help.”