As an association, we are committed to supporting and promoting diversity in the Treasury industry.
We invite you to visit our new section on our website dedicated to Women in Treasury which will include profiles of Treasury Leaders and their career path, and details of upcoming networking and education events.
DIRECTOR, RISK ADVISORY
How did you come to work in Treasury?
I’ve been working in Internal Audit, Risk and Controls for over 10 years. I’m currently focused on the Irish Private and Corporate market. Based on discussions with our clients, we understand that Treasury functions and Treasurers have specific support requirements around governance, risk management and operations including business process and technology. As a result, myself and my team started to focus more on specific service delivery catered for Corporate Treasurers based in Ireland.
What does a typical day look like for you....or is there such a thing?
For me no day is the same. I spend a lot of my time trying to meet with new and existing clients. If we are not discussing an ongoing project, I am discussing their current area of focus and changes in the market and thinking of ways I can support them. A day in treasury advisory is very different from a day of a cash manager, who has a daily deadline and a strict framework. It is more comparable to the day of a Head of Treasury who has a mix of daily operational tasks, people management, reporting and developing strategy.
What is it you most enjoy about Treasury or has made you stay in the area?
Treasury is a very specific field in the finance with both a strategic and operational focus. That combination makes it an interesting place to be in a company. You are involved in many strategic decisions of the corporate on the one hand and are involved in the operational processes which are driven by technologic innovation.
What do you find most challenging or has been your greatest career challenge to date?
Keeping pace with the changing operating environment is constant challenge. With technologic innovation and changing regulation and tax, there is lot of complex issues at play for Treasurers. For me, it’s critical to stay connected to my peer group and the subject matter experts who support me to help me to identify and understand any changes in the market.
What is the greatest piece of career advice you received?
Never be afraid to reach out to your network without an agenda. You’re network can be a powerful tool to offer solutions and insights into developments in the market.
What do you see as the key skills or competencies someone looking to work in Treasury should develop? Can you offer any insights on how you keep your skills relevant particularly as we see more automation?
The basic competencies are finance and risk management knowledge. Increasingly, skills in technology and data analysis are becoming more important. The trends in treasury all point to analysis based decision making which even emphasises the already important tech skills. Treasury has been a digital frontrunner in the finance environment, especially on the operational side. In recent years the RPA, which is still operationally oriented, proved its worth in treasury. In the next year, also the strategic treasury decisions will become digitally supported.
Is there any training you would like to see made available?
Systems supporting the use of data analysis in treasury.
If you want a career where you a recognised and valued member of the Senior Management team, where you are at the fore of strategic decisions and where you have significant operational influence, then Treasury is a fantastic career path. There is a huge amount of responsibility that comes with the role or Treasurer; if cash is King, the Treasurer is the Emperor!
How can we encourage more women to join Treasury?
I think the slogan “If she can’t see it, she can’t be it!” is quite true and it’s important that young women have leaders and mentors that they can aspire to be. Promoting women who work in Treasury is very powerful and the more young women see successful female Treasurers, the greater the following will be.
BANKING RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
BANK OF IRELAND GLOBAL MARKETS
How did you come to work in Treasury?
My Treasury journey started in 2003 following a stint in Australia and New Zealand I returned to Ireland from my travels with no idea what I wanted to do and very broke. After a couple of weeks catching up with friends the hunt for a job began. I stumbled upon a back office position advertised in one of Ireland’s domestic banks. I had completed some work experience in ‘head office’ a few years previous so decided to put that experience to good use and applied for the role. I interviewed for the role in the luxurious surroundings of Talbot Street, Dublin 1 before I had even made my way home that day I received a call offering me the role. I accepted the offer of employment and began my treasury career working in the back office/support function looking after the Treasury requirements of personal and retail customers. I discovered I had an instant attraction to helping customers and working with them to assist with their business needs. This strong customer focus led to an opportunity to work on a newly established Customer Service Team within the dealing room. Making the transition from the back office to front office was a significant change however I had a keen interest to learn and develop. I won’t lie it was very daunting. I will never forget my first day on the dealing room floor, I was a tad intimidated if I’m being honest. I had gone from working in a quiet, mostly female environment to working in this noisy and boisterous dealing room where shouting was the norm. I observed carefully and quickly adapted to the new environment. I needn’t have worried, everyone was welcoming and couldn’t do enough to help and make the transition as seamless as possible.
As a newly formed team we worked tirelessly to meet the demanding needs of the Corporate and Institutional client base across the range of Treasury products. The role was fast paced and exciting. I enjoyed working with the dealers to support the customer needs often having to design bespoke solutions quickly. I recall implementing many process enhancements and improving the overall customer offering via this tailored relationship management approach which I thoroughly enjoyed. I was involved in all aspects of the customer relationship and learned much about the inner workings of the banking industry during this time. It only served to drive my desire to progress into a dealing role. After a couple of years I decided it was time to make that change and I successfully made the transition onto the Institutional Dealing Desk.
This was the biggest transition yet. I was responsible for the effective management of an Institutional portfolio of customers in sectors such as Insurance, Financial Services and Stockbroking. It was a steep learning curve. I had to learn quickly and get comfortable selling our product offering, and take a lead role delivering significant income targets whilst trying to grow our wallet share of a competitive multi banked market. A typical working day begins at 7.30/45am. I catch up on market events and news, familiarise myself with relevant economic data releases for the day that could potentially impact the customer and their business then it’s on to pro-active client calling for most of the morning. There is a requirement to meet with customers on a regular basis (pre Covid of course) and this was and still is one of the aspects of the role I really enjoy. The opportunity to travel to meet with customers is a welcome break from the dealing desk at times.
Following a number of years on the Institutional Desk I moved into a Treasury Manager role on the Corporate Sales Desk where I am responsible for the effective management of a corporate portfolio of clients in sectors including Food & Agri, Engineering, Aircraft Leasing and Pharma. Whilst in this role I have had many opportunities to develop and broaden my skillset. Whilst relationship management is key there’s always opportunity to get involved in projects, working groups or customer events. I have lead out on our customer experience agenda running many events for the customer base including our flagship annual Women and Leaders in Business event in collaboration with the wider Markets and Treasury teams and our key stakeholders.
I was given an opportunity to participate in the banks first Female Leadership and Talent Programme. The programme is specifically dedicated to the career development of female colleagues. The programme is designed to enhance leadership skills and to equip participants with the knowledge, tools and confidence to enhance their careers. The programme provides participants with the opportunity to engage in mentoring, coaching and other supports to help them achieve their career goals. This programme has benefitted me greatly and provided me with the tools to push ahead with my career goals. As a result of the hard work and these newly acquired skills I was recently promoted to a Senior Dealer role on the Corporate Sales desk. I have also recently established a Lean In circle for the programme alumni enabling the women to remain connected supportive of each other to allowing us to continue to challenge one another.
If I was to impart some words of wisdom to those seeking a career in Treasury I would say this - Don’t be afraid to ask for help. In my experience people want to support when a genuine need is there. Another great piece of career advice I was given by a mentor and something that has stayed with me is to make time each week to focus on developing yourself through continuous learning. Take that hour or whatever you can manage each week to pause, reflect and plan. It seems so simple but it’s very effective.
Customer engagement and the people side of the job is what I enjoy most. The fast paced nature of the dealing room keeps me on my toes and no one day is ever the same. I can honestly say down through the years I have had the pleasure of working with great people that I have learned much from and have developed lasting friendships which I’m grateful for. Working in the dealing room in a Treasury customer facing role requires strong relationship management skills. You must be highly organised and thrive on the fast paced nature of the business. Have an interest in financial markets and be comfortable engaging with customers in this regard. There will be on-going opportunities to develop, learn and get involved in aspects of the business outside the day job. Industry bodies such as the Institute of Bankers have many courses on offer that allow you to develop key skills and acquire new ones.
There are many facets to Treasury. I strongly encourage women to explore the different roles within Treasury. Talk to people in the industry where possible and leverage your network to gain insights. Talk openly with your peers. Attend a workshop or seminar to learn more, put yourself out there. Have the confidence to ask the right questions, be open to working really hard and you will gain so much in the process.