CFO vs. Group Treasurer: Charting Your Course in Treasury

As an experienced treasury professional, you might find yourself at a crucial point in your career where you are trying to figure out: what’s next? If your ambition is to go up in hierarchy, two obvious paths come to mind: Group Treasurer (GT) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). While both offer significant leadership responsibilities and strategic influence, each requires a different skill set and career path. Understanding these differences is important to help you determine which path suits you best.

Group Treasurer: Deepening Expertise and Fostering Collaboration

The Group Treasurer oversees the financial health of the organisation with a focus on core treasury functions: cash flow management, risk mitigation and capital structure optimisation. This role is for individuals who also enjoy technical mastery. You will dive into complex areas such as foreign exchange, derivatives and cash pooling strategies, cementing your position as a treasury expert.

But the GT role is not just technical. Effective leadership and communication are increasingly important. You will bridge the gap between treasury and other departments, ensuring alignment with business objectives. Building strong relationships with stakeholders across the organisation is essential to your success.

Chief Financial Officer: Broader Leadership and Strategic Decision-Making

The CFO position elevates you to the C-suite and places you at the forefront of the company’s financial strategy. You will oversee not only treasury, but also financial planning, accounting, reporting, budgeting and organizational development. And connecting these finance fields to the strategy of the company, reactive as well as proactive. This broader portfolio requires a more diverse skill set. Strategic intelligence is essential. You will provide critical financial insight to the CEO, ensuring decisions drive growth and profitability. Understanding the bigger picture and how finance contributes to the broader business strategy is essential. While treasury expertise remains valuable, a strong understanding of financial analysis, accounting principles, and regulatory compliance is crucial.

The Choice: Aligning Aspirations with Role Requirements

Choosing between these two career parts, it is crucial to look at yourself and think about what drives you. You will want to assess what are your strengths and weaknesses, and what about your job makes you happy?

  • Do you thrive on technical challenges and diving deep into treasury topics? Then the Group Treasurer role may be more suitable for you. You will act as a specialist and will need strong communication skills to explain treasury to laymen, to collaborate with other departments and to maintain relationships with external partners (such as banks and investors).
  • Or, perhaps you like to have a broader role and expand your knowledge outside the treasury field? And have more of an impact on the overall financial health of an organization? Then looking into the CFO path could be a good choice for you. As a CFO, you will also need strong communication and leadership skills to manage multiple finance teams, communicate with stakeholders (board of directors/shareholders/investors), and drive organizational change. But maybe most important, with this expansion of influence also comes greater responsibility, and you will need to feel comfortable being the one making tough decisions that impact the whole organisation. Because when you make a misstep, the ripple becomes a tidal wave!

At the end of the day, both the CFO and Group Treasurer positions are rewarding top-ups to a successful finance career. Do you find yourself wrestling with this decision? At Treasurer Search, we specialise in connecting top treasury professionals with their ideal career opportunities. Contact us when you want to talk about your career path! We are happy to provide you with our guidance.

You can also read our other blogs about strategic career planning:

Strategic Career Planning: How to use the SWOT analysis Mind the Gap: Gap Analysis in Strategic Career Planning

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Hiring For Personality: Looking Beyond The CV

As treasury recruiters, we are hired to find candidates with very job-specific knowledge. Although treasury knowledge and experience are important when looking for your dream candidate, looking at personality is in our eyes equally important for a successful long-term match. That’s why we don’t only assess if a candidate has the right treasury skills for the job but also if their personality is a good match for the job, the team and the company as a whole. We hear from our clients (and candidates), that this is highly valued. With this article, we want to give you more insight into how we do this.

So, how do we assess personality?

Firstly, we already do this during our intakes (with clients) and our interviews (with candidates), by asking the right questions and by structurally reporting on our findings. To do this, we keep the same personality traits in mind that we report on in the Treasurer Test. Secondly, we also offer our clients to use the Treasurer Test in the recruitment process (an assessment tool we helped develop, measuring personality and treasury skills) to verify our findings objectively.

Underlying personality construct used in the Treasurer Test

The personality assessment used in the Treasurer Test is based on The Five-Factor Model (i.e. the Big Five), which is widely considered the most scientifically validated. To make this construct more tangible for work-related use, 28 derived sub-traits are measured in the Treasurer Test, of which we chose 16 to report. We specifically chose these 16 personality traits, because we believe these to give the most valuable insights when hiring a treasurer.  Below this article, you find an oversight of the 16 personality traits we report on in the Treasurer Test.

How can a personality assessment help you in your recruitment process?

As mentioned in my introduction, recruitment is more than just looking for the candidate with the best CV. You want to hire someone who is likely going to stick around long-term. This is mostly determined by one simple factor: how much people enjoy their job. Personality plays a huge role in your preferences and behaviour, which determines someone’s natural affinity for specific job tasks and as a result influences your job performance and satisfaction. There is a reason people choose a treasury career over sales, as these jobs ask for different competencies and therefore different personality traits.

By combining different sources of information (interviews and an assessment tool), you create a more complete picture of someone’s personality, which will help you identify if someone is a good match for the job. And you will be able to successfully hire a new treasury colleague, that will be able to thrive in the job and work environment you have in place.

If you want to know more about the Treasurer Test and its use in the recruitment process, don’t hesitate to contact us for further information! We will be happy to advise you in your treasury recruitment endeavors.

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Tips for getting your Dream Job

Are you ready to take the next step in your career? If so, you’ll need to do some planning. In this article, we’ll share some tips on how to get your dream job.

  1. Strategic Career Planning
  2. Clean up your CV
  3. Use your Connections
  4. Keep track of your Applications
  5. Prepare for your Interviews
  6. Write follow-up Letters.

1. Strategic Career Planning

The first step is to take some time to think about your career goals. What do you want to achieve in your professional life? Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can start to develop a plan to reach them.

There are a number of tools that can help you with strategic career planning. One popular tool is the SWOT analysis, which helps you to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You can also use a gap analysis to identify the skills and knowledge you need to acquire in order to reach your goals.

2. Clean up your CV

Once you know what career path you want to take, it’s time to update your CV. Make sure that your CV clearly highlights your relevant experience and skills. You should also tailor your CV to each specific job you apply for.

3. Use your connections

Don’t underestimate the power of your connections. Talk to your family, friends, and former colleagues to see if they know of any open positions that might be a good fit for you. You can also use LinkedIn to connect with people in your field.

4. Keep track of your Applications

When you’re applying for multiple jobs, it’s important to keep track of your applications. This will help you to remember where you’ve applied and to follow up with potential employers.


P.S. At Treasurer Search, you can create an account to easily track your applications and stay organized throughout your job search.


5. Prepare for your Interview

Once you’ve landed an interview, it’s time to start preparing. Make sure you research the company and the position you’re applying for. You should also practice answering common interview questions.

6. Write follow-up letters

After your interview, be sure to write a thank-you letter to the interviewer. This is a great way to reiterate your interest in the position and to thank the interviewer for their time.

 

Are you ready to land your dream job in treasury? Let us help you get there. We have a team of experienced recruiters who can help you find the perfect position for your skills and experience.

On behalf of my colleagues,
Haia

Find a job that might have your interest

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Why our Big5 ambitions are relevant for you

Being treasury niche recruiters, our clients and candidates expect we have corporate treasury knowledge. Luckily we do. But there is more to the recruitment trade. Let me describe a brief client conversation we have often:

– Next to treasury skills we expect the candidate always to have the right personality
– Of course, you do, very important. What specifically do you look at?
– Uhm, communicative, proactive, and detail-oriented…..?
– Aha, and how do you measure if your candidate brings this?
-….

Making our conversations about personality more concrete is not only important for our client intakes, where the topic does not always get the attention it deserves. Of course, the opinion of the client about the candidate is essential but also vice versa. We should be able to inform candidates about what personality is required in order to assess the match.

Internally we started working with the Big5 typology to interview more structured, make better matches, record properly, and inform our colleagues about our conversations. When the candidate completes the Treasurer Test, we can compare our notes with the results. This way we train ourselves and become better matchmakers.

Big5 is one of the few statistically and scientifically sound typologies to describe personality traits. Both on our own website, as well as on that of the Treasurer Test you can read about why we are positive. Statements about tested candidates are not “good, worse, or better”, they are about aspects like openness to new developments, extroversions, and conscientiousness. To make this more tangible, the last aspect includes, for example, the trait “detail-oriented”. In our perception, this one is essential in many corporate treasury positions.

We will ask for your support in due time for the following. Many Big5 assessments measure over 50 personality traits. Learning about and working with each is too labour-intensive. With psychologists and within our team, we chose 16 we think are most relevant for the job of treasurer. Through online surveys, we will ask you to choose what you think is most important so we can measure and report on what is most relevant for you. It is an exciting topic, all about the quality of match-making and shaping the best team you can have. We hope you will join and complete the survey in due time.

Fill out the survey here

Thank you

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Plan your Treasury Career using the Treasurer Test

In today’s world, a strategic approach to your career is essential for success and fulfillment. Your career is more than just a series of jobs—it’s a life-defining journey. Just like choosing a partner, deciding where to live, or starting a family, your career decisions play a crucial role in shaping your life.

At Treasurer Search, we understand the importance of making intentional choices in your professional journey. We’ve witnessed a growing trend of individuals actively managing their careers, considering factors such as work-life balance, industry impact, and personal fulfillment. To assist you in this strategic approach, we introduce the Treasurer Test—a valuable tool to guide you towards a successful and fulfilling career in treasury.

Why take the Treasurer Test?

Your career success isn’t just about qualifications and experience; it’s also about understanding your cognitive qualities and personality traits. Our Treasurer Test provides valuable insights into these aspects, helping you make informed decisions about your career path.

Our Approach:

At Treasurer Search, we prioritize building long-lasting relationships with both candidates and clients. We understand that each individual’s career journey is unique, and we’re here to support you along the way. As part of our commitment to your success, we occasionally offer the Treasurer Test to candidates who align with our target audience.

Our exclusive offer for German treasurers:

With our expansion into the German market, we are pleased to offer the Treasurer Test free of charge to a limited number of German treasurers we hope to work with in the future. This opportunity will allow you to benchmark yourself against the international treasury population and gain valuable insights into your professional profile.

How to get started?

If you’re ready to take control of your treasury career, reach out to Britta or Alana to express your interest in the Treasurer Test, or fill in the form below. Upon completing the test, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your results with Britta, providing you with personalized insights into your strengths and areas for development.

Availability is limited, and we encourage you to seize this opportunity to enhance your career planning journey. Let us know if you’re interested, and together, we can explore the possibilities that lie ahead in your successful treasury career.


Treasurer Test Request

Leave your contact details and we will contact you shortly.


 

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Working in Treasury: Is it a good Career Choice?

When considering a career in finance, many people think of roles in investment banking, asset management, or financial planning. However, there is another financially rewarding and fulfilling path that is often overlooked: working in treasury.

What is it Like to Work in Treasury?

Working in treasury is an exciting and dynamic career choice that involves managing a company’s finances and ensuring its financial stability. Here’s a glimpse into what it’s like to work in treasury:

Financial Strategy: Treasurers play a crucial role in shaping a company’s financial strategy. They analyze financial data, market trends, and economic indicators to make informed decisions regarding investments, cash flow management, and risk mitigation.

Cash Management: Treasury professionals are responsible for optimizing a company’s cash position. They ensure that there is enough liquidity to meet operational needs while also investing excess funds to generate returns.

Risk Management: Treasury departments actively manage financial risks, such as currency fluctuations, interest rate changes, and credit risk. They use financial instruments and derivatives to hedge against adverse movements in financial markets.

Banking Relationships: Building and maintaining relationships with banks and financial institutions is a significant part of treasury work. Treasurers negotiate terms, secure credit lines, and leverage banking services to benefit the company.

Compliance and Regulation: Treasurers must stay updated on financial regulations and compliance requirements. They ensure that the company’s financial activities adhere to legal and regulatory standards.

 

Treasury Career Path

A career in treasury offers a clear and structured path to advancement. Here’s a general trajectory you can expect:

  • Entry-Level Roles: Most individuals start their treasury careers in entry-level positions, such as treasury analyst or cash management specialist. In these roles, you’ll gain hands-on experience in cash management, financial analysis, and basic risk management.
  • Mid-Level Positions: With a few years of experience, you can progress to mid-level roles like treasury manager or risk analyst. These positions involve more complex responsibilities, such as managing larger cash flows, overseeing risk strategies, and working closely with senior management.
  • Senior Management: As you gain expertise, you can move into senior roles like treasurer or director of treasury. In these positions, you’ll have a strategic impact on the organization’s financial decisions, develop long-term financial strategies, and often report directly to the CFO.
  • Executive Roles: In some cases, experienced treasury professionals may eventually ascend to executive roles like Chief Financial Officer (CFO). These roles involve overseeing the entire financial function of the organization.

 

Treasury Qualifications

To excel in a treasury career, you’ll need a combination of education, skills, and certifications:

Educational Background: A bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or a related field is often a minimum requirement. Many treasury professionals also pursue master’s degrees or certifications to enhance their knowledge.

Certifications: Consider obtaining certifications such as the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) to demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the field.

Analytical Skills: Strong analytical skills are essential for treasury professionals. You’ll need to analyze financial data, assess risks, and make data-driven decisions.

Communication Skills: Effective communication is crucial when dealing with banks, senior management, and colleagues. Treasury professionals need to convey complex financial information clearly.

Technology Proficiency: Treasury departments rely heavily on financial software and technology. Familiarity with financial systems and software is a valuable skill.

Conclusion

Working in treasury can be a rewarding and financially fulfilling career choice. It offers a unique blend of financial strategy, risk management, and relationship building. With the right qualifications and dedication, you can carve out a successful career path in treasury and contribute significantly to your organization’s financial success. So, if you’re passionate about finance and enjoy strategic thinking, consider exploring the world of treasury as your next career move.

Do you want additional tips for a succesful career in treasury? Feel free to reach out to me.

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Interested in a Career in Treasury? These are 7 Ways you can prepare

treasuryXL received many questions from people interested in a career in banking, especially treasury. Haia helped the treasuryXL team and collaborated on a comprehensive guide to help these candidates and others who wanted to make a similar career move. Let’s dive in!

It is always great to hear young people aspirating the transition to a career in treasury. We were happy to help them, and created the following steps to take for the transition:

1. Educate Yourself

  • Review the treasuryXL e-book to gain a foundational understanding of treasury operations and concepts.
  • Follow treasuryXL on LinkedIn to stay updated with the latest trends, news, and insights in the treasury field.

2. Network and Build Connections

  • Create a LinkedIn account if you don’t have one already, and start connecting with professionals in the treasury and banking sectors.
  • Join relevant LinkedIn groups and engage in discussions to demonstrate your interest and willingness to learn.
  • Attend webinars, conferences, or live events focused on treasury. These events are great opportunities to network and learn from industry experts.

3. Gain Practical Experience

  • Look for side jobs or internships in banking or treasury during your final year of study. Practical experience can significantly enhance your resume.
  • When reaching out to professionals on LinkedIn, express your interest in learning more about their roles and ask for advice on breaking into the treasury field.

4. Online Courses

  • Consider enrolling in free or low-cost online courses related to finance and banking on platforms like LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, or edX. Topics such as financial modeling, risk management, and financial markets can be valuable.

5. Make Your Interests Visible

  • Showcase your passion for treasury on your CV and LinkedIn profile. Highlight any relevant coursework, projects, or certifications.
  • Mention any relevant skills you’ve gained during your mechanical engineering studies that could be applied to the treasury field, such as analytical skills, attention to detail, or problem-solving abilities.

6. Create an Account with Treasurer Search

  • Create an account on our website which can help you explore job opportunities and connect with employers looking for candidates interested in treasury roles.

7. Stay Informed

  • Continuously stay informed about the banking and finance industry, especially the treasury sector, by reading industry publications, news articles, and reports.

Remember that a career transition may take time and persistence, but by taking these proactive steps, you’ll be better prepared to make a successful switch into the treasury field. Best of luck to you all with your journey, and feel free to reach out to us if you have any more questions along the way.

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Essential Skills for the Treasurer of 2025

What are the first skills to develop when we get into Treasury? Recently Pieter de Kiewit was invited by Corporate Treasury 101 to speak about how the role of the treasurer is changing.

Essential Skills for the Treasurer of 2025

In the world of treasury management, Excel skills are a must! Whether you’re a beginner or looking to level up, start with Excel to make an impact in any treasury department. But that’s just the beginning…

Join us as we dive deeper into the world of technical and soft skills you need to become undeniable in the Treasury field. Understand the advantages of having an International Treasury Team and more.

Don’t miss the insightful discussion with Pieter de Kiewit, Recruitment Consultant and Business Owner of Treasurer Search on the latest episode of Corporate Treasury 101.  From Excel mastery to comprehensive TMS knowledge, we’ve got you covered!

Listen to the episode

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Boost your Career: The Benefits of Treasury Consultancy as an Accelerator

Few paths offer the combination of accelerated growth and diverse learning opportunities as Treasury Consultancy does. Working in treasury consultancy presents professionals with a unique set of advantages that can significantly accelerate their careers. Let me explain these advantages to you;

1. Rapid Skill Development

Treasury consultancy demands a versatile skill set, from financial analysis and risk management to strategic planning and communication. Professionals entering this field find themselves in a fast-paced environment that compels them to adapt and grow quickly. The diverse range of projects and clients they encounter exposes them to various challenges, enhancing their problem-solving abilities and boosting their skill acquisition.

2. Exposure to Multifaceted Industries

A hallmark of treasury consultancy is its engagement with a wide array of industries and companies. This exposure allows consultants to understand the nuances of different sectors, learn about their financial intricacies, and master the art of tailoring financial strategies to meet unique business requirements. This multifaceted experience equips professionals with an adaptable mindset that’s invaluable for career advancement.

3. Networking Opportunities

Treasury consultants often interact with professionals from different backgrounds – from CFOs and financial managers to CEOs and board members. This exposure not only enriches their knowledge but also helps them build a robust professional network. Networking opens doors to new career prospects, partnerships, and collaborative projects that can significantly accelerate career growth.

4. Strategic Thinking and Decision-Making

Consultants in the treasury field are tasked with providing strategic financial advice to their clients. This role refines their ability to think critically, analyze complex financial data, and make informed decisions. These skills are not only highly transferable but also make consultants appealing candidates for leadership positions in various industries.

5. Continuous Learning Culture

The consultancy landscape is characterized by a culture of continuous learning and improvement. To stay competitive, consultants must stay updated with the latest financial trends, regulations, and technological advancements. This dedication to ongoing learning not only keeps professionals at the forefront of their field but also equips them with knowledge that sets them apart in the job market.

6. Accelerated Career Progression

Perhaps the most compelling reason to consider treasury consultancy as a career accelerator is the rapid career progression it offers. The skills developed, industry insights gained, and networks established make consultants attractive candidates for higher-level positions within organizations. Moreover, the consultancy experience itself is often viewed as a seal of approval for a candidate’s capability to handle complex financial challenges.


To sum up, treasury consultancy presents a unique avenue for career acceleration, offering professionals a blend of skill development, industry exposure, networking opportunities, and strategic thinking. The fast-paced nature of the field, coupled with its focus on continuous learning, positions consultants for rapid career growth and advancement. As industries continue to evolve, those who choose to work in treasury consultancy can expect their careers to soar to new heights.

At Treasurer Search, we constantly find consultants for reputable consultancy firms, see also match of the month, we do this in various countries. If you consider a career in consultancy let us know because we have opportunities, I (Haia) coordinate recruitment efforts in this field.

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Why local treasury recruitment is even better

Recruitment is a mature industry that has evolved over the past 50 years. As the labor market and the treasury function change constantly, recruitment must also adapt. We know from our experience as niche players in treasury recruitment since 2009 that there are two main sources of added value in treasury recruitment:

Two Sources of Value in Treasury Recruitment

The first source of value is a solid understanding of what a treasurer does. Our clients pay us to screen candidates and assess their suitability for the role. This requires a deep understanding of the treasury function, including the specific skills and experience that are required for different types of treasury roles.

The second source is about a strong network of contacts in the treasury community. This network allows us to identify and reach out to the best candidates, as well as to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the treasury market.

Importance of Understanding the Local Treasury Market

In addition to these two sources of added value, we believe that a local presence is essential for providing the best possible service to our clients and candidates in Germany. This is because the German treasury market has its own unique characteristics, such as the use of different recruitment channels and the importance of networking.

By having a local presence, we can:

  • Speak the language and understand the local culture. This allows us to build stronger relationships with our clients and candidates, and to better understand their needs.
  • Be more responsive to their needs. We can quickly respond to their requests and provide them with the information they need.
  • Provide them with more personalized service. We can understand their specific requirements and tailor our services accordingly.

We believe that these factors will allow us to provide our clients and candidates with the best possible service in Germany. We are committed to building long-term relationships with them, and we look forward to working with them to achieve their treasury goals.

Please let us know if you would like to know more about how we can help you with your treasury recruitment needs.

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