Interview | 8 questions for Konstantin Khorev, Seasoned Treasury Professional

01-11-2022 | treasuryXL | Konstantin Khorev | LinkedIn |

 

Meet our newest expert for the treasuryXL community, Konstantin Khorev.

Konstantin has 18+ years of experience in corporate treasury, gained in various environments: from public companies with +100BUSD turnover, to PE and privately owned companies, as well as at a prominent treasury consulting firm.

Being exposed to a wide range of different challenges and projects, Konstantin has built a strong expertise in the full spectrum of treasury and risk activities and in cross-functional collaboration and treasury partnership with business operations, tax, accounting, audit, and internal control.

Konstantin holds a Ph.D. degree in financial mathematics and is a CFA charter holder since 2009.

 

We asked Konstantin 8 questions, let’s go!

INTERVIEW

 


1. How did your treasury journey start?

In 2005 I changed my career path from investment management to corporate finance with a leading oil major. Couple of years later, being already a professional with several years of experience in related areas, I decided to join the treasury department within the same company. I made my decision mainly because of a great team and a lot of challenging projects there – we basically were requested to bring best practices into treasury function in multinational corporation with +100BUSD turnover. The first project was setting up an international multicurrency cash pool structure.

2. What do you like about working in Treasury?

Cross-functional collaboration (business, accounting, FP&A, tax), possibility to implement projects that make structural changes, e.g. in how company manages cash and financial risks, make payments, automate processes, etc.

3. What is your Treasury Expertise and what expertise gives you a boost of energy?

Change and project management, setting up a function from scratch or bringing best treasury practices, with special personal interest in the area of automation and data analysis. Having my first background in mathematics and computer science I also like to develop my own IT solutions (python, VBA, SAP scripting) that can solve certain automation or data problems and thus bridge a gap between client’s needs and available market solutions. Observing the professional growth of team members, I am coaching or used to coach is also a big source of excitement to me.

4. What has been your best experience in your treasury career until today?

I would say I can not highlight one single project. I enjoy and I am proud of every moment when I see the change realized, or cost-reduction/value-added created.

5. What has been your biggest challenge in treasury?

Setting up supply chain financing in a country where our team and company have been among pioneers implementing the product. Apart from tax, legal, accounting challenges related to the jurisdiction, as well as bank negotiation it required a lot of effort to explain the benefits and persuade all the stakeholders (from CFO to supply managers and suppliers). The ultimate result was more than rewarding: win-win solution both for the company decreasing working capital needs by 50% and for the suppliers getting access to much cheaper (and sometimes even unavailable at all) bank financing.

6. What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned as a treasurer?

Invest time explaining what treasury is about and why certain things are crucial for internal counterparties.

7. How have you seen the role of Corporate Treasury evolve over the years?

Playing bigger and bigger role as a business partner to other functions. Embedding more opportunities that are provided by IT solutions.

8. What developments do you expect in corporate treasury in the near and further future?

Automation and machine learning to play more role in daily and later strategical treasury operations. Distributed Ledger Technology (blockchain is an example) still to show its full potential. Fintech companies substituting banks in more areas and having bigger market size.

 

Want to connect with Konstantin? Click here

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Kendra Keydeniers

Director Community & Partners, treasuryXL

How important is it for you that someone has a well-known Treasury degree?

31-10-2022 | treasuryXL LinkedIn |

The fifth edition in which we discuss the latest poll, is available for your reading. We show how treasurers voted to express their opinions on a current issue, and several of our treasury experts will talk about their perspectives.

We thank our experts Konstantin Khorev,  Arnoud Doornbos and François De Witte for sharing their valuable views on this topic in this edition.

How important is it for you that someone has a well-known Treasury degree?

There are plenty of education and training courses in treasury, with the aim of obtaining treasury certificates. We wanted to explore how important you think this is, in the job market or for other things. There was a very good participation in the poll, resulting in a record 113 votes. Thank you everyone for actively participating, and join us in voting for the poll that is currently live and let’s try break the record votes right away!

Question: How important is it for you that someone has a well-known Treasury degree? On the job market or for other things?

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How do treasures think of a treasury degree?

We see a considerable spread of votes. A large proportion of treasurers value expertise more than a degree. On the other hand, a large proportion considers a treasury degree minimally of high importance. Some of our treasuryXL experts from different backgrounds explained their views on the subject.

View of treasuryXL experts

Konstantin Khorev

Konstantin voted for the option that a treasury degree is a guarantee of quality.

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” Specific, treasury-focused education certainly makes sense.”

From the perspective of a recruitment manager who has conducted a number of interviews, I find that a standard academic programme does not focus enough on the topics relevant to the treasury function.

For example, I note that too many candidates for treasury positions find it difficult to understand or don’t know FX forward pricing (relationship between interest rate differential, spot and forward pricing), or don’t understand the difference/relationship between net income and cash flows, etc.

And, of course, these are only general topics; other topics – like cash pooling or hedge accounting are just not part of the regular curriculum. Therefore, specific, treasury-focused education certainly makes sense.


Arnoud Doornbos

Arnoud voted for the option that a treasury degree is just one of the key aspects.

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” There are also elements that you can never learn from a book”

A treasury degree is a great start to a career in treasury. But after having interviewed many candidates in my life, I am also convinced that practice is also a very good learning opportunity. There are also elements that you can never learn from a book. You must have done that. But a treasury degree is a nice theoretical framework to start with.

In treasury you have to think in terms of cash flows and risks. In addition, you still need some understanding of financing, how to price it in relation to the risk that the bank runs on your company.

I don’t have a treasury degree myself, but I am completely self-made man. After 25 years in dealing rooms of banks and then 9 years as a treasury consultant, I think I have seen all facets of the profession.


François de Witte

François voted for the option that a treasury degree is a guarantee of quality.

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” It is key to ensure that both the candidates and the current treasury staff keep their treasury knowledge updated”

Within Finance, Treasury is a fast-moving activity, which requires in addition to the soft skills a lot of technical skills and competencies. We are in the war for talent, and we experience more and more staff rotation. Hence it is key to ensure that both the candidates and the current treasury staff keep their treasury knowledge updated.

Several programs have been developed, the most well known being the ACT Certificate in Treasury Fundamentals. In the Netherlands NIVE also organizes the QCM (Qualified Cash manager) and QT (Qualified Treasurer) training. In Luxembourg, ATEL organizes with the House of Training the Certificate in International Treasury Management and Corporate Finance, with a Fundamentals version and an Advanced version.

Some treasury associations partnering with universities to provide treasury certification. In France, the AFTE has teamed up with the university of Paris Sorbonne, the university of Rennes and the University of Lille to develop a full master program in Treasury Management.

We also have in the Netherlands the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam who organizes the postgraduate Executive Treasury Management & Corporate Finance program combining two finance disciplines which largely overlap and are inextricably connected: Treasury Management and Corporate Finance. It has now been running for more than 20 years.

Beside this we have a lot of other treasury trainings organized by organizations such as Van Groningen, Finsiders Academy, Orchard Finance, etc. However, they do not offer a certification.

In an ever more sophisticating environment, and in view of the increased regulations, it is for me key to look at certified trainings to build a solid background in a Treasury Management field. It enables to meet other talented treasurers and teachers. In addition, thanks to the certification, based upon an examination and/or end paper, you can get a additional quality label, which can be very useful in your career.

In this respect, I wish to share my personal experience in a completely different area. I am currently looking for Board Mandates and realized that there also a certification can be useful. Hence I have started the Guberna programme to become a Guberna Certified Director.

In the event that due to circumstances, you cannot follow certified trainings, you can also get a certification thanks to the Treasurer Test developed by treasuryXL


Would you like to explain your own vote for this poll? Join the discussion in the comments. And above all, don’t forget to give your opinion on our latest poll question

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