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How do you find your Interim Treasurer?

| 09-09-2019 | by Pieter de Kiewit |

Treasury recruitment organisations and treasury consultants are both involved in interim treasury assignments. They often approach the same candidates but work with a different cost structure. Expertise of the service provider and interim manager are always important. If capacity is most important in your assignment, a recruiter might be best. If the project result dominates, a consultant.

Between the times of life-time-employment and the current flexible employment contracts some decades have passed. The Dutch have been among the trailblazers in making the labour market more flexible. These developments are being applauded by some and regretted by others. In our niche, corporate treasury, employers and employees are mainly positive. In this article I want to focus on two channels through which you can find your interim treasurer.

In my opinion the underlying agreement for labour, contractor or consultancy is secondary to what the company is looking for. If they are looking for a long term (a year or more) solution with a predictable set of tasks, an interim solution is not appropriate. Interim will not offer the stability and will cost too much.

Obvious reason for choosing an interim solution is the temporary need for capacity and/or expertise. This can be because you are looking for the permanent solution or the regular employee has taken a time-out. Also when you are shutting down your organisation, capacity is the dominating factor. In a build-up, implementation or crisis transition skills are important. In all described situations specific expertise, measured in experience and education, is a must. How does this help you choosing between a recruitment or consultancy firm?

When to use a treasury recruiter to find an interim treasurer
As treasury recruiters we find candidates for interim positions in various ponds. First there is a group of independent contractors with a track record in interim management, with a legal entity that can hit the ground running. Next to this group there is a group of candidates that are between jobs or just before retirement. Knowledgeable and motivated. Some of them can work from their own company, others will work through payrolling solutions we can provide. This second group is not always best in hitting the ground running but does have the knowledge level. Some of them can make the transfer from temporary to permanent employment. Most of the times the second group comes at a lower rate but sometimes need more time to bring the same results.

When to use a treasury consultancy to find an interim treasurer
Most professional consultancies work with the idea that they will solve the problems of their clients. In fee structure it is even possible to define a project and agree upon the cost in advance. A recruiter will not be able to do this. An interim manager working through a consultancy can do so with shadow management: he can call colleagues if he lacks knowledge. Furthermore the infrastructure and support is more substantial. All these benefits come at a price: the average hourly rate of a consultant is often 50% higher than an independent interim manager with a similar profile would charge.

Where recruiters and consultants overlap
In competition with consultants we often notice that we (recruiters) approach the same candidates and ask a lower price. Also it happens that an independent senior interim manager is compared with a medior consultant who is on the payroll of the consultancy. In that situation the client has to decide if he prefers apples over oranges.

Final remark and what to do?
Often all parties pretend recruitment (and other) processes are 100% rational. They are not and that is not a bad thing. You should choose for the interim manager and service provider that makes you feel good and who solve your problem. Sometimes a high hourly fee and few hours is better than a low hourly fee and many hours.

It is not rocket science but do think before you act. If you want to only steer upon results and high expertise, a consultancy is best, in other scenarios a recruiter might offer a better solution. What is your experience?

 

 

Pieter de Kiewit
Owner Treasurer Search

 

What does the hiring manager know about treasury?

| 23-05-2019 | by Pieter de Kiewit |

Among corporate treasurers IPOs are always the icing on the cake and I have followed Adyen going public. Very interesting is that besides the obvious reasons like increased investments, money for the founders and employees dealing with their stock options, the strategic partners and clients play a role. Clients like eBay and Uber apparently work better together with a listed Adyen. Food for thought….

What does the hiring manager know about treasury?

At least half of our recruitment assignments starts with a message from our client like this: “we have this treasurer, I do not understand what he does but he is leaving. Can you help?”. Of course music to our ears, happy to help. In recruitment for permanent positions HR is involved, very often they also contribute in interim assignments. HR not knowing in detail about treasury is understandable. Especially when the candidate we search does not report into a senior treasurer but, for instance, a CFO, we also encounter a lack of knowledge in treasury with the hiring manager. Is this a problem and if so, how can this be solved?

You might have seen we contribute in the build-up of the Treasurer Test. One of the groups of people we asked to do the test are “financials, not being treasurers”. Their measurered lack of knowledge and interest in the field is obvious. This is of course not a surprise. Treasurers are, amongst others, responsible for funding, payments, management of currency and interest risk. Important enough for the continuation of the existence of an organisation. How can we prevent this important job lands with the wrong person? Some ideas:

  • A track record as shown in a cv is of course a first obvious. A candidate might be too positive about accomplishments, this can be screened by checking references. Screening CVs without knowledge about treasury might be daunting. Simply key word comparison will not work;
  • Worldwide there are only a few universities that pay attention to corporate treasury. Measuring knowledge through academic qualifications is smart (Register Treasurer, CTP, ACT are the most obvious). Currently less then 20% of the corporate treasury population holds such a degree;
  • The aforementioned Treasurer Test will be launched shortly presents skill level and personality and compares with peers;
  • Including knowledgeable experts in the recruitment process will help. We of course are available. Alternatively involving a specialized treasury consultant in the screening process might also work.

I hope you will be able to find the right next treasury team member, secure business continuity and feel confident with your recruitment decision with the above list. We are available to brainstorm and support.

Pieter de Kiewit

 

 

Pieter de Kiewit
Owner Treasurer Search

 

Flex Treasurer via treasuryXL: Wij regelen het voor je

| 18-12-2018 | treasuryXL |

Laagdrempelige en hoogwaardige expertise van ZZP’ers uit de treasury wereld voor kleine en middelgrote organisaties die geen treasurer of cash manager in dienst hebben.

WAT IS EEN FLEX TREASURER?

U bent de eigenaar van of werkt in een kleine of middelgrote organisatie die geen treasurer of cash manager in dienst heeft. U denkt waarschijnlijk dat er binnen uw organisatie geen plaats is voor een dergelijke functie. Maar, oordeel niet te snel: ook het MKB heeft behoefte aan professionals als het gaat om treasury en cash management. Toch gaat het aannemen van iemand vaak een stap te ver.

Welke mogelijkheden zijn er?

treasuryXL en Treasurer Search hebben de handen ineengeslagen om laagdrempelige en hoogwaardige expertise van ZZP’ers uit de treasury wereld te koppelen aan kleine en middelgrote ondernemingen die geen treasurer of cash manager in dienst hebben.

We willen met deze dienstverlening geen substituut worden voor de grote treasury consultancy organisaties maar we bieden graag ondersteuning bij vraagstukken die nu onbeantwoord blijven. U kunt de vraag aan ons stellen en wij zullen u vrijblijvend in contact brengen met de juiste deskundige. Leidt dit tot een samenwerking, dan kan dit op urenbasis, als lump sum of in een abonnementsvorm ingevuld worden.

Beschikbare diensten

Wij kennen Flex Treasurers uit verschillende vakgebieden: risk, bankrelaties & technologie, regulations, non-profit, financiering, trade finance, cash management, SME & overige gebieden.

Meer informatie kunt u terugvinden op onze website: https://www.treasuryxl.com/community/flex-treasurer/ . Hier kunt u bijvoorbeeld een overzicht van de diensten vinden die we aanbieden in samenwerking met de Flex Treasurers zoals bijvoorbeeld een treasury quickscan en een treasury coach.

 

Best read articles of all time: Financieringsstructuur: solide fundament of kaartenhuis?

| 25-07-2018 | Bianca van Zeventer | treasuryXL

Leningen worden vaak gezien als een goede manier om lange termijn investeringen te financieren. Een (gecommitteerde) meerjarige lening levert veelal zekerheid voor de middellange termijn. “Voor meerdere jaren vastgelegd” blijkt in de praktijk vaak niet waar te zijn. Leningen worden afgesloten als een aanvullende vorm van financieren, naast rekening courant, lease en/of andere leningen. Hoewel het aangaan van de meerjarige financiering ‘an sich’ niet heel risicovol hoeft te zijn, zijn de voorwaarden dit soms wel.

Elke vorm van financiering heeft zijn eigen voorwaarden. Aan de verschillende leningen worden specifieke voorwaarden toegevoegd. En dan zijn er nog de algemene (bank)voorwaarden.
Veel bedrijven nemen onterecht aan dat dit ‘standaardvoorwaarden’ zijn en er maar beperkte onderhandelingsruimte is.

De voorwaarden van de verschillende arrangementen spreken elkaar vaak tegen, zijn niet zoals beoogd en/of dienen niet het doel en het belang de onderneming.

Financiering in welke vorm dan ook blijkt vaak een kaartenhuis. In plaats van mooi gestapeld, zijn de arrangementen een domino met de eerste steen in handen van de kredietverlener.

Wanneer uw onderneming onverhoopt in zwaarder weer terecht komt, dan is het belangrijk dat het staat op een solide financieel fundament.
Voorkomen is beter dan genezen geldt hier ook. Beter vooral goed uit-onderhandeld dan later de financiering amenderen of herstructureren. Of zelfs geen keuze meer hebben. Uw bank of financier eenzijdig de mogelijkheid geven alle financieringen te herroepen of betaalbaar te stellen, biedt geen financiële stabiliteit.

Maar vaak blijken de verschillende voorwaarden zodanig in elk kaar te grijpen, dat dit wel het geval is.

Een FlexTreasurer met gespecialiseerde financieringskennis, kan u helpen een snelle scan te maken van uw financieringsstructuur, aanbevelingen doen voor aanpassingen en/of financieringsarrangementen namens u of samen met u (her)onderhandelen.

 

Bianca van Zeventer

Treasury and Finance Specialist / Owner of CuCoFin

 

Wat zijn de mogelijkheden van een Flex Treasurer binnen het MKB?

09-07-2018 | treasuryXL |

Laagdrempelige en hoogwaardige expertise van ZZP’ers uit de treasury wereld voor kleine en middelgrote organisaties die geen treasurer of cash manager in dienst hebben.

WAT IS EEN FLEX TREASURER?

U bent de eigenaar van of werkt in een kleine of middelgrote organisatie die geen treasurer of cash manager in dienst heeft. U denkt waarschijnlijk dat er binnen uw organisatie geen plaats is voor een dergelijke functie. Maar, oordeel niet te snel: ook het MKB heeft behoefte aan professionals als het gaat om treasury en cash management. Toch gaat het aannemen van iemand vaak een stap te ver.

Welke mogelijkheden zijn er?

treasuryXL en Treasurer Search hebben de handen ineengeslagen om laagdrempelige en hoogwaardige expertise van ZZP’ers uit de treasury wereld te koppelen aan kleine en middelgrote ondernemingen die geen treasurer of cash manager in dienst hebben.

We willen met deze dienstverlening geen substituut worden voor de grote treasury consultancy organisaties maar we bieden graag ondersteuning bij vraagstukken die nu onbeantwoord blijven. U kunt de vraag aan ons stellen en wij zullen u vrijblijvend in contact brengen met de juiste deskundige. Leidt dit tot een samenwerking, dan kan dit op urenbasis, als lump sum of in een abonnementsvorm ingevuld worden.

Beschikbare diensten

Wij kennen Flex Treasurers uit verschillende vakgebieden: risk, bankrelaties & technologie, regulations, non-profit, financiering, trade finance, cash management, SME & overige gebieden.

Meer informatie kunt u terugvinden op onze website. Hier kunt u bijvoorbeeld een overzicht van de diensten vinden die we aanbieden in samenwerking met de Flex Treasurers zoals bijvoorbeeld een treasury  quickscan en een treasury coach.

 

Laatste trends in financiering: oog voor duurzaamheid

| 02-03-2018 | Bianca van Zeventer |

Duurzaam ondernemen wordt steeds belangrijker voor de toegang tot financiering en financieringsvoorwaarden. Al langer wordt door overheid, investeerders en banken kritisch gekeken naar duurzaamheid. Waar voorheen de overheid en gemeentes het initiatief namen, is de financiële sector nu ook een actieve kracht in het stimuleren van duurzaamheid, door middel van maatwerk financieringsvoorwaarden.

Voor financiering van duurzame projecten, zijn door de gemeentes de afgelopen jaren fondsen opgericht, die leningen verstrekken tegen aantrekkelijke voorwaarden.
De Regeling Groenprojecten van de overheid is sinds 2016 van kracht. Deze regeling biedt belastingvoordeel voor groene spaarders en beleggers en daarnaast de mogelijkheid voor erkende banken om via een ‘groen’ fonds geld uit te lenen aan duurzame projecten met een rentekorting. Het zwaartepunt ligt hier vooral op stimulering van energie besparende projecten, duurzaam bouwen en duurzame transportmiddelen.

Naast de overheid, richt nu ook de financiële sector zich, meer dan ooit, op het stimuleren van duurzaamheid.

Duurzaamheiddoelstellingen in financiering laten daarbij een duidelijke verbreding zien. Niet alleen energiebesparing, duurzame energie en CO2 uitstoot krijgen nu de aandacht, maar ook andere – veelal sociaal economische – doelstellingen. Bij de recente financieringen van Philips en Barry Callebaut zijn bijvoorbeeld de kredietvoorwaarden gekoppeld aan een beoordeling door Sustainalytics, die veel breder kijkt naar duurzaamheid. Dit in lijn met de doelstellingen van de Verenigde Naties. De VN heeft in totaal 17 SDG’s (Sustainable Development Goals ofwel Duurzame Ontwikkelingsdoelstellingen) opgesteld ter bestrijding van armoede, ongelijkheid en klimaatverandering.

De aandacht voor duurzaamheid in financiering werkt twee kanten op.
Enerzijds zal financiering voor niet-duurzame projecten en ondernemingen beperkt worden. Banken en investeerders hebben bijvoorbeeld al aangegeven de financiering aan fossiele energie projecten te willen beperken en dat energielabels op onroerend goed een doorslaggevende rol zullen gaan spelen in de toekomst.
Anderzijds wordt duurzaamheid gestimuleerd, door het opnemen van duurzaamheidscriteria in maatwerk leningsovereenkomsten. Wanneer bedrijven aan deze duurzaamheidscriteria voldoen, betalen zij een lagere rente.

Oog voor duurzaamheid loont. Het vergroot de financieringsmogelijkheden en geeft toegang tot aantrekkelijke financieringsvoorwaarden. Bedrijfsgrootte is van ondergeschikt belang. Groenleningen kunnen bijvoorbeeld al worden afgesloten vanaf circa €10.000.

Uw Flextreasurer kan helpen bij het vinden van de juiste, en meest aantrekkelijke financieringsvorm.

Bianca van Zeventer

Treasury and Finance Specialist / Owner of CuCoFin

 

 

 

TREASURY FOR NON-TREASURERS: The good, the bad and the ugly of outsourcing

| 12-02-2018 | treasuryXL |

Planning & OperationsIn January 2018, Carillion – a British construction, engineering and facilities company – entered into liquidation. They had been in existence since 1999 after a demerger from Tarmac, which had been founded in 1903. They were the second largest construction company in the British isles, employing more than 40,000 people and were listed on the London Stock Exchange. They were known for their role in Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schemes – a form of Government outsourcing. Their insolvency has led to the loss of jobs, shutdowns of ongoing projects, and financial losses to more than 25,000 pensioners and 30,000 suppliers.

Outsourcing is a method used by most Governments in Europe to buy a particular service as opposed to providing the service directly. This allows a Government (or a company) to identify their core competencies and to buy in the ancillary services they need to perform all their tasks. A big motivator is of course related to cost. For a company this means only employing those staff that are needed for the core operations and hiring in those needed for non-core functions, such as pay roll. For Governments it allows large direct capital expenditure to be removed from the balance sheet whilst still providing necessary services for maintenance and construction in the general infrastructure within the country.

In simple terms, however frustrated we might be with builders or manufacturers, we generally recognise that it is more efficient – both financially and economically – to have external suppliers perform these functions. We do not possess the knowledge or proficiency to undertake building our own homes or designing and fitting our own kitchens. It is more acceptable to hand complex tasks over to others, and so make the procedure more accountable and manageable.

Likewise for companies it is imperative to determine whether to employ permanent staff to undertake their treasury and cash management operations, or to look at buying in the relevant knowledge and expertise. Many companies do not have a dedicated treasury team. Regularly, the work of a treasurer is incorporated into the work of another existing role within the organisation. This can be performed by the CFO, a controller, or the head of planning and control. Invariably, none of these people actually have the complete skill set to perform the treasury task.

When financing is needed for long term investment, contacting 3 banks and just taking the cheapest quote is not actually the same as getting the best deal. The individual banks could have different standard terms and conditions. The ratios expressed in the bank covenants could also differ from bank to bank. Implementing a hedging strategy for foreign currency requires a deep knowledge of the company’s cash flows, sales and purchases, and comprehensive understanding of the different financial products that can be used to hedge the risks.

Employing someone fulltime to perform these tasks is counterintuitive if there is not enough work for that person to be employed full time. Other staff could be resentful; the person could become disenchanted if there is not enough of a challenge in the work; a lack of continuity within the company could exist.

However, employing someone on a flexible basis to do the work that needs to be done and nothing else, allows direct payroll to be cut, a dedicated and proficient person is employed to perform the tasks, and the company can yet again focus on their core competencies.

Are you facing these issues? Are you looking for a professional solution?
Flex treasurer offer you a bespoke solution to address your individual needs.
Contact us for more information and answers.

 

Lionel PaveyLionel Pavey – Cash Management and Treasury Specialist

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Who to choose: A generalist or a specialist?

| 11-12-2017 | Olivier Werlingshoff |

 

During the last few months this question has been on top of my mind. Is it better to specialize yourself and start a specific study?
First, we need to look at the definitions of both; a specialist is a person who is highly skilled in a specific and restricted field. A generalist is a person who is competent in several different fields or activities.

On LinkedIn you can find the 6 differences between a generalist and a specialist by “Han van Kasteren”.

 

I will mention a few:

  • Generalist can be more confronting; because they are sometimes not very familiar with procedures and will ask “strange and stupid” questions to understand the business,
  • A generalist will often use the Why question to understand the business,
  • Because a generalist is not stuck in a specific field, he can be more creative and can apply examples previously used in other fields.

But I also thought of two other differences which I would like to share with you:

  • A generalist can make an easier connection between the specific field and other departments because they are more familiar with the different other departments in a company
  • Because a generalist looks also to other departments they became more competent in selling internally their problem or their challenge to find a solution

Now I have mentioned a few bullet points I found on the internet, when can a generalist interim Treasurer be a good choice?

I would say especially in the field of cash management and working capital they could be a good choice. Both specialties have effect on different departments of the business to mention a few; controlling, sales department, procurement, tax and legal.

During my career I talked with a lot of CFO’s and financial managers of large companies and tried to understand their challenges and to help them achieve their goals. As treasurer I had my own challenges and tried to make links with other departments to achieve my goals.

I am a generalist with a passion for cash management optimization!

Olivier Werlingshoff - editor treasuryXL

 

Olivier Werlingshoff

Owner of Werfiad

 

Treasurer – So what is it that you do exactly?

| 11-10-2017 | Lionel Pavey |

A few weeks ago I took my daughter Charly to the Scouts on a Saturday morning – she goes every week and really enjoys it. I get a couple of hours to myself and normally do the weekend shopping in that time. 2 ½ hours later I went back to pick her up and whilst waiting I got talking to a couple of the parents from the other Scouts, about work, whilst enjoying cups of coffee and hotdogs. They asked me what I did and I explained my vocation as a Treasurer and Cash Manager.

“Yes” one said, “so you are the same as a bookkeeper really. What makes you different? What do you bring that others do not? What makes you special?”

Advantages and benefits of Cash Management

  • Cash is King – profit is an opinion. I can not make you more profit, but I can improve your cash flows and your understanding of them.
  • I can speed up the operations your company uses to administer its cash.
  • I can help you stay solvent.
  • I can address your working capital issues.
  • I can spot fraud.
  • I can estimate your cash position for any time in the future based on your data input.
  • I can obtain better terms and conditions with debtors and creditors.
  • I can warn you when trouble will be ahead if nothing is done.
  • I can analyse the best loan deals for your financing operations.
  • I can make detailed cash flow forecasts that you can show to your banks when negotiating with them for loans or banking facilities.
  • I can reduce costs.
  • I can pay your bills more quickly.
  • I can improve your liquidity.
  • I can reduce your administrative work flows.
  • I can enable you to recycle your cash more quickly.
  • I can reduce your inventory holdings.
  • I can let you know when your future financial commitments have to take place.
  • I can help you maintain good relationships with your creditors.
  • I can optimize your cash at all times.
  • I can reduce your borrowing costs.

You need to generate enough cash from your activities to pay your suppliers, repay shareholders and/or investors and have money left over to invest and grow your business. Be honest, to do all that you need professional support and guidance allowing you to concentrate on growing your business.

They looked at me and said “So you are not really a bookkeeper then.”
I looked at them and smiled – mission accomplished!
“Now you know what a cash specialist can do for you and your company. So, give me a call when you think you need help with any of these issues.”
It is a good feeling when you positively change someone’s perception about what your job actually entails.

I told them what I can do, but did not say how. Are you interested in the how? Go to Rent a Treasurer.

 

Lionel Pavey

 

Lionel Pavey

Cash Management and Treasury Specialist

 

 

Flex Treasurer: Who needs a treasurer?

| 05-10-2017 | Olivier Werlingshoff |

 

Do all international companies need a Treasurer or a Cash Manager? Yes and No would be my answer. In this article I will give my opinion on the reasons (not) to hire a Treasurer or Cash Manager.

First we have to focus on the definition of a Treasurer. Wikipedia:he or she is responsible for liquidity risk management, cash management, issuing debt, foreign exchange and interest rate risk hedging, securitization, oversight of pension investment management, and capital structure (including share issuance and repurchase).

 

Activities are Cash Management, Risk Management. Corporate Finance and Treasury operations & control. In a lot of companies all these activities and processes are part of the job of a controller and a finance manager.

When the company has financial problems the cash management activities, especially the cash flow forecast and the (inter)national banking environment, will come into the spotlight. A reliable cash flow forecast is built up on the right information about the cash position and the planning for the period to come. The problem is how accurate are the predictions for the future in the ERP systems? The right information can be obtained by asking not colleagues of the finance department but the sales colleague and procurement. This can be a time-consuming exercise.

There are a few new fintech companies who focus on the optimization of cash management processes. It is possible to manage all your bank accounts with one single system, where different ERP and company systems can be connected to each other which make it easier to set up a cash flow forecast. The search for the right information can be facilitated.

If you focus on the corporate finance activities such as an IPO or a refinancing, specific and knowledge is needed. This does not happen often.

My suggestion is to hire a Flex Treasurer and let him make a scan of all the treasury processes in the company. The Flex Treasurer can also implement improvements on the cash management and risk management activities. When all improvements are done see if the activities can be integrated in the existing jobs or you could hire a cash manager.

If a company decides to do an IPO or a refinancing there are plenty of companies specialized in this field. Therefore it would be smarter to use an interim consultant till the job is done.

Olivier Werlingshoff - editor treasuryXL

 

Olivier Werlingshoff

Owner of Werfiad