Search Frustrations of Treasury Managers

01-02-2021 | Treasurer Search |

Sometimes it’s good to check if your assumptions are right. We think we know what the bottlenecks are in finding treasury employees. But what do treasury hiring managers experience in their search? We created a survey and this is to inform you about the results. This survey is not so much about our services but about recruitment processes in general. Of course we use the results to check if we do a proper job.

We identified four important client employee groups that are included in treasury recruitment. The first is the hiring manager, for instance the group treasurer. She might include treasury staff members, the direct colleagues who will work with the new employee. This is the second group. The third group consists of HR specialists and internal recruiters, the fourth and last are group finance leaders like a CFO. The first two groups responded well so we will focus on their input.

The following statements summarize what treasurers tell us about recruitment for their team:

  1. “I have a good understanding of my organisation, the tasks and what candidates should bring”
  2. “Screening CVs and doing interviews I can do well but I would appreciate some support”
  3. “Both quality as well as quantity of the candidates presented is often not sufficient”
  4. “In most cases the recruitment process takes too long”

This is input we can work with. It emphasizes the importance of us doing thorough and continuous market research: who are the treasury experts, where do they work, what are their contact details, what is their search status? So as soon as the search starts, we are prepared. This is the biggest taks of half of our team. Building a presentation is often a matter of days or a week. But also, where are the bottlenecks in an average search process and what can we do about these? My personal observation is that this often is caused by hurdles in the coordination between groups. And to conclude, of course we will also create content that will help our clients in cv screening and interviews.

We will continue the survey and ask non-treasurers for their input. We expect they will need different support. What might be interesting and cannot be put in a short survey is the opinion of treasurers about the treasury expertise of their HR counterpart. Or what HR experts think about the interview skills of treasurers. A quick self-assessment only goes so far…

Informing each other about processes and frustrations remains important. As external recruiters we notice that each of the four groups mentioned needs different input. And the groups need to communicate among each other, as one can notice with input like “HR often confuses treasury with general finance” and “job titles do not tell the full story, look at the tasks”.

Let me conclude with what can frustrate us as recruiters. In the text box there were requests like “high quality treasurers with some experience” or “extrovert treasurers”. This reminds me of my time working in Germany. My recruitment colleagues would sigh and say their client instructed them to find a “eierlegende Wollmilchsau”: a pig that lays eggs, brings wool and milk. We can only do so much and luckily we can help most.

What does frustrate you in finding treasurers?


Pieter de Kiewit

Recruiting a Treasurer and The First Impression – Trap

| 28-12-2020 | treasuryXL | Pieter de Kiewit

They still exist, the hiring managers who totally rely on their first impressions. “At handshake I already know if it is a good candidate”. I am no Don Quichote but will continue my battle against this statement. Not only because we are not allowed anymore to shake hands due to covid-19. This statement radiates being impolite, dumb, not showing an interest in who you work with and wasting time.

I found new inspiration in this article of recruitment guru Lou Adler.

I will let you read the whole article by yourself but elements I took is that preparing for an interview with a potential successful hire should include assessment of abilities (soft, hard and other skills), the fit (with the culture, colleagues and manager) and of course motivation (in doing the job, not landing it). He further describes that content driven interviewers (techies) tend to focus too much on abilities and the first-impression-interviewers do not control their “stupid switch”. I will not do a comprehensive analysis but want to put your attention on the following two aspects:

  • First, in my perception many in the current corporate treasury population can be described as highly skilled. They did well at university, got high grades and enjoy the analytical. The ones that have an above average impact, the ones that go up the ladder in treasury but also other functions, did well because they were a good fit. They understood colleagues and were able to get their point across. They bridged the gap between treasury and the rest of their organisation. As many hiring managers are treasury-techies, I would like to invite them to increase their attention to the fit. It could make your team so much better.
  • Second, I see bad recruitment decisions based upon the stupid switch in organisations where hiring managers do not understand the importance of treasury. Hiring managers who do not spend (a lot of) time with the person they recruit. Hiring managers who are included in the process because “somebody has to interview the candidate and has to make the decision”. I do understand that decision makers have to be included but perhaps they are better informed with CVs or assessment reports. Also there is a task for us, the treasury community, in showing how important the job should be. Spread the word!

Let me finish up with emphasizing that the interview is only one of many components of a good recruitment process. CV screening, references, assessments and a cover letter all bring information that can be the foundation of a good recruitment decision. We like to use the Treasurer Test in our recruitment. In the article Lou Adler describes not only the theory but also helps you, with practical steps, professionalising your recruitment.

Do you know people who cannot switch of the “stupid switch”?

What do you see?

I look forward to your input,



Pieter de Kiewit

Owner at Treasurer Search




Partner Interview Series | More than a decade of Treasurer Search proudness

22-09-2020 | treasuryXL | Treasurer Search |

Treasurer Search is founded in 2009. Treasurer Search recruits candidates for both permanent and temporary treasury positions in industry, trade, services and non-profit. They recruit treasury professionals of all levels, from young graduates to senior treasury professionals, for positions including corporate treasurer, cash manager, treasury controller, treasury consultant, treasury analyst, assistant treasurer and group treasurer.



Pieter de Kiewit, Treasury Aficionado, Recruitment Consultant and Owner of Treasurer Search. His market focus is the BeNeLux and Germany, his clients are mainly corporates, non-profit and consultancy organizations. Pieter holds an MSc. in Organizational Science and has over 25 years experience in international recruitment. In many ways he contributes to the Treasury Community by connecting people, companies, education and events.

We asked him 11 questions and 2 bonus questions. Let’s go!



1. Can you tell us about Treasurer Search and its mission and vision?

In our vision the professional field of treasury will further evolve and serve a broader group of organizations. It is our mission to listen to treasurers, business and HR leaders and make robust matches taking everybody’s interest into account.

2. What was the main reason to start with Treasurer Search in 2009?

For me as a person, my first professional choice was recruitment. In 2009 I worked in the recruitment industry for 15 years in various roles with two international market leaders. I decided I wanted to recruit in a way that suited my clients, candidates and me best. And that an own organisation was the best structure to do so. Already early in my career I searched group treasurers and liked the job type in so many ways. With the expert combination of both recruitment and treasury, I think we can optimize our added value best.

3.  How would you describe your company in 3 words?

Results, expertise, authentic

4. Can you take us with you into your company culture? How would you describe it?

We take pride in what we do, want to show our added value and like our job. We are Dutch, direct, informal and also very much interested in you and what keeps you busy. We are here to stay and want to build long lasting relationships. And we are not afraid to try or even initiate something new.

5. What is, in your perception, the biggest benefit for clients and candidates to work with Treasurer Search?

Understanding the recruitment industry is not hard. What sets us apart from other executive search firms are our treasury expertise which enables us to dig in deeper. And our long lasting relationships. 90% of the candidates we find a position for, we had prior contact with. Over 50% of our revenue is repeat business and we are still growing. Clients like us because we find better candidates, quicker for a fair, market level fee.

6. What has been your biggest challenge since the start of Treasurer Search? And how did you deal with it?

Our USPs are stability and treasury expertise combined with recruitment skills. People who combine these aspects are few. We have taken steps not only forward but also back because new colleagues realized after a while that their motivation did not match the mission of Treasurer Search. By now we have a stable team and cautiously continue moving forward. In recruitment for our own organisation we spent even more time in informing potential colleagues.

7. What is the best learning experience you ever had as business owner of a treasury recruitment club?

The treasury community is an interested and intrinsically motivated group of people. Always willing to brainstorm and join. In order to channel positive input into plans that bring us the results we strive for, we cannot lose focus. That brings best results. Over time I better learned to avoid distractions but are not done learning.

8. In the last 10 years, what are the main differences in the world of treasury & recruitment?

Too many to make a comprehensive list. What strikes me most in treasury is that the professional level of treasurers is going up. Treasurers are nowadays educated at a higher level, better communicators and continue to invest in treasury education. Treasury is getting the platform it deserves.
Also recruitment is constantly changing. The success of a new hire will never be an exact science but we try to avoid risk. New insights and technology in our field resulted in In my opinion a perfect example of recruitment new style.

9. How do you see the future of the function of treasury?

I hope and expect treasurers will be able to increase their impact. In large corporates they will be able to contribute in strategy, mitigate risk better and save cost. In mid-sized organizations they will find their spot in the CFO team where they are currently not always. The impact of treasury technology cannot be overestimated, one blog is not enough to describe that topic.

10.  How important is treasury in times like these? In times of COVID19….

The cliché “profit is an opinion, cash a reality” is currently felt stronger than ever. The treasurer that cannot show his added value in these times might not be in the right position.

11. Tell us, 10 years from now, what does Treasurer Search look like?

Predicting the future in these times is more daunting than ever, we just celebrated our first 10 years… I hope 10 years from now we can still show stability, treasury and recruitment expertise. Furthermore I hope clients who currently do not have a treasurer are happy we found one for them and also many more clients who are not based in The Netherlands enjoy our services.


What makes you happy in your work?

Results. See that my colleagues are happy in their job and help candidates and clients moving forward.

What are you most proud of in your career at Treasurer Search?

That clients call us again because they like the candidate they hired through us before. That candidates are happy in their job we found them, and for a long time. That we created an organization with employees that like coming to work to a job that pays mortgages and children’s shoes. That the treasury community knows us and knows how to find us.

Highlighted partner: Treasurer Search

| 3-7-2018 | treasuryXL |

Over the last two years treasuryXL built a community with and for corporate treasurers and all interested in the profession. Starting from the Netherlands our network expands into surrounding countries and we cooperate with more and more partner organizations. In the summer months we will present the most prominent ones.

Treasurer Search

In 2009 Pieter de Kiewit founded Treasurer Search after an international career of 15 years in consultancy and management of two prominent recruitment companies. In the first he learned about executive search of, amongst others, group treasurers of listed firms. In the second he was responsible for building a number of international subsidiaries of the Dutch market leader in the mid segment recruitment market. The German the most prominent one. Approaching 40, he decided to continue as entrepreneur.

Treasurer Search finds candidates for interim assignments and permanent positions. From graduate level to group treasurer of a listed firm. Clients are headquarters of large corporates, international treasury hubs, treasury consultants, non-profit organizations and some companies in financial services. In the Netherlands and increasingly international: recent recruitment has been done in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland. Job types include cash & treasury operations management, risk, corporate & project finance, treasury IT and treasury control.

By now, Team Treasurer Search holds 6 members, 3 of them recruitment consultant. With their niche market approach they invest in thorough job content expertise and a very warm network. Over 90% of the placed candidates already had a meeting with Treasurer Search before the assignment was landed where he or she started in. The team is stable, something the recruitment industry is not known for.

Having a keen interest in what’s happening in treasury and knowing not each contact with a candidate and client can be about job openings, Treasurer Search takes a proactive network role. Most often as a courtesy Treasurer Search connects people with expertise with those seeking treasury knowledge. For this team members are in constant contact with educators, professional bodies and other suppliers of treasury solutions. All this makes Treasurer Search an obvious partner of treasuryXL.

For more information check out:

Pieter de Kiewit
[email protected] / +31 6 1111 9783

Pieter de Kiewit



Pieter de Kiewit
Owner Treasurer Search


What corporate treasury can learn from corporate insurance

15-06-2018 | Treasurer Search | TreasuryXL |

Last week Treasurer Search sent it’s monthly newsletter that included below article. Not all people in the market will think the same as the author, but we think it is definitely an interesting way of looking at our insurance colleagues.


One of the many benefits of being a recruiter is that every meeting is a lecture of an expert about his professional life and developments. An excellent way to learn and keep up-to-date. Every second week I try to transfer this knowledge to my colleagues in Team Treasurer Search and the risk topic often gets attention. I also want to share my observations about insurance and treasury with you.

First, perhaps a bit cynical, why is corporate insurance reporting to the group treasurer more often? The importance and professional level of insurance is increasing, this is also acknowledged by CFOs. To prevent their span of control becoming too big, they delegate the profession to legal, procurement and recently often to treasury. Many treasurers are not motivated by insurance tasks and ignore the overlap that exists. Traditionally the risk types “market risk” and “liquidity risk” create primary tasks for treasury departments that often motivate the candidates I meet. Recently counterparty or credit risk gets a bigger role, not only with financial services companies. My recent conversations with corporate insurance managers brought me new insights in how risk can be analysed and managed.

In previous blogs I wrote that “new school treasurers” distinguish themselves by better connecting with their business partners and provide understandable solutions that make sales, operations and finance happy. Insurance managers were already forced to talk with the business their whole life. If an insurance manager does not understand what his business partners do, he will not be able to make a proper assessment of the risk. And that does include all types of risk: staff getting sick, goods not being supplied, tornados, computer viruses, politicians starting embargos, etcetera. They are closer to enterprise risk managers than treasurers are. By now there are practical and scientific strategies to mitigate various risk types. Insurance managers know.

In my perception treasurers can learn from insurance how to connect to business partners and help them finding solutions for complex and diverse problems. Do you think me setting them on a pedestal is right or am I too positive?

If you want to find out more about Treasurer Search and their services visit their company profile on treasuryXL.

Fintech Recruitment Considerations

| 3-3-2017 | Pieter de Kiewit |

Last week one of my clients started an unscheduled brainstorm session about recruitment for Fintech companies. We ended up having quite an interesting discussion. Within Treasurer Search we see an increase in assignments in this market, both permanent as well as interim. I would like to share the result of the discussion and what our experience taught us so far.

Fintechs are interesting beasts. They are a mixture of innovations in marketing, technology and finance. Very often they are relatively small, flexible and extremely entrepreneurial. Their ownership, funding and organisation structure are non-standard. Finally Fintechs were able to avoid the regulators but do know they cannot escape them forever. The easiest examples of this are the PSD2 introduction and fiscal authorities zooming in on Bitcoin. What will be the exact consequences? Joop Wijn being recruited by Adyen might be a smart response to this.

From a job content perspective, recruitment in Fintech is quite straightforward: we are looking for skills in software, in regulations, new business development and marketing. Where it gets tough is combining skills with a start-up mentality. If you have this mentality, why be an employee and not start your own company? And does the personality of somebody being excellent in a team of five also match when the team is growing much bigger? This often leads to constantly shifting requirements and creative recruitment. I need more personal interviews because the cv is often not the proper predictor of success. All this makes my position more challenging and appealing. Using on-line personality assessments really does add value in processes like these.

I want to wrap up with a remark about bankers making the transfer to Fintech. From a skills perspective they are a good match and often served the proper clients. Hurdles they have to overcome are working within the mentality of a small company, with little support and a very diverse number of tasks. Together with a non-banking remuneration and a non-banking work-life balance the number of hurdles is too high for many of them .

What successful Fintech recruits did you see recently?


Pieter de Kiewit



Pieter de Kiewit
Owner Treasurer Search



If you are not a Treasurer with the ambition of a Dentist

05-05-2016 | by Pieter de Kiewit |

Career pathIn a previous blog I wrote about a career in treasury possibly being a dead end street. My former boss Cees taught me about the concept of the ambition of a dentist: when you graduate in dentistry, you most likely will do the same at the start of your career as you will do at the end. There is nothing wrong with that, if that is what you want. I would like it when my banker and shoe repair man would have the same ambition.

I know treasurers with the career line of a dentist. I know treasurers who are trying to avoid or leave the dentistry line. Here are some alternative routes I have seen:

  • Make lateral moves to other jobs, but still in the CFO team: accounting, control, credit management, perhaps legal. This may be the path to become a CFO;
  • Start helping your business development colleagues with the financing part of business opportunities and gradually move in their role;
  • Switch sides of the table: become a banker, a consultant, an auditor, a treasury software specialist or a teacher;
  • If you are really fed up with being a treasurer and/or want to make a drastic move you should be prepared to invest: give up your monthly salary, seek further education and become yoga teacher, or something else. This can also be done gradually by combining jobs/education.

I think life is too short to be in a job you do not like. Luckily I have daily meetings with treasurers who are passionate about their job. The majority of the working (treasury) population did/does not make conscious career choices, a fact that always intrigued me. I meet people who live the ambitions of others (parents or spouses). If you want to give direction to your treasury career or discuss the dentist thing, give me a call. I am happy to brainstorm with you,

Pieter de Kiewit



Pieter de Kiewit
Owner Treasurer Search