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Corporate Treasury have a problem and this is why…

| 23-07-2019 | by Pieter de Kiewit |

Cost savings created by good treasurers easily exceed the sum of salaries of their team. They can help open doors that otherwise stay closed for their business colleagues and they can help avoid risks. Then why do they have this modest seat at the table of CFOs and are they often not considered for succession of her/him? Why are SMEs complaining about the lack of funding opportunities, when treasurers have them available? Why are Basel regulations made by bankers and politicians, where are the corporate treasurers? Why does treasury education not have a more prominent place in education? Why do bankers earn the bigger bucks? Corporate treasury has a PROBLEM!

The non-treasurers (CFOs and business owners) often do not know, so they do not consider this a problem. I think they should, given my introduction. The treasurers I meet often experience the problem: they want to be educated, make career progression, be involved in business and have better salaries. Why do controllers or non-financials not encounter this issue, or at least in a lesser degree?

Based upon my many interview notes and the first results of the dataset of the Treasurer Test I have a first hypothesis (there will be more): the personality of people working in treasury. A Big5 personality assessment has been done in a treasury population of 100. What I see is that treasurers, on average, are easily as driven as the general population. That should be a proper foundation. Where they score substantially different is in two aspects:

  1. They do not make contact quickly
  2. They are not focused on convincing other people.

The two obvious solutions are bringing people with a different personality into the treasury field and stimulating the current population to speak up. As recruiters we hope to contribute by bringing (for example) bankers into corporate treasury. Bankers often show a different personality profile. Furthermore I think we should not try to change the personality of the current population, but skills training will most definitely help.

Do you see the problem and want to step up? I hope so.

 

 

Pieter de Kiewit
Owner Treasurer Search

 

Be careful what you wish for in crowdfunding

| 02-07-2019 | by Pieter de Kiewit |

Over the last decade bankers have taken over from civil servants and public transport employees as the ones to complain about. Yours truly is also guilty and I still meet bankers who do not like to talk about their profession because they are annoyed about the bashing. Nobody is perfect but haven’t we all been too harsh on bankers?

This question popped up last week when I read about crowdfunding developments. This relatively new form of funding is growing quickly. I see at least three obvious reasons for this. First, regular banks are reluctant to fund SMEs. Regulatory requirements, ROI and risk profiles of their potential clients are some reasons for that. Second, there is a lot of liquidity in the market and it is hard to make proper investments. Third and last, various platforms, with easy accessible IT solutions, facilitate investors finding those who need funds. Why my plea to go easier on the bankers?

With crowdfunding platforms building a track record, issues are becoming very visible. There are two very prominent problems. Many SMEs using crowdfunding facilitate the payment of extremely high interests, the term loan sharks already came up. The other prominent problem is that the credit risk process in crowdfunding is often very weak. This results in the funding of unstable businesses and weak plans, ending up with funders empty-handed.

I am a small business owner, the chamber of commerce sells my address to whoever pays. On a very regular basis I receive mail informing me how much I can borrow. Crowdfunding is not regulated like banks are. Process and expectation management is being done quite aggressively by platforms and I understand problems are becoming obvious as the market matures. I invite you to read input from Lex van Teeffelen and others:

RTL Z/ANP: Failliet door crowdfunding: ‘Hoge rentes nekken ondernemers’
Lex van Teefelen: Dalend rendement crowdfunding 2019 / Flitskrediet: meer vloek dan zegen! 

This brings me back to where I started with: were we right in bashing bankers? Their processes are more sound, their communication is done with more restraint. There were extremes, mistakes were made and greed was obvious. I think most bankers tried and try to do an honest and professional job. Let’s keep each other informed, educated and ask before we judge. Hopefully we will get better in doing a proper funding job.

 

 

 

Pieter de Kiewit
Owner Treasurer Search

 

For what audience is the Treasurer Test developed?

| 06-06-2019 | by treasuryXL |

The Treasurer Test has been developed with three different audiences in mind:

  1. Actual Treasurers; those who are already active treasurers
  2. Pre Treasurers; those who have the ambition to become one and
  3. Non Treasurers; those who will not but deal with the function.

Their goals might overlap but there are differences. In this blog we will elaborate.

Actual Treasurer
Taking the test, already being a treasurer, can be useful in many situations. First, wanting to show your hiring manager you are fully capable and have the right personality for the position you want to step into. This is an obvious one. Second, planning your career. The result report will show the candidates treasury knowledge gaps and personality, helping in education and coaching plans. Third and last, as a treasury team you want to be ready for the future of your organisation and prepare. In order to achieve this, you want to know your current status in order to build a development plan with a focus both on skills as well as on personalities.

Pre Treasurer
Aspiring treasurers might have the aforementioned goals and some extra. They might not have done the job, but know a lot and want to prove this. Automatically, the Test will show where development might be started best and if the potential is enough to pick up the position. Taking the Test will also lead to insight what the job is about. It is not intended, but might lead to a candidate treasurer steering his career in another direction. Finally, we are talking with educators to deploy the test at the start and at the end of a program in order to objectively measure progress of students.

Non Treasurer
In finding staff or helping them in development, HR, recruiters and educators will play an important role. It is not to be expected that these specialist benefit from taking the Test. They should know about the Big5 typology and understand how the Test measurers skills.
On the other hand, CFOs, CFO team members, auditors, bankers and other financial specialist and their organisations will benefit from them taking the Test. Many of them consider themselves (unjust) knowledgeable in corporate treasury. Insight in their actual knowledge level is a good starting point. If the non-treasurer knows a lot and can prove this with the Test results, treasury specialists will better accept input. If not, the non-treasurer will better appreciate the expertise of the specialist and put treasury higher on the priority list.

Are you interested how the Treasurer Test can help you? Contact Kendra Keydeniers, Community & Partner Manager.

You can find more relevant information here.

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

 

New Community and Partner Manager for treasuryXL

| 02-05-2019 | by Pieter de Kiewit |

treasuryXL recently celebrated its third birthday. As a partner and sponsor I have been involved from the start and so far, it has been an exciting journey. I am proud we have been able to create a constant flow of relevant content for corporate treasurers and all others interested in treasury. We continue the build-up of a platform where you can find expertise, opinions, events, job openings, product and service offerings. Different treasury topics for a variety of organisations.

Roy has been able to build a foundation in our content flow, our infrastructure and network. His experience as a banker has been valuable and partners appreciated his initiatives. He enjoys his time with treasuryXL but misses the content driven tasks he had as a banker. He will return to financial services. We thank him for his effort and wish him all the best.

We are ambitious and want to make the next step! In order to fulfill our pivot role we have been looking for more relevant skills and entrepreneurial power. I am happy we can present Kendra as the new Community & Partner Manager.

Currently Roy is working together with Kendra. Kendra brings valuable expertise in modern community management, she worked with a very successful tech company. Her focus will be on two major tasks. First, she will help improve the quality of the content and will increase of the relevant audience. Most likely this will be combined with the organisation of relevant events. Second, she will closely cooperate with partners and experts, helping them to achieve their professional and commercial goals. And of course the treasuryXL goals. Her efforts up till now are very promising. We look forward to working with her and wish her lots of success!

Currently you can contact both Roy and Kendra through info@treasuryXL.com and 06-21303744

Pieter de Kiewit
On behalf of partners and experts of treasuryXL
Pieter de Kiewit

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YOU CAN BE ONE OF THE LAST PEER GROUP MEMBERS!

| 13-12-2018 | by  Pieter de Kiewit |

“Under 20% of the treasury population completed a formal treasury education. And over 50% of decision makers in the recruitment of treasurers does not know about the discipline.” We are one of the launching partners of the Treasurer Test that can bring an objective measurement that can tackle problems resulting from the described issue. Others are the Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam), the University of Applied Sciences of Utrecht, software & assessment developers and law experts.

Key element of the test is the comparison with peer groups. These groups are defined by number of years of experience in treasury of its’ members. Our role as launching partner is asking 100 relevant peer group members that will create the benchmark that future testees will be compared with. Peer group members do not pay the €595 the test will cost when ready, but only €1,21. We carefully invited most, but there are still a few places left, especially in the group with under 9 years’ experience. If you are interested, please contact Roy Baaten, the community manager of treasuryXL at info@treasuryXL.com

When the number of 100 is reached, reports will be sent out and the Treasurer Test is ready for use. We expect a lot. At Treasurer Search we will use the test in our committed searches and many other situations, when relevant. First expectation is to further improve the match making process. Also in choosing education, coaching, outplacement, team formation and salary benchmarking the test can come in handy. Perhaps even showing a CFO about the complexity of the discipline can be done. There is a peer group “no treasury experience”.

We look forward to the analysis that can be made after a bigger group of people completed the test What will we see in the correlation between age, education level, nationality on one hand and treasury skills level on the other? We expect to further contribute in raising the level of corporate treasury and hope you will join us.

For more information about the Treasurer Test please visit the Treasurer Test Blog page.

Pieter de Kiewit

 

 

Pieter de Kiewit
Owner Treasurer Search

 

 

Treasurer Test, you can be one of the last peer group members!

| 22-11-2018 | by  Pieter de Kiewit |

“Under 20% of the treasury population completed a formal treasury education. And over 50% of decision makers in the recruitment of treasurers does not know about the discipline.” We are one of the launching partners of the Treasurer Test that can bring an objective measurement that can tackle problems resulting from the described issue. Others are the Vrije Universiteit (Amsterdam), the University of Applied Sciences of Utrecht, software & assessment developers and law experts.

Key element of the test is the comparison with peer groups. These groups are defined by number of years of experience in treasury of its’ members. Our role as launching partner is asking 100 relevant peer group members that will create the benchmark that future testees will be compared with. Peer group members do not pay the €595 the test will cost when ready, but only €1. We carefully invited most, but there are still a few places left, especially in the group with under 9 years’ experience. If you are interested, please contact Roy Baaten, the community manager of treasuryXL at info@treasuryXL.com

When the number of 100 is reached, reports will be sent out and the Treasurer Test is ready for use. We expect a lot. At Treasurer Search we will use the test in our committed searches and many other situations, when relevant. First expectation is to further improve the match making process. Also in choosing education, coaching, outplacement, team formation and salary benchmarking the test can come in handy. Perhaps even showing a CFO about the complexity of the discipline can be done. There is a peer group “no treasury experience”.

We look forward to the analysis that can be made after a bigger group of people completed the test What will we see in the correlation between age, education level, nationality on one hand and treasury skills level on the other? We expect to further contribute in raising the level of corporate treasury and hope you will join us.

 

Pieter de Kiewit

 

 

Pieter de Kiewit
Owner Treasurer Search

 

 

How to prepare for the Treasurer Test

| 1-11-2018 | by treasuryXL |

We recommend to make the test in a quiet room where you will not be disturbed. Don’t be afraid when you can’t complete all questions. There are more questions than you can answer in the time that’s available. If you don’t know the answer on a question, move on to the next. There are several things that will be measured such as speed, productivity and accuracy.

Technical Treasury Knowledge part
Complex calculations have to be made. We advise to have a scientific calculator at hand and a pen and paper to take notes.

Personality Profile part
There is no right or wrong. This section consists of statements in which you must indicate whether or not this applies to you.

Here is a short summary of preparation advice that will help you in advance of making the Treasurer Test:

  • Take the test in a quiet room where you will not be disturbed
  • Make sure you have a scientific calculator, pen and paper at hand
  • You need to finish the Technical Treasury Knowledge part in one time. Same counts for the Personality Profile part. However, you can take a rest between these two different test parts.
  • Move on to the next question when you don’t know the answer. You have limited time (this only counts for the Technical Knowledge part).
  • The test is intensive, take this into account

Roy Baaten – Community Manager at TreasuryXL

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Preview of the Treasurer Test report

| 23-10-2018 | by treasuryXL |

We are thrilled to show you the first preview of the results report in below example. Each candidate that completes the test will receive this report.

 

Roy Baaten – Community Manager & Business Developer at TreasuryXL

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Treasurer Test development: huge investment, great result!

| 03-10-2018 | by treasuryXL |

It all started a few years ago. The desire to better assess corporate treasurers led to a group of us wanting to build a test that did not exist yet. Together with various experts we invested time, money and expertise.

First, a project team was put together and Merel van Geel was appointed project leader. Other team members have a background in education, science, corporate treasury, assessment psychology, IT and treasury recruitment. Quite a diverse group! The goal of this project group was to investigate whether the concept could lead to a feasible business plan.

We quickly found that the cost of the software and its customization plays a vital role in this plan. The software should be able to test both personality as well as treasury knowledge, be able to work with various peer groups, include sound statistical research methods and generate reports. It should have a client friendly interface. In a few months, many systems were tested and demos have been viewed. After long consideration and negotiations, a software manufacturer was chosen that already developed tests and could be integrated into our treasuryXL existing software. This manufacturer has many universities and other research institutes as their client.

In parallel various personality models were considered. As the Big Five model is widely accepted, well known and, different from many others, accepted in academic circles, that is the model we chose. The Big Five assessment that is integrated in the Treasurer Test is offered by other parties separately and integrated in our solution. In other blogs we will elaborate on the model.

A team of experts from the Hogeschool Utrecht and the Vrije Universiteit took it upon them to develop a library of questions in various treasury sub categories and complexity level. The Test holds a lot more questions than the average candidate will answer.

Integration of various components was led by Merel and the results were screened by an advisory board that, together with a group of close friends were the first ones to do the Test for the first time. In parallel, we started to expand the treasuryXL website so that the test could be integrated and you can place and pay your order. Components such as a logo and a GDPR privacy statement were developed. Finally, the report of the Treasurer Test was designed, developed from the various above described components..

At this moment we are further testing the results. A selection of testee candidates has been made to fill the peer groups which are essential in the concept of the Treasurer Test. After the test has been made by these persons and feedback has been processed, the test will become available. We are very excited about this and will keep you up-to-date!

Roy Baaten – Community Manager at TreasuryXL

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