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Update Digital Finance Summit 2020

| 02-12-2020 | François de Witte | treasuryXL |

After having worked for more than 30 years in banking, François launched his own consultancy activity, FDW Consult, specialized in finance and treasury consulting. From 2014 to 2016, he was also Solution Partner Treasury & Finance at USG Professionals. Since then he took up several assignments, including one in the automotive sector with Ginion Group and with Ibanity, part of Isabel Group in the area of PSD2 and open banking. He currently is Senior Project Manager Treasury at Gaming1 (part of Ardent-Group). 

Introduction

For the 5th year, Fintech Belgium organized its annual seminar, the Digital Finance Summit, this year with as main theme “The World After”.
Due to the current sanitary situation, this year’s edition went entirely ONLINE! It was attended by over 400 persons. There were also over 230 virtual stands of exhibitors; The organization was seamless. I perceived a participant experience which was not that far away from a physical gathering.

 Some messages

 Main Stage Sessions

During the general sessions, the main message was Digital becoming the new normal. Xavier Corman, Board Member of Fintech Belgium stated: “The Covid Crisis has also brought good thing. Years worth of Digital transformation.”.

Despite the virtual exchanges, which following on the COVID19 crisis, increased dramatically, in a digital worlds, People and trust become more important. We got also interesting testimonies of banks moving to disruptive models, such as Aion (e-bank providing full set of services for a fixed subscription fee and KBC (using AI models to improve its services in the insurance).

There is a large need for digital identity, like e.g. ITSME in Belgium, but more importantly of the interoperability of the digital identity solutions. Prof Bruno Colmant • highlighted that the creation of Digital currencies represent a new paradigm and a tectonic revolution in the monetary landscape.

Evolution in the cards Landscape

Within the cards busine, the tokenization of cards is increasing, reducing the friction, whilst keeping the security.
Tokenization is the process of protecting sensitive data by replacing it with an algorithmically generated number called a token. Often times tokenization is used to prevent credit card fraud. In credit card tokenization, the customer’s primary account number (PAN) is replaced with a series of randomly generated numbers, which ares called the “token.” These tokens can then be passed through the internet needed to process the payment without actual bank details being exposed. The actual bank account or credit card number is held safe in a secure token vault.

 

Evolution in the payments world

Following a three-month public consultation, the EPC (European Payment Council) has published on 30/11/2020 the first version of the SEPA  Request-To-Pay (RTP) scheme rulebook.  The Request to Pay (RtP) is an umbrella term for several scenarios in which a payee takes the initiative to request a specific payment from the payer.

The scheme covers the set of operating rules and technical elements (including messages) that allow a Payee to request the initiation of a payment from a Payer in a wide range of physical or online use cases. The scheme can be considered as a complement to the payment flow because it supports the end-to-end process and lies between an underlying commercial transaction and the payment itself. An RTP as such can be seen as an enabler for digital payments.

The first release of the SEPA RTP scheme is scheduled to go live on 15/6/2021. The SEPA RTP scheme, combined with the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer could be a challenger for card payments, being much cheaper for the merchants. It might take some time to take off.

Conclusion

This conference was a good forum to get an insight in the Belgian FinTech market. I saw a lot of interesting initiatives and consider that Fintech will bring a lot of added value in the payments and corporate treasury landscape.

If you want to learn more on this topic, I invite you to attend the one day training session, which I animate on the topic on 16/12/2020 “PSD2 & Open banking: impact on the financial ecosystem and new challenges

 

François de Witte
Founder & Senior Consultant at FDW Consult
Managing Director and CFO at SafeTrade Holding S.A.
treasuryXL ambassador

A deeper dive into the Treasurer Test Technical Knowledge part

| 19-07-2019 | by Kendra Keydeniers |

Different from the multiple choice questions in the Big5 Personality Profile assessment, a number of treasury technical questions require you to make calculations. Furthermore, there is a time pressure component: there are more questions than you will be able to answer within the limited time. You will have to balance between answering questions right and answering as many as possible. It is not possible to skip questions.

In previous blogs and in the Treasurer Test example report  we mention the four corporate treasury sub disciplines we work with. For each discipline you will have a limited time of 10 minutes to answer the questions.

In below summary you can see what topics you can expect:

  • Risk Management: future contracts, FX, interest, inflation, hedging, ALM, derivatives

 

  • Corporate Finance: various bond types, valuation, equity, dividend calculations, rating agencies, bank loans

 

  • Cash Management: zero balancing, liquidity management, bank account management, notional pooling, netting

 

  • Treasury Miscellaneous: transfer pricing, withholding taxes, capitalization rules, investments, treasury organization, reporting & analysis, accounting & accounting principles, treasury technology and tender processes.

Together with industry and university experts we continuously work on updates of the questions catalogue. A challenge is to balance what is always relevant in corporate treasury, what is new and what will remain relevant.

It is possible to send your input for the further design of the questions catalogue. We are currently discussing topics like tax reforms, trade finance, treasury technology, alternative funding sources.

On behalf of Team Treasurer Test,

Kendra Keydeniers
Community & Partner Manager at treasuryXL

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Why Big5 and not another personality assessment?

| 12-07-2019 | by Kendra Keydeniers |

Our deeper dive into the Big 5 model continues with our next topic:

  • Introduction
  • Why a personality assessment in the Treasurer Test?
  • Why Big5 and not another personality assessment?
  • What do we see in the peer group?
  • The traits measured
  • A connection between traits and skills?

Since the start of the development of the Treasurer Test we were convinced that including a personality assessment would bring added value. In a previous blog we describe why there are many well-known and documented typologies and standards for personality testing in the market. Without describing others in detail, this is what we like about the Big5 model.

  1. Big5 consists of a set of traits that describe the personality of the candidate that consistently define behaviour. A number of other assessments measure a wide variety of other aspects in a person that do not necessarily predict behaviour

 

  1. The Treasurer Test questionnaire based on theBig5 typology is designed with a working and professional perspective in mind. The questionnaire is not derived from questionnaires that are used for clinical purposes. It is taken into consideration that candidates with various cultural backgrounds will make the test, although these will have an effect that cannot be erased completely

 

  1. As with many other assessments, Big5 is a self-assessment. Our test developers have chosen for accessible questionnaires and paid attention to wording that matches the audience (well-educated professionals). Repetition is unavoidable in order to measure consistency: there is no shortcut that delivers the same quality. The way questions are asked helps the candidate to avoid giving the answers he/she thinks are the socially acceptable

 

  1. Many scientific institutes work with Big5 creating a vast amount of data and thus solidifying the typology. There is no single, commercial institute that owns the concept and has to balance quality and sales. There is no monopoly in the training of experts using Big5

 

  1. Many typologies work with a binary mindset: “if you are red, you are not green” or “you are either introvert or extravert but not somewhere in between””. There are even models that put, for example, rational and emotional on one axis. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. This type of thinking is often quite convenient, but the reality is often not black and white. All this is taken into consideration with Big5: single aspects are measured on one continuum

 

  1. Statistics have proven their value in science and modern life. The fundament of Big5 lies in solid numbers, Gauss curves and related concepts. Results are robust and can be reproduced. Scientists from independent institutes, who focus on methods and techniques helped building Big5.

There is a vast amount of scientific literature on this topic. With your cooperation we will include links to relevant input.

On behalf of Team Treasurer Test,

Kendra Keydeniers
Community & Partner Manager at treasuryXL

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Introduction of two Community Ambassadors: Francois and Marco

| 11-07-2019 | by Kendra Keydeniers |

treasuryXL is happy to announce a close cooperation with François De Witte and Marco Lassche. As community ambassadors they will contribute to further raise the level of the treasury function, both for the inner circle: corporate treasurers, bankers & consultants, as well for the non-treasurers.

François De Witte has worked over 30 years in banking and is founder of FDW Consult, specialized in finance and treasury consulting. With his broad treasury career, his key areas of expertise are International Payments & Cash management, treasury, working capital management, financing & advisory, open banking, digital banking and IT strategy.

“I am eager to share my large experience in treasury, banking and innovation with the TreasuryXL community” said François.

François will bring added value to the community with its innovative and broad corporate finance and treasury experience. He operates from Belgium.

 

 

Marco Lassche started his ‘World of Treasury’ career in 2002 and has become a professional in  banking, corporate treasury both in large, international corporates as well as mid-sized

companies. In 2018 Marco founded ‘Bedrijfskostenexpert’, a Dutch company specialized in Cost Reduction, working on a No Cure, No Pay

base. Marco his core expertise’s are Cash management, Funding, Risk Management, Setup in-house bank and cost savings.

“I am looking forward being part of this growing treasury community. Let’s take treasuryXL together to the next level as a leading portal for treasurers and non-treasurers.” said Marco

 

Marco will give the community an energy boost and he can’t wait to share his knowledge to enhance the treasuryXL platform. He operates from The Netherlands.

The club of treasuryXL ambassadors now exists out of three: François De Witte, Marco Lassche and Pieter de Kiewit – owner of Treasurer Search.

 

 

“Large corporates invest substantially in continuous improvement and innovation of their treasury function. Mid-sized corporates often miss opportunities in, and pay too much for basic treasury. I think there is a lot to be gained in increasing the acceptance of corporate treasury and its’ development. I would like to contribute.” Said Pieter de Kiewit, owner at Treasurer Search.

 

 

Keep an eye out for these treasuryXL ambassadors, they will deliver useful and inspiring topics throughout the year.

About treasuryXL
treasuryXL is built by treasurers to serve treasurers and non-treasurers. treasuryXL offers:

  • professionals the chance to publish their expertise, opinions, success stories, distribute these and stimulate dialogue.
  • a labour market platform by creating an overview of vacancies, events and treasury education.
  • a variety of services in collaboration with flex treasurers.
  • a broad network of highly valued partners and experts.

 

 

Kendra Keydeniers
Community & Partner Manager at treasuryXL

 

Why a personality assessment in the Treasurer Test?

| 05-07-2019 | by Kendra Keydeniers |

Our deeper dive into the Big 5 model continues with our next topic:

  • Introduction
  • Why a personality assessment in the Treasurer Test?
  • What do we see in the peer group?
  • The traits measured
  • A connection between traits and skills?

The personality of the candidate you consider for your job opening consists of a set of traits that determine his/her behaviour. As behaviour is essential for success in the new position, we decided a personality assessment would be a huge asset in the Treasurer Test.

Instruments for candidate screening

There are many instruments you can deploy to predict the success an applicant will have upon hire. Best known are cv screening, (structured) interviews, reference checks, diplomas and on-line or other assessments. Research shows that, depending on the position, skills tests are the best predictors of how good a candidate will do, followed by personality assessments. Combining various instruments increases certainty about the expected success. In the Treasurer Test we combine skill/knowledge testing with a Big5 personality assessment thus aiming high. There are other reasons for including Big5.

Personality Assessments

Many of the instruments mentioned to predict the success of an applicant are not stable. They will give different results with the same candidate if done for the second time and are subjective. Especially interviews and reference checks are proven unstable and interpreted differently. Most organisations did not invest in the training of interview skills of staff members: meetings are often improvised. Personality assessments are proven consistent. All involved in the recruitment process will have the same report, decisions will be better.

With on-line technology getting easier accessible and more cost effective, creating this assessment in 2019 is doable, though still not easy. Five years ago it would have been much harder and potential users would have a harder time to accept the concept.

Research of ‘the treasurer’ personality

No well-known research has been done into the personality and skills of treasurers. The population is not compared among each other and to general population. Neither research has been done into the success variables of treasury professionals. The dataset resulting from the Treasurer Test will, taking GDPR into consideration, be used to do quantitative research into the personality of “the treasurer” and other aspects.

Treasurer Test as matching tool

Let’s not forget that in order to reach the full potential of a new employee and related to this the Treasurer Test, the new working environment of the employee should be analysed in order to find out what personality would match best. The Treasurer Test serves as a matching tool, so two sides should be taken into consideration: the position and organisation on one hand, the candidate on the other.

Although user friendly, it cannot be denied that making the Treasurer Test is an investment in time and money. However, let’s think about the following question: can you quantify the investment lost if you hire the wrong candidate?

On behalf of Team Treasurer Test,

Kendra Keydeniers
Community & Partner Manager at treasuryXL

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Treasurer Test: The advantages of using the Big 5 model

| 20-06-2019 | by Kendra Keydeniers |

In the upcoming weeks we will take a deeper dive into the Big 5 model. What are the advantages? Why did we select this model for the Treasurer Test? The subjects are shown in below summary, starting the first blog with an introduction:

  • Introduction
  • Why a personality assessment in the Treasurer Test?
  • What do we see in the peer group?
  • The traits measured
  • A connection between traits and skills?

Treasurer Test & Big 5: Introduction

The roots of the Treasurer Test lie in the desire to improve selection. A proper recruitment decision is based upon many variables. Often these variables are not objectively measurable: very often apples and oranges are compared. Research shows that knowledge, skills and personality are sound predictors of job success, can be measured objectively and compared to peer groups. This is to inform you about the Big 5 typology that measures personality.

OCEAN

A personality can be defined as a relatively stable set of traits resulting in consistent behavior in various situations and different from behavior of others in the same situation. In the typology there are five clusters of traits defined. Very often the acronym OCEAN (or CANOE) is used to remember the names of each cluster. Below we will describe them and include an example of a trait, projected on potential tasks of a treasurer:

  1. Openness for new experiences. Being innovative, having original ideas can be relevant for treasurers in a build-up situation.
  2. Conscientiousness: goal oriented, organized. A treasurer who is methodical plans, creates a structure and shows predictable behavior.
  3. Extraversion: energy focused externally or internally. A convincing treasurer will focus on influencing others, making sure they will align with the goals of the CFO and/or the treasury team.
  4. Agreeableness: focus on others (also altruism). A treasury manager who scores high on empathy will easily sense the emotions and feelings of his team.
  5. Neuroticism: emotional stability. If a treasury interim director is unfazed, he will not be affected by the crisis situation he might have to act in.

Self-assessment

As this is an introduction, we will not create a comprehensive overview but do want to stress the following; Big 5 does not put people in blue or red boxes but makes sound comparisons with peer groups according to statistically sound gauss curves. This is also the reason academic institutes like to use the model. The traits and scores are without value. High or low scores are only relevant if a specific behavior is desired. Big 5 works with a self-assessment, which is the best method to measure but will never result in an absolute truth.

Next

In following articles we will elaborate on relevant Big 5 questions like “why Big 5 and not another typology?”, “what are the traits measured and why are these relevant” and “what do we see in the Big 5 results of the peer group?”. We are open for questions and input and will continue to provide further information.

On behalf of Team Treasurer Test,

Kendra Keydeniers
Community & Partner Manager at treasuryXL

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Treasurer Test: The first results analysis and observations

| 14-06-2019 | by Kendra Keydeniers |

Do people with many years of treasury experience have more relevant knowledge than those with less experience?

Are treasurers introvert people?

Are detail-oriented treasurers more knowledgeable?

Recently 100 test candidates completed the Treasurer Test, 75 of them working as corporate treasurers, 25 are working in positions related to the corporate treasury field. We asked all of them to take the test in order to build a strong and focused assessment tool. As an added result, we now have an extremely interesting dataset. It is our intention to share our analysis and observations about this dataset with you. Currently we are communicating with data and other scientist in order to present sound research.

Analysis & Observations

What do we have? We have demographic information, the results on Treasury Technical Questions and Personality Profiles (Big5 theory). Therefore, let’s elaborate on the combination peer group – knowledge a bit to give you an idea about where we are working on.

The technical questions are divided in four groups:

  1. Corporate Finance
  2. Risk Management
  3. Cash Management
  4. Treasury Miscellaneous.

The testees are divided in four different experienced peer groups:

  1. No Experience
  2. 0-2 years
  3. 3-8 years
  4. 9 + years

The first quick analysis shows that there is a direct correlation between experience and knowledge in Risk Management: more experience equals more knowledge. Interesting enough, this correlation completely lacks in Corporate Finance, even testees without treasury experience do not score significantly less in this category. Furthermore, there is an indication that the knowledge level in the categories Cash Management and Treasury Miscellaneous is more or less the same for all groups. There is only a significantly difference between the corporate treasury experienced people compared to the Non-Treasurers.

Based upon these observations, we will ask the scientists and industry experts to work on the following hypothesizes (and on others of course):

  • Cash Management and Treasury Miscellaneous tasks are relatively easy to learn and/or a substantial part of the tasks of a young treasurer
  • The complexity of Risk Management is not easy to understand quickly and takes time to comprehend
  • Corporate Treasury is such a small part of the tasks of a treasurer that knowledge is not part of his/her working knowledge.

Given that we just started, we are very much open for your questions and suggestions. What questions do you want to get answered based upon the dataset? Thanks in advance for your input.

On behalf of Team Treasurer Test,

Kendra Keydeniers
Community & Partner Manager at treasuryXL

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Treasurer Test: We achieved an important milestone!

| 29-05-2019 | by Kendra Keydeniers |

This is a shout out to all peer group members of the Treasurer Test: We Are There! Thanks to all of you.
To all aspiring peer group members who intended to do the Test we have to say: thank you for considering but all spots are taken.

We have to admit it has taken much more time than we expected. We learned a lot during this process. All peer group members will be informed about how to download the report shortly and we made all preparations possible. With the data set complete we will now focus on the completion followed by an active market introduction. What have we learned more specifically, also with your input and what is most urgent?

    • The technical questions are too complex. As we work with peer group comparison, the results still hold the value we were looking for. As we do not want to demotivate treasury people, we will sit together with data scientists to work on a statistically sound method to introduce less complex questions.
    • We will sit together with the experts of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Hogeschool Utrecht and others to gradually redesign the content of the question catalogue.
    • The report shows results in (relative) comparison with peer groups, also in absolutes. For example, you could have completed 30 questions, you answered 15 and 10 of these are correct. This deserves a proper reading instruction so readers can find value in the results and prevent misinterpretation.
    • We will keep on enhancing the result report in order to better show the number of questions that has been answered versus the number of questions answered correct. Both compared with the peer group. It is relevant to know if a candidate focuses on a high score and/or on a correct score.
    • The time to complete the Treasurer Test, both the technical part as well as the personality part, is considered long. We will work on expectation management and enhance the user instructions to preserve the quality.
    • Last but certainly not least, we will digest the valuable input of the peer group, in order to improve the Test in many aspects.

We are thrilled that we reached a very important milestone in this exciting project. We will keep you informed and appreciate all input.

On behalf of Team Treasurer Test,

Kendra Keydeniers
Community & Partner Manager at treasuryXL

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Treasurer Test Update: Looking for the very last peers

| 09-05-2019 | by Kendra Keydeniers |

We are happy to say that since our last update, we successfully completed the senior categories of the peer groups. We are literally in the final phase of completing all peer groups. Exciting times ahead!

Are you the lucky one?

Our focus now is to find the very last peers who can help us out in the categories “no experience in treasury” and “treasurers with up to two years of treasury experience”.

The Treasurer Test is split up in two different parts:

Technical Treasury Knowledge
The Treasurer Test assesses your technical knowledge level in corporate treasury with questions on risk management, corporate finance, cash management and treasury miscellaneous.

Personality Profile
The Treasurer Test also assesses your personality profile with a test based upon the scientifically acknowledged “Big Five” theory.

Are you the person we are looking for or do you know someone who can make the Treasurer Test in the mentioned categories? Your help is highly appreciated!

How can I participate?

As a launch testee you can make the Treasurer Test for only €1,21- (normal price, €595,-)

Make sure to follow next steps:

  1. Click here for purchasing
  2. Click ‘add to cart’
  3. Fill out the ‘Billing Details’ form
  4. Enter coupon code (Send an email to info@treasuryxl.com and request a coupon code)
  5. Place order and complete payment

You will receive an invoice and a confirmation via email. In the confirmation mail you can find all relevant information that will guide you into and through the test.

Duration of the Treasurer Test
The Treasurer Test takes about 70 to 90 minutes.

You will receive notice when the Treasurer Test results are completed and when you can download your results. This will happen after all launch testees completed the test.

If you require more information regarding the Treasurer Test, check our blogs here or send an email to info@treasuryxl.com.

Kendra Keydeniers
Community & Partner Manager at treasuryXL

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New update for the community: Treasurer Test

| 02-04-2019 | by  Roy Baaten |

Dear peer goup members, treasurers, financials and friends of the community.
It has been a while since we updated you on the treasurer test.

First of all, we would like to thank everyone who helped us in one way or the other. A special thanks for those who made the test as a peer group member and provided us with very valuable feedback.

From the start we communicated that everyone will receive their report at the same time when the peer group is complete. We nearly completed the senior categories of the peer group but have to invest in finding candidates for the categories “no experience in treasury” and “treasurers with up to two years of treasury experience”. We are working very hard so everyone can receive their report they worked so hard for. We are almost there!

If you are a candidate for the aforementioned categories or know people who qualify and might want to take the test, send an email to info@treasuryxl.com We appreciate your help.

We will inform you again if we have more news.

Roy Baaten – Community Manager

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