Testing Treasurers for Integrity

| 06-09-2018 | by  Pieter de Kiewit |

Last month Dutch newspapers published about two convictions that made me further think about the combination of treasurers and integrity. In the Vestia case, derivatives fraud within the largest social housing corporation of The Netherlands, the treasurer and broker were sentenced to time in jail. With ABN Amro, staff was being let go for falsifying signatures in mortgage documentation. The severity of the two cases is very different, but integrity of staff was relevant. Could these cases have been prevented? 

In the development of the Treasuer Test (https://www.treasurersearch.com/blogs/3/s66ebd-getting-ready-to-launch-the-treasurer-test!), one of the most asked features is an integrity test of the testee. The development partners have scanned the market for the availability of such a test and received very mixed messages. Some parties offer questionnaires that pretend to measure this personality trait, others say it cannot be measured at all. Between these two there are service provider that do full day assessments, not just questionnaires, and claim good results. We have pondered on the subject and decided not to include this element in the test.

In recruitment we rely on past behaviour when wanting to make a statement on integrity. Reference checks and screening of documents by companies that offer private-investor-like services will bring the most solid results in my opinion. In The Netherlands one can ask for a “verklaring omtrent gedrag (VOG)” at the municipality that report about criminal behaviour. That would be proof something is not good, not proof things are good.

All in all it is a tricky subject. One thing one can be sure of: the candidate that lacks integrity will not inform you about this. Furthermore one can ask if integrity is solely in the person or that an environment can create non-integrity. Perhaps pushing for results and at the same time doing the right thing is a hard task. I would like to read about your thoughts about the subject.


Pieter de Kiewit



Pieter de Kiewit
Owner Treasurer Search