The Head of Treasury is a senior management position within financial institutions and large corporations.
They are responsible for managing Treasury Operations, the organisation’s financial assets, liquidity, and risk to ensure optimal cash flow, financial stability and profitability.
This article provides an in-depth analysis of a Head of Treasury’s job description and profile.
The confident, specialist and mature financial stewardship at the core of a Treasurer’s day is fuelled by experience, a passion for leadership and unparalleled monetary diligence.
Treasurers are liquidity caretakers responsible for the cash management process, cash forecasting, credit, investments, debt management, and asset management, with an overarching responsibility for liquidity management and stability. As mentioned in our Qualifications and Skills Page for Treasurer, successful Treasurers must be highly communicative, obsessed with detail and financially knowledgeable enough to manage cash flow within any company. Treasurers are, in some format and to varying degrees, present in every company and play a central role in financial management and strategic business decision-making.
Here Are Some of the Main Job Responsibilities for a Head of Treasury
- Strategic Planning. From forecasting to preparing fiscal business plans, reports and portfolio management, a Treasurer is a vital senior financial partner in the strategic leadership of a company.
- Analysis. Second to these responsibilities, but no less critical, is the analytical nature of the role concerning mergers and acquisitions, pensions and investments. Treasurers will provide objective leadership and be important business decision-makers in the direction of a company’s financial future.
- Financial Reporting. Treasurers sit at the right hand of CEOs and CFOs, providing guidance, analysis and detailed assessments of financial and cash flow health and sound and up-to-date data for senior leaders. A significant element of this is effective communication, and the humble report is where Treasurers make all the difference, creating methodical, communicative and relevant financial maps for other senior stakeholders to follow.
- Risk and Tax Management. Treasurers are valued leaders in ensuring any enterprise is prepared and best positioned to respond to industry changes, legal changes, fiscal shifts, or sudden and unpredictable global changes to financial health and cash. Tax management covers everything from meeting short and long-term cash flow needs to adjusting capital structure, transactions, and tax responsibilities.
- Overview and Operational. Treasurers provide director-level operational advice to any enterprise’s board and manage day-to-day treasury operations. This can be private or charity, or to public service directors within governmental or community funding vehicles or councils. The advice can be in the form of auditing, financial initiatives, legal matters, investments, compliance, cash investment and consolidation.
- Stakeholder Relationships Management. Whether it’s banking relationships, senior lender relationships or financial markets analysts, as part of the Head of Treasury function, there is a requirement to maintain relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
As the “right-hand person” of senior management, such as CFO and CEO, when it comes to cash management and management of financial instruments and foreign exchange, a successful Head of Treasury inevitably has relationship management and, therefore, investor relations at the top of their agenda.
Head of Treasury Job Description
Although job description tends to vary between different organisations, and also depending on the depth and scope of the role, some essential traits are common to all Head of Treasury jobs:
- Strategic Financial Planning. The Head of Treasury is crucial in developing and implementing financial planning strategies aligned with the company’s goals. They would assess market trends, drive financial risk management, and identify opportunities to maximise cash flow as part of their responsibilities. They would also initiate Treasury projects and financial models and identify the best action when investing cash or issuing various financial instruments.
- Cash Management. Irrespective of the size of a business, treasury activities always involve, as part of their primary responsibilities, cash management in terms of daily operations and long-term planning. The Head of Treasury, aided by Treasury Managers, would ensure, through effective cash forecasting, that a business has sufficient funds to operate, manage cash pooling arrangements, and oversee all treasury processes in compliance with company policies. They would also effectively manage bank accounts and liaise with financial managers and other departments to produce practical cash flow analyses.
- Financial Risk Management. Managing financial risks is a treasury function of paramount importance. The Head of Treasury assesses macroeconomics and industry trends, interest rate fluctuations, foreign exchange exposure, and other potential risk to develop risk mitigation strategies. This includes implementing hedging and various financial instruments, such as derivatives and insurance policies, to protect the company from adverse market movements.
- Banking Relationships. They manage relationships with banking institutions, negotiating favourable terms for banking services, credit facilities and investment opportunities. They keep up to date with industry trends, new financial products and services that can benefit the organisation and its cash. Additionally, they monitor banking fees and performance to ensure optimal banking services at competitive costs.
- Capital Structure Management. The Head of Treasury plays a vital role in managing the business capital structure, which by default impacts its cash flows. As part of their treasury activities, they evaluate different sources of capital, such as debt and equity, to determine the most appropriate financing options. They assess the cost of capital and optimise the capital structure to minimise financing costs and maximise shareholder value whilst maintaining the organisation’s ability to expand and grow.
- Treasury Operations. The Head of Treasury oversees the day-to-day operations, including cash disbursements, cash pooling, collections and accounting reconciliations and reporting. Their primary responsibilities include compliance with regulatory requirements, internal controls and accounting standards. Additionally, they leverage technology and automation tools to streamline processes and enhance operational efficiency. They would rely on Treasury and Financial Managers to manage treasury projects and have several direct reports proportionate to business requirements.
- Financial Reporting and Compliance. The Head of Treasury collaborates with the Finance Manager, Financial Controller and accounting teams to prepare accurate financial reports promptly. They are responsible for compliance with accounting standards and regulatory guidelines, such as IFRS and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. They also liaise with auditors during internal and external audits and advise on complex financial transactions and journal entries.
Head of Treasury Profile
No clear-cut profile makes job seekers the “right candidate” for Head of Treasury.
As usual, there will be an emphasis on analytical solid, soft, communication, and interpersonal skills.
A Head of Treasury typically possesses a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting or a related field.
Advanced degrees such as MBA are often preferred.
Additionally, a qualification such as a certified treasury professional is also mandatory for treasury managers willing to progress to the top job.
Candidates for the Head of Treasury position generally have long and significant experience in treasury management, finance or related roles.
They have a proven track record of successfully managing complex treasury operations, financial risks and cash flow.
They would have spent much of their career as Treasury Managers; therefore, experience in multinational financial services corporations is highly valued.
A Head of Treasury should have a firm grasp of financial markets, risk management techniques, cash management systems and banking instruments.
Proficiency in financial modelling, financial analysis, and treasury software, as well as analytical ability, is crucial. Knowledge of regulatory frameworks and compliance standards is essential to ensure adherence to legal requirements.
Leadership and Communication
Successful Treasury Managers willing to progress to Head of Treasury jobs must have personality traits and skills around leadership and communication.
Practical leadership skills are vital for the Head of Treasury to lead the treasury team and collaborate with cross-functional departments. They should possess excellent communication skills to present complex financial concepts to senior management and stakeholders clearly and concisely.
Strong Analytical Skills
The Head of Treasury must have exceptional analytical thinking and problem-solving abilities. They should be able to assess complex financial situations, identify potential risks, and develop appropriate mitigation strategies. Strong attention to detail and making informed decisions under pressure are critical.
Progression From Treasury Manager
Treasury managers willing to progress to Head of Treasury jobs are likely to possess the qualifications required, especially if they are working for financial institutions.
Therefore, when either seeking a different Treasury role or willing to make a “jump” to Head of Treasury, they would need to assess their skills and experience against the guidelines above carefully and, if needed, gain exposure to areas such as Capital Structure or Investor relations for example, which they may not have come across to tick all the boxes required to be a well rounded Head of Treasury.
The Head of Treasury manages an organisation’s financial assets, risk, and liquidity. Their strategic financial planning, cash management, risk mitigation, and banking relationships contribute to the financial stability and profitability of the organisation. The qualifications, experience, technical skills, and leadership abilities required for this role make it a challenging yet advantageous position.
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