Amongst finance departments, treasury professionals play a critical role that affects the financial health of any organisation.
Since the start of my career, by joining a treasury department, I’ve constantly felt that the team always wanted (and needed) to be one step ahead, not only by understanding and anticipating trends in the financial markets, but also in following the developments of a profession that is constantly evolving.
Even though I had graduated from a business school, I felt the need for a solid technical foundation for the skills that I was applying in my daily job. Through the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) Diploma in Treasury Management (AMCT), achieved in 2015, I’ve gained a 360-degree technical knowledge on the five areas of treasury and the access to up-to-date treasury resources has supported the shift of my focus slowly away from operations towards improving processes, with a positive impact on the quality of the job for both myself and my team.
Since joining YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP, the leading online luxury fashion retailer, in 2017, my role as Treasury Manager has been to establish a more sophisticated working environment, by leading several projects necessary to build the operational backbone of the department.
In 2019 I was promoted to Head of Treasury and I felt that the expectation for the role in a fast-growing company required a new set of skills, to enable me to make a bigger impact in the organisation. In fact, in such an industry, I needed to become a forward thinker with a strong commercial acumen, able to face challenges at a more strategic level.
The ACT’s Advanced Diploma in Treasury Management (FCT), which I achieved in 2020, helped me to develop such competencies, not only by building on the technical foundation I had achieved through the AMCT, but also by training to become a “strategic treasurer” and “influencer”, able to use the appropriate leadership skills required in every business situation – particularly in the boardroom.
It was quite natural to change my approach in my daily job and the feedback that I have been receiving from my line manager both for the effort that I was putting into my studies and in the improved quality of the job I was delivering, was really rewarding. I’ve also started sharing the same approach with my team and the main benefit has been seeing them more involved in cross-departmental projects and becoming trusted partners in the organisation.
These achievements and qualifications helped build my confidence, to the point that I felt ready to accept a new challenge by moving into a role outside of treasury. In this role I have helped to redefine the operational processes and strategy, while implementing an innovative culture within the team, a change that was needed to redesign a department at the heart of the company’s business success.
Finally, the networking opportunities offered by professional qualifications are also invaluable: the peer group offers support not only during the preparation for the exam, dissertation and presentation but it also acts as a a platform to share problems, experiences and guidance due to the variety of the participants’ backgrounds.
As a treasury professional you need to accept that you will never stop learning: as the business evolves, you need to keep your knowledge up to date and the resources offered by professional qualifications make them a worthwhile investment.