Treasury Talent

Future Treasurer: how pivotal relationships nurture careers

Published: Nov 2023
Allspring logo

When Treasury Today Group and Allspring Global Investments hosted their 2023 workshop for the Future Treasurer series in Chicago, the discussion focused on peer relationships and how they can fast-track and elevate career success.

Allspring Future Treasurer Chicago

Colleen Healy’s celebrated career in finance, now primarily manifest in independent board directorships but which included a 19 year-stint at Microsoft from 1995 to 2014 working across investor relations, intellectual property, and treasury and capital markets, is testimony to the pivotal role relationships play in career progression.

Allspring Future Treasurer Chicago

Sharing her most valuable career learnings at Treasury Today Group and Allspring Global Investments Future Treasurer event in Chicago, Colleen attributed colleague and peer relationships to elevating and fast-tracking her career. None more so than when she was at Microsoft, working alongside and learning from then Treasurer, George Zinn. She told attendees that George, fellow Future Treasurer speaker and currently President, TreasuryGo, encouraged her to stretch for roles and that his faith in her propelled her to new heights in the company. In keeping with so many mentor and mentee relationships, George countered how he also learnt a great deal from her – like her skilled approach to investor relations during the credit crisis.

Colleen and George’s lively and revealing discussion in the informal setting of Future Treasurer encapsulates the goal of the event which seeks to highlight the evolution of treasury, discuss career paths, and foster and highlight the skills that create treasury pioneers. For co-hosts Allspring Global Investments it is also an opportunity to bring portfolio management centre stage and elevate the importance of investment amongst treasury professionals. Jeffrey Weaver, Senior Portfolio Manager, Head of Global Liquidity Solutions at Allspring Global Investments who oversees a MMF portfolio of US$190bn alongside a US$20bn allocation to short duration fixed income drew on his own experience to highlight the importance of building relationships within a company to help hone understanding of the wider business. “Be inquisitive,” he said. “Getting involved comes to much more than just doing your job.”

Learn new skills

Speakers linked career success to building new skills and keeping up with changes in technology. “You have to keep retraining. I would get involved with AI,” George advised workshop attendees, illustrating the importance by referencing how one of his first skills (hand signalling on the trading floor) is now redundant. He counselled on the importance of attending in-house training sessions around new technology particularly. “It keeps you current and differentiates you over time.”

Allspring Future Treasurer Chicago

Panellists and delegates discussed how niche expertise can boost career success. However, speakers also advised on the importance of treasury employees not being “too narrow” and it is easier to broaden expertise early on in a career. “It’s difficult to go outside your comfort zone later in your career,” said George whose opportunity to broaden his skills came when he worked in IP at Microsoft, a role that positioned him for Treasurer a few years later. Colleen described how her role at Microsoft was similarly varied, including working in IP where she learnt how to approach target patents and negotiate deals.

Career progression involves a healthy dose of risk taking. Panellists urged attendees to be fearless when it comes to trying new things. Colleen encouraged delegates to be open about what they don’t know; filling the gaps in their knowledge by reaching out to their network.

Advice echoed by fellow speaker Mary Wienclaw, Director of Finance at Baxter International. Mary began her career in retail banking, later working in corporate accounting, treasury and digital transformation. She said her niche experience in FX had proved an enduring and valuable skill, but also credited her career progress to a willingness to step out into new roles.

Allspring Future Treasurer Chicago

One of the most significant risks she took was leaving her previous role at battery maker Duracell to join Baxter International. She said her long-term ambition is to achieve Treasurer and CFO roles, and echoing Colleen, believes her ability to reach the top is rooted in her relationship with colleagues prepared to support her efforts to go to the level.

The conversation touched on the importance of valuing the worth of treasury skills. Mary cautioned against “imposter syndrome,” acknowledging the confidence required to “know your worth,” sell yourself, negotiate and articulate what you can. “Earlier in my career I didn’t know this,” she said. She counselled on the importance of delegates remembering what they have accomplished; targets hit and experience garnered. “Once you have a seat at the table, help others and be an ally,” she said.

Alongside renumeration, delegates also heard how award programmes like Treasury Today Group’s Adam Smith Awards bring important recognition for treasury.

Allspring Future Treasurer Chicago

In the workshop sessions, where attendees discussed topics within their groups, the conversation turned to how nurturing talent depends on clear communication. And that leadership involves treating people as they want, not micromanaging. Good leadership also involves finding out what motivates people and catering to individuals. The ability to manage up and down is another tenet of leadership.

Mentorship must be rooted in trust and honesty because it often involves giving and receiving difficult advice. Alongside the need to move out of silos and seizing opportunities, delegates espoused the importance of being responsive and “getting back to people.”

The conversation closed with reflections on what it means to be a good corporate citizen. For many delegates this manifests in purpose and impact, opportunities in the community and working with new ESG teams to achieve net zero goals.

All our content is free, just register below

As we move to a new and improved digital platform all users need to create a new account. This is very simple and should only take a moment.

Already have an account? Sign In

Already a member? Sign In

This website uses cookies and asks for your personal data to enhance your browsing experience. We are committed to protecting your privacy and ensuring your data is handled in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).