How did you start out in treasury?
My first job was in credit collections. The story goes that out of a whole group of candidates of which none where a direct fit with the job, I was chosen mostly because they liked my name! As it turned out, the role wasn’t for me either, but I got my foot in the door and I’ve now been with the company for 25 years.
After working in credit collections, I moved to cash management for one of our divisions, rising to run the cash management programme for MTV Networks, in addition to consolidating cash flow, capital expenses and managing cash application. In 2006, our company split (CBS and Viacom have since re-merged) and I landed in treasury at Viacom. I was presented with a good opportunity to lead Domestic Cash Management for Corporate Treasury.
In many ways my career has been shaped by my willingness to sit along for the ride, and it’s been a good one. I particularly love the management support I receive to originate and implement projects to make treasury more efficient.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I really enjoy treasury operations. It comes down to figuring out puzzles and making things work and it’s a niche where I have really found my place. I would say my arrival in treasury was accidental. Unlike accounting, there is no college class for treasury, and I always avoided accounting anyway as I don’t particularly like numbers. Sure, there are lots of numbers in treasury, but the focus is on problem solving and accomplishing something rather than putting numbers together to tell a story, compile a data set or reconcile a bank account.
Effecting change is really important to me and in this role, I can make real changes that are visible. Rather than complaining something is wrong or not working, and being unable to do anything about it, I am empowered and supported by management to fix problems. I have been fortunate to work with people who believe in me. The ability to create efficiency while managing controls is unique to an operations team, payables and accounts receivables.