Value of Group Treasurer rising fast as firms fight to turn round finances

10th September 2020

By John Wakeford

Having either worked in – or headhunted for – senior accountancy and treasury roles for more than 30 years, I can understand why their value is rising fast in such difficult economic conditions.

As a qualified accountant and corporate treasurer of a certain vintage, I have worked with four FTSE 100 plcs, including Kingfisher and ICI, and this is the third major UK recession I have helped steer a business through.

So I have a particular insight into the even greater importance of the company treasurer at a time organisations up and down the country are literally fighting for survival.

He/she has key relationships with lenders and knows exactly when and how to approach them about refinancing deals. A company without a good treasurer is like a ship without an experienced navigator – and I have seen many hit the rocks.

All firms are currently battling to strengthen their balance sheets, improve cashflow and address their long-term funding position.

So it is of no surprise to me that we are currently experiencing constant demand in the northern region – Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle – for this specialist executive finance talent.

The call is not only for group treasurers, but also direct reports including head of treasury and more bespoke roles such as those in liquidity management, asset and liability management, and balance sheet management.

We already support many northern based plcs, including Arriva, Drax and Kelda, financial services plcs, building societies and start-ups, and have a strong network of treasury professionals on permanent and interim contracts.

David Gregg, Director of Corporate Finance at Kelda Group, said: “I’ve known John for more than 30 years and he got in touch with me two years ago about the opportunity at Kelda for the position I now hold.

“When I needed to recruit a deputy treasurer I naturally asked John to conduct the search and, along with his excellent team, he successfully hired a candidate living in London who was keen to relocate to Leeds.

“Having myself been based in Surrey, it has been great to see from my time in Yorkshire that it has significant growth and opportunities in treasury across both PLCs and financial services.

“I would certainly agree with John that talented treasurers, including those in the South/South-East, should consider looking north as there are lots of excellent treasury roles available up here.”

So my message is clear: any organisation looking for a treasury team or individuals looking at their treasury career options, please get in touch and we can discuss how we can support you.

John Wakeford is a Founding Partner at HW Global Talent Partner, is ACT qualified and heads the Treasury team. Contact him at johnw@hwglobalpartner.com or on +44 (0) 113 243 2004.