A joint survey by Oliver Wyman and the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) has found that 84% of senior level corporate members consider their treasury role to have expanded over the past five years – and almost the same number expect the trend to continue.
The research revealed that, whilst treasurers are still expected to deliver cost-mitigating benefits such as bringing down borrowing and banking costs, they are increasingly expected to adopt a dual role, offering analytical and strategic input to help drive organisations forward. This can cover acquisitions, capital management, share buy-backs and even product development, leaving respondents with less than a quarter of their time to focus on more traditional roles such as day-to-day treasury operations and managing their teams.
Those surveyed demonstrated clear understanding of the need to adapt. Seven in 10 felt that a greater emphasis on liquidity and cash management is enhancing the strategic role of the corporate treasurer, whilst 63% felt that this was owing to senior management taking more of an interest in liquidity and risk exposure. Almost two fifths of treasurers who took part in the research hold C level positions at their organisation, 55% report financial results directly to company directors or executives and 46% offer internal consultancy services within their organisation. Almost all of those surveyed take primary responsibility for their organisation’s banking relationships.
Elizabeth St-Onge, a partner at Oliver Wyman, said: “Coupled with ensuring effective and efficient day-to-day treasury management, sound strategic input and strong leadership skills are critical for the ‘new’ treasurer in order to manage and optimise the results and impact of the treasury function.”