are still accounting and economics
majors, reports Chris Kearney,
partner and practice leader at
professional services firm Tatum.
Treasury competency now
emphasizes comfort with technology and greater analytical skills.
IT specialists can be cross-trained
and dedicated to treasury, but
they seldom become a company’s
treasurer, Kearney notes.
In Honeywell’s large treasury,
the emphasis is on hiring people
based on ambition, attitude and
high general ability and letting
them “evolve into functional experts,” says treasurer John Tus.
The ladder up is not built exclu-
sively on technical expertise, Tus
points out. “As you advance, your
role changes from contributor to
leader, and your success depends
more and more on the perfor-
mance of people under you.”
Because today’s treasuries need
more managers than workers,
there’s a premium on presentation
“You have to be able to talk
to the business units, to senior
management or even the board,
to investors, to trading partners,”
AFP’s Kalish says. “Inarticulate
people don’t inspire confidence.”
Treasury employees are joining
Toastmaster clubs and asking their
communications people for help
improving their speaking skills or
even getting over a fear of public
speaking, he reports.
Project management skills are
also critical, but “that is tough to
teach,” Kalish observes. “You have
to find a mentor and then get your
hands dirty doing it.”
Project management requires
organization and discipline but
also people skills, he notes. “You
need to get buy-in from people
who don’t work for treasury or
Those looking for an example
of the role of project management
skills should consider Axel Marti-
nez, Google’s assistant treasurer.
From Honduras and the South
Bronx, Martinez went to Columbia
University and then to Harvard for
his M.B.A. He joined Merrill Lynch
as an investment banker in 2000.
treasurers are starting to realize that their survival depends
on math skills and sophisticated, data-based analysis of their
exposures and opportunities. —BRADLEY UNIVERSITY’S HORVATH
tions at Chase Manhattan.
Most successful investment
bankers weren’t looking for greener pastures in 2003 but Martinez
was, and joined the financial planning and analysis department at a
young, still-private Google.
“I was never transaction-driven,” he notes. “To me, what was
most interesting was what could
happen after the deal closed.”
Martinez says he does not recall
whether he took a pay cut, but admits he had no idea the company
would be so successful.
In 2004, Google’s controller
needed someone to rebuild the
company’s chart of accounts and
drafted Martinez. It was a tough
project but Martinez’s flawless
execution won him a reputation as
a shrewd project manager.
The head of sales finance re-
cruited Martinez to set up sales
operations in emerging markets,
and he became the financial point
man for Google’s expansion into
commercial paper program. He
designed a state-of-the-art foreign
exchange management and hedg-
ing program, built a financing pro-
gram for Google’s ad customers
and set up investment portfolios
for renewable energy holdings
and low-income housing. He over-
hauled and rationalized Google’s