We spoke to Simon Neville, about his successful career at the top of the treasury industry.
Simon recently finished assignments for some of the worlds largest global organisations, which included a Treasury Director role at Tesco's.
Find out more about Simon's career below and what it takes to make it as a treasury professional.
My most recent assignment was as Global Treasurer for CEVA, a private equity backed and highly leveraged international logistics group with revenues of €7bn.
At CEVA I worked on a major debt for equity exchange, a couple of bond refinancings, and several working capital management issues, while also doing the day job of managing the operational treasury function for a large complex group with regional teams in Amsterdam, Singapore and Houston. Prior to this I was interim Treasury Director for 18 months at Tesco.
In my experience, a typical Group Treasurer’s day tends to split down into operational treasury management and the related “live” decisions that need to be made, along with more structured tasks such as developing the team, improving systems, reports and controls or meetings with the treasury, tax and other finance and commercial teams, banks and credit rating agencies.
A sense of humour helps as as treasurer you are very much in the public firing line of corporate activity...
At the level I operate there has so far been the requirement to fully commit for at least an initial 6 month period. The key advantage of working across several interim roles and industries is that you get to test your skills in challenging situations that may also require immediate actions to be taken.
It is often the case that you will be helping a team manage through a period of transition or change. To do that effectively you have to know what you’re doing, keep focused and execute to a high standard.
I’d probably say flexibility, but the opposite side to that coin is of course less certainty.
I started off as an accountant and moved into the field of treasury while at Sainsbury’s. Then after three years leading TOTAL’s UK treasury function, I was lucky enough to be offered a role in Hong Kong as Group Treasurer with Jardine Matheson and subsequently moved to Australia as CFO of their A$4 billion retail arm before returning to the UK after the Sydney Olympics. In 2002 I joined a former Jardine CFO at Prebon (a global inter dealer broker) and in 2008 moved into private equity. Since 2010 I have worked on senior level contracts, and I am also a non-executive Director at Affinity Sutton, a residential housing group with £1+ billion of property under management.
You need to be experienced, professional, and resilient as you are often either filling a void or going into a difficult corporate situation where rapid actions may be required.
It’s important to have a 'complete set of tools'. By that I mean strong technical skills, most likely gained through the examinations of the ACT and the professional accountancy bodies, and refreshed with adequate CPD, good interpersonal skills so you effectively represent the company you work for, and experience in different industries and with a wide range of treasury products (i.e. cash and working capital management, leasing, derivatives, bank and bond debt, insurance, equity, bank and credit rating relationship management).
Finally, a sense of humour helps - as a treasurer you are very much in the public firing line of corporate activity, be it a bond issue, refinancing, acquisition or just being prepared for the next crisis!
5 expert tips for your next accounting job interview
Are you looking to make your next move in the accountancy industry? We’ve asked our accountancy and finance recruitment experts for their top tips to help you shine in your next interview… If you’re looking to land your next accountancy role, preparing for your next interview can be a daunting proceRead More
4 important interim trends for CFOs
The modern CFO is increasingly involved in the hiring process. Hence, it is important to know what is going on in the operational interim management market. We set out the most important trends. Trend 1: The backfill method A trend we are seeing a lot of now, is the so-called backfill method. TraditRead More
Five career paths for newly qualified accountants
If you are a newly-qualified accountant, now is a good time to consider your career options and you have a number of options available to you. “As a newly-qualified accountant, understanding the different career paths available and identifying which area your skills set is most suited to can help whRead More
Come join our global team of creative thinkers, problem solvers and game changers. We offer accelerated career progression, a dynamic culture and expert training.