Success in a new treasury role could boil down to good planning

VIDEO | Starting a new role or entering a new workplace may feel daunting, but approaching it with a conscious plan and structure could get you very far. What challenges can you expect and how do you best prepare yourselves? On stage at the Treasury 360° conference, Elisabeth Elsom of Orkla Food Ingredients and Christian Henriksen of Ambu shared insights – from a treasurer-specific perspective.

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“How did you end up choosing the treasury track?” asked a Mentimeter poll during the session. In answer, 26 out of 34 respondents admitted, “by accident”.

Elsom revealed that she, likewise, “fell” into treasury. Once she was in, however, the trajectory of her career was never guided by chance, but by a careful planning.


Drawing out a plan – even for treasury roles that seemingly come about often by chance – is a strategy that she recommended her fellow accidental treasurers to follow.

As Beusekom pointed out, many organisations have a 100-day policy for onboarding – new employees are given 100 days to familiarise themselves with the firm before they are expected to truly get down to work.

Elsom joined Orkla about a year ago as the firm was preparing to migrate to a new treasury. She described putting up a plan detailing the time frame, responsibilities, and the people involved in the migration. “That was a good exercise to do, just to get a grip on all the tasks that were needed,” she said. Although the tasks were eventually not completed in the order defined in the plan, it made for a good starting point.

For Henriksen, who joined Ambu as Head of Treasury a little over a year ago, setting clear expectations is an important part of preparing for a new role. “Be very clear in the interview process with what is expected so that you can find out if it’s a match,” he advised. “You don’t want to start in a job, and have the expectations be completely off compared to what you want to deliver on.”

In his case, “it was very important that they would listen to what I had to say because I’m coming in as a treasury expert, and that was also what I wanted in that position. If I was just going to execute on their plans, then maybe it would not be the right match. They should be open for changes and for me coming with my expertise”.

The panellists were:
Elisabeth Elsom, Treasurer, Orkla Food Ingredients and
Christian Henriksen, Head of Treasury, Ambu,
Under moderation byJan Dirk van Beusekom, Global Head of Large Corporates and Institutions, Transaction Banking Sales, Danske Bank.


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