Associate Director, Guy Middleton presents his latest market report...
The past quarter has seen the UK move out of lockdown (hopefully for the last time!) with a gradual easing of restrictions, and a return to some kind of normality. With confidence returning, at least in some sectors, different companies are adopting different approaches to how they adjust to the post pandemic environment, with many companies already encouraging their employees to return to the office for at least part of the week, and many more planning to do so from 19th July.
We have seen a gradual, but notable increase in the number of treasury jobs being recruited since Easter. Many of these jobs have been at Analyst and Manager level, but pleasingly, there has also been some activity at more senior levels, with a number of Senior Manager and Deputy Treasurer roles coming to the market, as well as some Group Treasurer opportunities.
We are still seeing a number of smaller, growing companies investing in specialist treasury expertise for the first time, typically at treasury manager level. And with trading conditions for many businesses continuing to improve, and company wide recruitment freezes being lifted, we have also seen an increase in the hiring of more junior treasury resource in recent months in some of the larger companies and banks.
Whether fuelled by the need for actionable data, the mandate to leverage a lean workforce, or the realities of a continued work-from-home environment, increased treasury automation continues to be a focus for many treasury departments. As the ability to recruit returns, many hiring managers have been keen to secure individuals with expertise in this area.
Historically, this has led to opportunities for treasury systems specialists operating in the interim market, but much of this recent recruitment has focused on ensuring that treasury departments possess this expertise on a permanent basis.
With an end of year deadline, many corporate finance and treasury teams are now actively preparing their organisations for the LIBOR transition, which has led to some demand, particularly within larger companies, for individuals with expertise in treasury documentation.
Many companies are carrying much larger levels of debt than they had before the COVID-19 pandemic, which may include borrowings from the various government schemes offered to companies. There has, understandably, been significant focus on how this debt needs to be restructured going forward. This increased focus on debt management has resulted in a number of long term funding related opportunities at all levels coming to the market.
The vast majority of treasury recruitment that has taken place has been on a permanent basis, with the interim treasury market remaining relatively quiet. This is almost certainly due to the changes to IR35 that became effective from 1st April. As a result, when treasury departments have required shorter term resource, there has been a strong preference to recruit on a fixed term contract basis.
As the treasury recruitment market opens up further, we will almost certainly see an increase in the number of interim opportunities coming to the market, although for most of these roles, interim workers are unlikely to be able to offer their services through a Limited company.
Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies in general, have been making the headlines on almost a daily basis in recent months, but opinions remain divided as to whether they have a place in the corporate world. My series of blogs on the rise of cryptocurrencies explores both sides of the argument.
Guy Middleton is a Treasury Associate Director at Harvey John.
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