With enough energy to light up the Eiffel Tower, Anne Catherine Sailley is busy continuously improving the Steelcase treasury function – yet still finds time to co-head the EACT’s cyber security working group and organise charitable missions in India. In this interview, she shares some great career advice and explains how she draws on her experience of raising horses to harness the creative power of her treasury team.
How did you come into treasury and what attracted you to the profession?
I graduated from a French Business and Management School, having specialised in finance. My career began in earnest with KPMG Audit as an external auditor. This was a great fit for me because I like working on process improvement and bringing added value to corporates. I spent most of my time working for international groups, assessing internal controls, and writing recommendations.
Then, after four years at KPMG (18 years ago now!), I joined Steelcase and was tasked with creating the Internal Audit department in EMEA. One of the first challenges was to demonstrate the usefulness and added value provided by this new department. Fortunately, I won over the support of operations and then moved from a control role to a support one.
Thanks to my audit experience, I was able to progress on to a more operational finance role which involved consolidation, controlling, industrial reporting and analysis; but always with the same objective in mind: continuous improvement of existing processes. With that same goal, I then joined the treasury team.