Karen Van den Driessche is looking for drivers on the bus, not passengers when she is recruiting for her team. The right attitude, common sense and attention to detail are also high on her priority list. “Commit yourself,” she advises, “and you will soon see that the treasury profession is a wonderful thing.”
How did you come into treasury and what attracted you to the profession?
I came into treasury by accident. I joined Monsanto as credit and collection agent at the time when they were spinning off part of the organisation. As I had worked in a bank before, they asked if I was interested in taking on the treasury role for the EMEA organisation in the spin-off, Solutia. I went to a EuroFinance conference to get an idea about what treasury was, liked what I heard and decided to take the opportunity and have never regretted that decision.
How has your career progressed through to the role that you hold today?
I am proud of my accomplishments and believe I have progressed at a good pace throughout my career. Over time, I have taken on different, more challenging projects and roles and responsibilities. I have had the opportunity to work for a number of interesting, well-known companies, each with their cultures and focuses, which has given me exposure to a variety of industries.
In addition, being voted in as the chair of the Association of Corporate Treasurers in Belgium (ATEB), and therefore being the face of corporate treasurers in Belgium, is testimony to the trust my peers have put in me to officially represent the profession internally within the treasury community and externally to society and stakeholders. That trust is built on a number of factors: my knowledge of the treasury profession and challenges faced by treasurers, my ability to bring different partners together to work on defining solutions, and my ability to look beyond today and into the future fuelled by passion, enthusiasm and leadership.