My Life in Treasury
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My Life in Treasury: Kathy Hiebert, General Mills

Kathy is familiar to many readers of TMI following the excellent feature she wrote earlier this year on building a global treasury enterprise. In this edition, she describes her career to date and offers advice for those embarking on a treasury career. 

How did you come into treasury and what attracted you to the profession?

Like many people, I came to treasury largely by accident. My first role after college was an accounting position at Cargill, which happened to be part of the treasury team, so my focus was on the group’s financial market activities. I got to learn about the accounting side of treasury, including short- and long-term financing, FX and hedge accounting. During this time, I became increasingly attracted to the idea of working with external counterparties, such as banks, as well as engaging with the business internally. This decision then propelled me on my treasury journey.

How did your career progress through to the role that you hold today?

After four years in treasury accounting, I moved to the treasury operations side, and managed a team of six people responsible for cash management in North America. This was a really interesting and diverse role as it also included liquidity management such as cash pooling. Once I had established a good background in cash management and treasury operations, the opportunity arose to join The Mosaic Company, which was established in 2004 as a merger between Cargill’s Crop Nutrition division and fertilizer company IMC Global. Headquartered in Minneapolis, this was a unique opportunity to build a treasury operation from scratch for an FT-500 company. My primary focus during this time was capital markets, financial risk management, pensions and investment management, which was a valuable complement to the experience I had built up in my previous roles.

I spent seven years at Mosaic and was then seeking to develop my career further, and the role of international treasurer at General Mills came up, where I have worked ever since. This has been a marvelous opportunity to build on my existing skills and expertise in an international context.