You have to be bulletproof to succeed in treasury, as well as being not only a Jack of all trades but a master of them all, according to Lisa Dukes. But if you can view your department as a balloon rather than a ladder, your roles will expand according to your knowledge and experience, and you will never have a boring day at the office.
How did you come into treasury and what attracted you to the profession?
I qualified as an accountant at a very young age and quickly decided the life of an auditor wasn’t for me. As a newly qualified accountant I sought out the more niche and interesting roles and spent time across mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and captive management in the UK and the Cayman Islands.
It was in Cayman that I became interested in treasury, although studying with the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT) at that time was too logistically challenging for me. But when I moved back to the UK, I targeted a role that had elements of treasury within it and became hooked. I later moved to a pure treasury and corporate finance focused role at Drax and have never looked back. For me, the attraction of treasury is the fast-paced complexity and variety, which means you know you are making a difference, adding value and paving the way for the future rather than reporting in the past. I can get bored easily and treasury is anything but boring.
How has your career progressed through to the role that you hold today?
I joined Drax in 2009 as a treasury analyst and have been very fortunate to see treasury from every angle in an ever-changing, complex business. As the team grew from just two or three people to 10 or more, I have been able to shape the department, which now offers exposure to a broad array of treasury and corporate finance challenges, and grow with it. I often refer to treasury as a balloon rather than a ladder because each role will expand with gained knowledge and experience – enabling you, over time, to build on the foundations and master everything from the day-to-day detail to the complex structuring.