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Perspectives – Andrew Woods – MD SunGard AvantGard

Managing Director, Treasury Solutions, SunGard AvantGardAndrew

Woods is MCT qualified and has been successful in senior treasury positions in a number of major corporations including Guinness, Kvaerner and Cable & Wireless. In addition to his treasury expertise, Andrew has an impressive record in treasury technology solutions and is now responsible for product strategy for SunGard’s suite of treasury solutions. In this article, Andrew talks about his career, how his experience in corporate treasury has benefitted his role at SunGard and his advice for other treasury professionals considering a similar career move.

I studied Business Studies at college, sponsored by General Electric. When I left, I joined the treasury department at GE, although it was my intention to move into accounting - I never made the move however, and ended up working in GE’s treasury for 18 months. I then joined Guinness where I worked in treasury for six years, initially as treasury assistant but as treasury controller by the time I left. We had been using the Econintel treasury system which we decided to replace. Having conducted a selection project, we licensed Richmond Software (now part of Wall Street Systems) and once we’d implemented the system, I decided to move to Richmond Software. At that time, it was unusual to move from a corporate treasury to a systems supplier as vendors were still more focused on delivering software than the associated services which are now so important. This is less the case today as vendors now prize the skills that treasury professionals bring to their business.

Much of the success of my roles is in influencing a very diverse set of individuals.

I moved from Richmond to TNT, where we selected and implemented Quantum before it was acquired by the Dutch postal service, and I decided not to make the move to the Netherlands. I went to the Norwegian company Kvaerner, whose treasury was based in London following the acquisition of Trafalgar House, and worked as their Dealing Manager. One of the reasons I got the job there was that I had experience with Quantum, which they had recently licensed as their treasury management system. We used to actively manage the exposures from our internal subsidiaries and had an important role in contributing to the company’s profits without increasing our exposures.