Corporate treasurers are pivotal to business survival and prosperity. Based on contributions from 250 executives responsible for hiring corporate treasury staff, our special report examines the hard and soft skills a successful treasurer needs now and in 2025.
- A global survey of 250 executives by Refinitiv examines the key trends in corporate treasury recruitment, including the skill sets required now and in the future.
- Firms want a balance of hard and soft corporate treasury skills, including the ability to communicate well, adapt to change and show critical thinking.
- Corporate treasury skills have evolved from a focus on back-office functions to a position where the treasurer is a strategic advisor to the board.
Refinitiv’s special report — The Treasurer’s Toolkit: Unpacking the DNA of a Successful Treasurer in 2025 — is a ground-breaking piece of research that identifies key trends in corporate treasury recruitment.
It reveals how corporate demands have shaped the skill sets, desired work experience, and typical profiles of the modern corporate treasurer.
This research incorporated the views of 250 chief financial officers, heads of finance and recruitment professionals across five continents, in businesses varying in size, from fewer than 100 employees, to more than 5,000.
The report takes a deep dive into the research, to unpack the DNA of the successful treasurer, now and in the future.
Andrew Hollins, Director of FX and Corporate Treasury Desktop on Eikon at Refinitiv, says: “Corporate treasurers across the board are juggling increased expectations to do more with less.
The main challenge they are encountering is a growing need to balance both hard skills and soft skills — in equal demand.”
The survey identified that the ability to critically assess business risk is now among the most important skills for corporate treasurers in businesses of all sizes, while cash and liquidity management is seen as a key skill for those in mega-businesses with turnovers of more than US$10 billion.
Corporate treasurers in all business sizes are also expected to have a good grasp of capital structuring, reporting, investment management and an appreciation of efficient tax-planning.
More interestingly, a decade ago, soft skills such as versatility, creativity and empathy were not at all in demand by corporations, but today’s corporate treasurer is expected to be an excellent communicator, with an exceptional ability to adapt to change, to be resourceful, and to show critical thinking.
Ritu Singh, Market Development lead for Corporate Treasury in Europe at Refinitiv, adds: “In the aftermath of the financial crisis, corporate treasury teams were thrust into the spotlight when businesses prioritized cash flow as banks’ appetites to lend waned.
“Since 2008, the role of the corporate treasurer has evolved from that of a diligent back-office function, to increasingly become more of a strategic advisor to the board.
Today’s corporate treasurers have a much broader remit and the subsequent onslaught of regulations such as Basel III, Dodd Frank, MiFID II and the International Accounting Standards have ensured that the treasurer now plays a critical role in ensuring the survival, and success, of businesses.”
Key corporate treasury skills
To sustain this advisory relationship with senior stakeholders and further develop as a strategic lead in the global competitive business landscape, corporate treasurers must understand the vital skills and relevant experiences that will not only help propel their careers but differentiate them from others in the market.
The report surveyed respondents from the transportation, financial services, consumer and retail, energy and utilities, FMCG, healthcare, pharma, biotech, hospitality, technology, and media industries.
Other key insights that the research uncovered include:
- Developing better relationships with internal stakeholders ranked #1 in a list of actions corporate treasurers can take to better add value to their organizations.
- Ethical finance ranked #1 in the most desirable areas of work experience for corporate treasury candidates to possess.
- Seventy-eight percent of respondents agreed that corporate treasurers across the world are now expected to do more with less.
- Forty-one percent of respondents felt that political uncertainty has been a key driver in making the role of the corporate treasurer more strategic.
Discover the future of corporate treasury with Refinitiv’s The Treasurer’s Toolkit: Unpacking the DNA of a Successful Treasurer in 2025