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CTP: The Shifting Landscape of Treasury

  • By Brooke Ballenger
  • Published: 4/5/2021

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A global symbol of excellence, the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) designation sets the standard in the treasury profession. Earning the CTP signifies that you have demonstrated the knowledge and skills required to effectively execute critical functions related to corporate liquidity, capital and risk management.

AFP recently caught up with Aziz Samji, CTP, senior consultant of Capital Markets and Corporate Liquidity at Financial Information Services Inc., to discuss his decision to earn the CTP, and how it has affected his life and career journey.

AFP: How did you get your start in treasury?

After graduating from the Finance Honors program at York University in Toronto, I worked in the risk management department of TD Securities’ investment banking division. As per the nature of the role, I faced corporate treasuries and assessed counterparty risk. After moving to the U.S., I landed a role managing foreign currency risk for a global money transfer company. That role sprouted a passion in me for treasury, and since then, I have dabbled in various positions across the treasury realm.

AFP: What are two or three core aspects of your day-to-day job?

I manage large scale global treasury and risk management system implementations,Aziz focusing on fintech strategies, global liquidity and capital markets solutions. In other words, I provide consultation to treasury departments in respect to best practices and assist them in architecting processes that would enable them to get the most out of their resources.   

AFP: What is something that you would like to do in the future in treasury?

I aspire to continue working for global organizations that require expertise and experience dealing with complex challenges in risk management, capital structure optimization and treasury transformation.

Throughout my career, I had the opportunity to revamp the entire foreign currency risk management program for global organizations and oversaw the enterprises’ foreign currency balance sheet, cash flow and net investment risk program. I also had the opportunity to develop strategies for interest rate risk management and learn how to best match the interest rate volatility with operating profit volatility. I found myself quite enthralled with both of these risk management functions of capital markets and I hope to get the opportunity to do it again. 

AFP: Are there certain skills or training that help you in what you do now?

Both a hands-on experience and good fundamental understanding of finance is imperative to succeed in treasury. The landscape is constantly shifting, and treasury must navigate and quickly adapt in order to mitigate prevailing regulatory, financial or operational risk. Just in the recent past, treasuries around the world have faced record low treasury yields, rise of crypto-currencies, departure from LIBOR to SOFR and constant evolution in technology that impacts core treasury functions. Therefore, there is always a constant demand for continuous learning.

AFP: What skill are most important to you to add over the next couple of years?

I do not think you can ever be perfect when it comes to leadership and people management skills. In order to be an effective leader, you have to constantly learn and improve. It is valuable to always assess your skills and get feedback from peers. It is also important to stay agile and connected with the treasury community because that allows you to continuously expand your knowledge; AFP gives you the platform to do that. 

AFP: What is the most critical treasury issue you are facing today, and can you share your approach to it?

The most critical issue that is quite common to many treasury professionals is the undertaking to transform the outdated and much-needed treasury infrastructure. It is important that the company stays agile and adopt a wholesome approach when implementing a new solution. The treasury systems and processes need to be engineered strategically and with a long-term approach in mind. 

AFP: Why did you decide to earn the CTP?

The CTP is vital for successful treasury professionals to have a comprehensive understanding of the entwinement between different areas of treasury. CTP curriculum provides the opportunity to build a solid foundation that covers all aspects of treasury. While my treasury career started in capital markets, I was keen on learning about other areas, as well. I was passionate about gaining hands-on experience and found that the CTP helped me identify what part of treasury I wanted to be more involved in.

AFP: How has the CTP credential impacted your life/career?

CTP certification has enabled me to become the factotum of my organization’s treasury department. It has also provided me with the opportunity to continue learning about the new development and best practices from my peer group.

AFP: Would you recommend the CTP to others? Why?

I would recommend the CTP to treasury professionals who are currently in treasury and would like to further expand their understanding of different areas of treasury, as well as to professionals who aspire to be part of treasury. 

Learn more about the Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) designation.

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