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Survey: Treasury Has Assumed a More Strategic Role

  • By Staff Writers
  • Published: 5/22/2017

Treasurers are increasingly playing a more strategic role and assuming a wider range of responsibilities, including investor relations, insurance risk management, supply chain management, and real estate, according to new research from AFP. This expansion of duties illustrates the increasingly vital role that treasurers play in supporting senior executives.

According to the 2017 AFP Strategic Role of Treasury Survey, supported by Marsh & McLennan Companies, 80 percent of respondents revealed that over the past three years, treasury has played a more strategic role at their organizations. Additionally, 80 percent believe the role of the treasury function will continue to grow and become even more strategic. The results were drawn from nearly 350 treasury and finance executives.

“With the extreme uncertainty and volatility in the economy, senior executives and boards increasingly demand more actionable insights from treasurers, at a faster rate than ever before, and treasurers have stepped up to the challenge,” said Jim Kaitz, president and chief executive of AFP. “It’s up to treasurers to maintain their focus on liquidity management, forecasting and financial risk management, while also fulfilling a broader mandate to serve as strategic advisors to their organizations.”

Other key findings:

  • 73 percent of respondents cite the close attention paid by senior leadership and the board to their organization’s liquidity and risk exposure as the primary reason why treasury plays a more strategic role today.
  • 64 percent cite cash management and forecasting as key areas of focus for their treasury departments over the next three years.
  • 63 percent measure treasury’s success by its ability to reduce borrowing costs, while 62 percent gauge the function’s performance by its ability to achieve liquidity targets.

“As leanly staffed treasury departments take on a wider span of responsibilities, there is a greater opportunity for banks and others serving treasurers to provide robust insights, guidance and tools to help corporate treasurers excel at their traditional and expanding roles,” said Elizabeth St-Onge, partner, Oliver Wyman, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies.

The results were drawn from nearly 350 treasury and finance executives. Full results are available at

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