What is a Treasury Specialist?
A Treasury Specialist provides treasury advice on foreign exchange and interest rates through spots, forwards and options to clients and Wealth Specialists such as Personal Bankers, Priority Bankers, Private Bankers, Wealth Managers and Investment Advisors.
(The Treasury Specialist can also be part of a corporate banking team that provides advice to corporate clients)
The Treasury Specialist keeps track of the latest financial news, foreign exchange rates, interbank rates, central bank rates, interest rates movements, interest rate hike/cut, gold prices, oil prices, metals & commodities, major economic indicators and material financial market movements.
What does Treasury mean?
In the olden days, Treasury (treasures) refers to the wealth of the kingdom or nation. Today, Treasury could be referred to the countries’ monetary assets or influence (such as the Central Banks and Reserves), or a bank’s Central Treasury which is used to managed the Bank’s Assets and Liabilities. In both cases, the responsibility to manage the assets is huge. Thus, it is the function of Treasury to keep tab on major economic drivers such as foreign rates, interests rates and asset prices such as bonds & equities.
With an increasing wealthy middle income, the expertise of Treasury is now widely available to wealth management clients in most banks.
What does a Treasury Specialist do?
The Treasury Specialist monitors, advices and executes transactions on foreign exchange rates, interest rates and financial derivatives. These are important rates & financial instruments to a proper functioning assets & portfolio. This enables a more predictable and favourable foreign exchange rate and interest rates in relation to the portfolio.
If China increases interest rates today, the foreign exchange rates and interbank rates would change. The daily Foreign Exchange (Forex) market is $5.2 trillion in 2015 and such an increase would impact profits and losses greatly.
The Treasury Advisor is able to quickly understand and interpret the movements, and provide advice and propose execution plans to long or short (buy or sell) the currencies or the interest rates.
What are the products a Treasury Specialist work on?
The Treasury Specialist works on Foreign Exchange, Interest Rates and Gold via spots, forwards and options transactions.
Common Products under a Treasury Specialist:
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As bonds are closely inter-linked to interest rates, a Treasury Specialist may at times need to provide advisory and execution on bond transactions. Some financial institutions may also place Futures, Equities and Structured Products under the responsibility of a Treasury Specialist.
What are the Foreign Exchange rates to monitor?
The Exchange rates are typically divided into Major Currencies, Minor Currencies and the country of domicile. Major currencies include USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CHF, CAD AUD and NZD. These are the most watched and traded currencies.
Example of Major Currency Pairs:
Since China unpegged Chinese Yuan (CNY) to USD in 2005, CNY has become a major currency to watch. Gold (XAU) and sometimes Silver and Oil would also be closely watched.
The currencies being monitored are also influenced by the country of domicile. For example, if you are in Singapore, USDSGD would be an important pairing. If you are in Hong Kong, USDHKD would be important.
Why is Gold an important Foreign Exchange?
XAUUSD or Gold to USD price is important as Gold is a cash equivalent, highly liquid and the preferred storage of wealth & money.
Who are the people a Treasury Specialist works with?
The Treasury Specialist typically reports to the Head of Treasury. and work clients and Wealth Specialists such as Personal Bankers, Priority Bankers, Private Bankers, Wealth Managers, Investment Advisors.
They also meet Chief Investment Officers, Chief Economists, Heads of Dealing, Trading, Equities, Fixed Income and Commodities for conferences, investment insights & internal and external policies.
What is the career progression for a Treasury Specialist?
A Treasury Specialist can continue to be a Treasury Specialist constantly upgrading his/her knowledge. Since Wealth Management is an important service in mass market, affluent market and high net worth market, a Treasury Specialist can also move to different client segments to offer different investment advice to clients.
The Treasury Specialist can also take on larger responsibility by becoming the Head of Treasury, overseeing a team of Treasury Specialists and coordinating clients & sales feedbacks, product developments and marketing activities. There’s also opportunities to move into specialist products such as Investment Advisory, Equities, Fixed Income, Funds, Structured Products, Portfolio Management and less investment oriented roles such as Bancassurance, Credit and Estate Advisory.
The Treasury Specialist can also become Relationship Managers (Personal Bankers, Priority Bankers, Private Bankers) and non-banking Wealth Managers in Independent Financial Advisory Firms.