After nine years in the banking industry, Colin Ho, CTP was ready to move on to his next career development challenge. What he came to discover is that he’s most passionate about taking on complex commercial challenges such as managing strategic liquidity requirements, financial risk management across foreign exchange, interest rate and other market risks and securitization financing. “These are tasks that ask us to exercise judgment and accountability for financial operations within a company,” said Colin. “So, I made the move from banking to a field where I could put my skills to the test: corporate treasury.”
Today, Colin uses his experience in banking and corporate treasury, along with a demonstrated track record in the fintech, energy and infrastructure industries, to lead his team as director and head of Treasury for Funding Societies Singapore. In his current position, Colin manages the day-to-day financial operations of the company including working with the business to facilitate overall liquidity requirements. He also spends a significant amount of his time managing strategic projects such as kickstarting the organization’s exploration of treasury management systems, working with data and technology teams for our securitization activities, and progressing the various debt and structured finance transactions.
From banking to commercial treasury
When asked what skills he feels best enable him to meet these challenges, Colin said, “Being able to clearly understand the drivers for firm value and accurately articulate the costs and risks associated with these drivers is critical.” He credits a combination of formal treasury training, “such as the CTP,” together with continuously applying a growth mindset to work experiences for his success.
The digitalization of treasuryDigitalization was Colin’s immediate answer when asked about the most critical treasury issue he’s facing today. “The ability to digitalize treasury processes so they quickly and efficiently synthesize financial data accurately and in a timely manner for decision-making is critical to our success as we move into the future of treasury,” said Colin.
As the head of treasury within Southeast Asia’s leading digital lending fintech, having group cash positions, consolidated foreign exchange exposures and up to date and accurate funds transfer pricing analysis are key to ensuring their business is able to achieve its commercial outcomes. To achieve this, Colin takes it “step by step.” His team is in the midst of moving to a treasury management system, and, along with that, they are developing policies and procedures that fit their purpose and allow the business to thrive and manage risks dynamically. “We remain open to the latest technology trends and developments to adjust and take in new ideas as we progress,” said Colin.
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What his future in treasury looks likeTechnology is on Colin’s mind in terms of upskilling his personal skill set and upward mobility in general within the field of corporate treasury. “Due to advances in technology, traditional industry boundaries will continue to be less obvious over time,” said Colin. “Being able to understand the digital landscape, not just for the financial sector but also in terms of the broader trends within the consumer and non-finance sectors is critical to one’s career growth.”
He would also like to be able to develop a corporate treasury that is able to effectively integrate technology into all its activities — to move from a treasury management system to incorporation of best-in-class financial technology innovations such as payments/banking as a service. “Technology is going to, or rather is, changing our field for the better, and we need to evolve with it,” said Colin.
The industry leading standardColin earned AFP’s Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) designation this year. “It is an industry leading standard in formal treasury training, covering all aspects of treasury work from operations to strategic financing and risk management frameworks,” said Colin. “Being part of the global and local CTP network is also very useful for sharing best practices with like-minded individuals and advancing the skills and reputation of the treasury profession.”
What Colin said the CTP has done for his career is to allow him to evidence his treasury skills, and related financial skills and experience, via a formal accreditation. He feels that his future career development options have been greatly enhanced along with providing him with a better understanding of treasury management in the global context and giving him the knowledge and verification of his skills to make him of “greater value as a strategic partner to the business and CFO.”
Would he recommend the CTP to others? “Yes!” said Colin. “For persons new to treasury this is a great foundation to help them understand the treasury landscape and get a sense of the details and considerations that go into making a great treasurer. For experienced treasury professionals, it helps to provide a formal framework around their practical work experience and gives new learnings and insights into the treasury work we do every day.”
Learn more about the corporate treasury profession through original content and resources available only on AFP’s website. You can also get started on your journey to earning the CTP here.