CARVE OUT YOUR OWN PATH
Charley Edwards has risen to the rank of assistant treasurer at publishing and exhibitions group Informa, but her journey has been an interesting and inspiring one which has involved a great deal of tenacity and a commitment to upskilling through professional treasury qualifications. Charley's efforts have been rewarded not just in her career progression though; the ACT has named her as a One to Watch in 2016.
“Like a lot of my peers, I fell into treasury", says Charley. "I did not do a finance-related degree, so I started from scratch as a money markets dealer at the Coventry Building Society." She was soon hooked, and an 18-month, ground-up education in the building society’s treasury operation followed.
Next up for Charley was a move to National Express, where she was a treasury analyst for just under two years. She spent the next three years at Tesco, first as a treasury analyst, then treasury dealer, and finally as front-office manager. Her time at the retail giant was, she says, an educational experience. Although the difficulties were stark – with trading losses and write- downs coming in at over £6bn – it provided challenges of the right sort. “Working through the difficulties in the face of tough trading conditions was extremely interesting and I learned a great deal,” she says.
It was during the course of her first role at Coventry Building Society that Charley began studying ACT qualifications, first the AMCT, then finally gaining the MCT in 2015 when working at Tesco. The MCT in particular has made a huge difference to her career, Charley believes:
It is very highly regarded, and the fact that I was studying for the MCT while applying for my current role put me in a stronger position in that I could talk more readily about strategic issues. It has helped me gain a more cohesive view of the business and the way that all areas interlink.
As Informa’s assistant treasurer, Charley leads on cash management and is responsible for banking relationships. In common with many other cash managers currently, she is working to replace RBS as core banking partner in Europe, with a remit to streamline, modernise and automate as much operational banking as possible. On top of this, she also provides support on the transaction side.
Ultimately for Charley, communication is key in treasury. “You have so many internal and external counterparts to work with and many projects you will be involved in are cross-departmental.” Indeed, this is something Charley excels at, as Informa’s Director of Treasury Michelle Dovey is keen to stress. “Charley brings passion and enthusiasm to any team, together with a high intellect teamed with tenacity, which means that she operates at the top level in whatever she does. I have no doubt that she is a future group treasurer.”