Nadiia Matskevych is Business Treasurer at Akzo Nobel. In addition to her day-to-day work, she wants to further enrich the association as a DACT board member. Nadiia’s nomination will be ratified at the General Assembly in April 2023.
Meet Nadiia and discover what makes the treasury profession so interesting to her.
How did you get into the treasury profession?
Following 10 years of engagement in a variety of FP&A and controller roles in 4 different companies and 4 countries, in June 2021 I moved to the treasury role, aiming to become a more all-round finance professional and an effective business partner.
While working as a Senior Controller in a finance function and having the Head of Treasury as one of my main stakeholders, I was always puzzled how this team was able to achieve all their targets no matter how challenging these were. At the same time, the team was famous for great teamwork and exceptionally low turnover. Following the closure of the Arnhem office in 2021 and the centralisation of the Treasury team in our headquarters in Amsterdam, I was presented with an opportunity to join the Business Treasury team, which I gladly did.
What are your main treasury tasks?
As part of the Business Treasury team, I am responsible for corporate finance, cash management and trade finance. The main focus I have today is cash flow forecasting, especially for challenging markets such as Argentina, Turkey, and Sri-Lanka.
It is worth mentioning that there is no typical workday as the scope of this role consists of quite diverse topics. For instance, my day can start with reviewing cash positions of all entities and identifying if there are any businesses “in need”; then follows alignment with Tax and Accounting teams to figure out the best funding mix required to ensure sufficient finance is available for operating and other activities in the country following the most recent M&A; finally it can end with a monthly full-team meeting on foreign exchange (FX) results and reviewing the improvement actions we have taken on managing FX. In addition to our normal tasks, we constantly brainstorm within the team how to optimise/simplify current processes and upgrade the systems.
What appeals to you about treasury?
I love the diversity of the work and the variety of stakeholders I have to manage!
The breadth which this Business Treasury role covers and the skills and experience you gain are difficult to compare with any other finance role. In treasury, your responsibilities cover a wide area from long-term investments and capital structure to working capital management and daily liquidity.
Stakeholder management is another area where I can contribute as an individual. By utilising and developing my communication skills with external counterparties (e.g., the banks, external providers) and internal departments (i.e., Tax, Accounting, Commercial, Procurement), I have learnt how to provide clear guidance and support, and as a result I can see my ideas being implemented and bringing benefits to the company. For a results-oriented person like me, this feeling is immensely satisfying!
What challenge in your treasury career has impressed you most?
Every new project in treasury brings learning and development, but my absolute highlight so far was my involvement in M&A projects (both due diligence and integration of the companies acquired).
Every M&A project requires effective alignment with other workstreams and external advisors, proper planning and smooth implementation. In AkzoNobel, the Treasury team is always brought into the deal planning from the beginning and has a chance to play a strategic business partner role, from identifying optimal sourcing of financing to integrating treasury systems and processes into an existing AkzoNobel environment and establishing key banking relationships.
Why is treasury such an interesting field?
When working in treasury, step by step you develop a thorough understanding of the risks and opportunities which the capital and money markets offer to the company, and based on this knowledge you can help with managing the risks and funding the business effectively. It gives you a more holistic view on the financials of the company. In my previous controller roles, the focus was quite often on P&L results and limited balance sheet lines, whereas now in our Treasury review we cover business performance, cash development, full balance sheet, external factors, and legal regulations. Ensuring compliance with the laws in the fast-moving regulatory environment is another important process that requires constant monitoring. Moreover, strategic business partnering, including involvement in M&A, trade deals and experience of dealing with external advisors (e.g., negotiations with the banks), makes it an even more diverse and challenging area to work in.
I believe all of this can be of great value if you wish to become a fully-rounded finance professional and a valuable business partner.
Why did you want to become a Board member?
Firstly, it is my pleasure to join this team of highly professional and enthusiastic colleagues and contribute to the common success! I see this role as another opportunity to master my project management skills, to improve leadership skills, and to expand the network in the treasury world.
Secondly, although the current agenda for 2023 already looks promising and exciting, there is still potential to generate new ideas and organise events in an innovative format, which inspires me!
And finally, being a young female finance professional with an international background, I bring a lot of diversity to the teams and communities I am part of. Having attended several DACT and other professional events, I’ve concluded that diversity is a strength, and bringing a different perspective to the table can be not only powerful but quite often indispensable for a breakthrough and growth!