Poll Shows Job Satisfaction among Corporate Treasurers; Prestige Scores High on Bank-Commissioned Survey

Article excerpt

Although much has been written about what corporate treasurers think of banks and banking services, and although much has been written about what exactly these people do on the job, not much is known about what corporate treasurers actually think of their jobs.

Until Now.

A survey commissioned by Manufacturers Hanover Trust and conducted in August by Louis Harris and Associates questioned 503 treasury managers in a nationwide sampling of large corporations -- those with revenues of more than $100 million.

What the survey found is that large corporate treasurers like their jobs. As Table 1 indicates, more than 90% report that they are at least somewhat satisfied with the intellectual stimulation provided by their jobs, their visibility within their company, and their prestige in the financial community.

The data related to intellectual stimulation are particularly dramatic: 95% of the treasurers are at least somewhat satisfied with this aspect, and 58% say they are "very satisfied." It seems, according to the research, that the larger the company, the higher the satisfaction level. In the largest companies -- those with more than $1 billion in sales -- 63% describe themselves as very satisfied; in companies with less than $500 million in sales, only 50% share this view.

Visibility within the company is also an area of high satisfaction: 95% say they are at least somewhat satisfied with their visibility, and more than half are "very satisfied."

There is almost universal agreement that treasury managers enjoy prestige in the financial community. A majority, 94%, are at least somewhat satisfied and not a single respondent claims to be not at all satisfied with this aspect of the job. Two groups in the survey, though, exhibit differing degrees of satisfaction with the prestige of their jobs: 48% of the executives in companies with sales more than $1 billion say they are very satisfied, compared with only 39% in smaller companies. Similarly, half of the respondents over the age of 40 are very satisfied, compared with only 34% of their younger counterparts.

Although it is popular to complain about salaries, financial executives also appear to be satisfied with their total compensation package: 88% are at least somewhat satisfied with their compensation, and 30% are very satisfied.

It is important to note, however, that dissatisfaction with compensation is somewhat higher among the female treasurers surveyed and among the treasurers who are under 40. Since most of the women surveyed were in the under-40 group, it is difficult to state with conviction whether the gender differences are responsible for the generational differences or vice versa. In either case, the data point to rising expectations among the new generation of treasury managers -- expectations that will have to be satisfied in the coming years.

Most of those surveyed are satisfied with the opportunities available for advancement outside the treasury function and with the time available to improve their professional skills. The treasurers express satisfaction with the former by 67-27% and with the latter by 64-36%.

However, with respect to the time available for professional improvement, 22% of the men surveyed said they were very satisfied with the time available, compared with 10% of the women. And 24% of the older managers said they were very satisfied, compared with 14% of the younger ones. It is not clear whether these differences are due to lower opportunities or higher expectations in these two groups.

As they look ahead, corporate treasurers are most interested in intangible factors in planning their careers. …