Internal treasury: immune to job cuts and enjoying hiring

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Thanks to Basel III, roles for treasurers within investment banks are massively going up in the world.

Internal treasurers provide finance advice to banks' business units, optimise banks' liquidity and capital base, manage their FX and interest rate exposure, and coordinate their relationships with ratings agencies, regulators and creditors.

Earlier this week, RBS hired Moorad Choudhry treasury veteran, former structured finance VP at JPMorgan, and author of the definitive book on asset liability management in banks, as its head of business treasury.

According to Financial News, Choudhry will be responsible for optimising returns and improving the links between the treasury unit and RBS's global banking and markets business.

While Choudry's arrival at RBS is akin to the appearance of Lady Gaga in treasury circles, across the industry treasury functions are also adding non-celebrity headcount.

RBS currently has more than 100 treasury-related roles open across the group. Morgan Stanley has eight in London.

"There's been a huge amount of activity and demand in the treasury space this year," reflects Gavin Bonnet, managing director at Correlate Search. "It's being driven by regulation and the need to shore up the balance sheet. There's an acute shortage of good people and hiring will continue - this falls outside the usual pattern of annual recruitment."

Karen Rayment, a recruiter at Marks Sattin Banking and Financial Markets, says banks are creating new teams to look at their regulatory exposure. This is creating new roles in 'treasury execution', or effectively project managing the changes needed to meet regulatory reforms.

"We're looking for people who've got a structuring or securitisation background," says Rayment.