Successful Women in Finance - Tips & Tricks
Raphaelaa Cova de Lima, Treasury Director - EMEA - Koch Industries, Coralie Billmann, Head of PayPal Europe Treasury and Investments and Winkie Choi - Head of Amazon EMEA Treasury are three women at the top of the treasury game. They share their journeys to offer advice to aspiring female treasurers.
Can you offer insights from your career journey to treasury?
After working as a fund manager in London and Paris, Coralie began her treasury career in Luxembourg. She enjoys treasury because not a single day is the same as the previous one. “It is not only buying or selling bonds, it's also structuring a balance sheet and enabling businesses to grow.” Winkie started as an engineering manager before developing a call center for India. Moving to PayPal in California she set up an FX netting operation for them in Singapore. Raphaela has never been afraid of taking on a new challenge like implementing new banking structures or complex financial products in a different country.
“Treasury is not only buying or selling bonds, it's also structuring a balance sheet and enabling businesses to grow”
What insights have you gained from your varied locations and roles?
Winkie’s comfort zone is challenged when she leaves a company: “Even with a different role within the organization, you're still within your comfort zone. Once you move to another company, you have to start from scratch: learning the job, building new relationships and learning the corporate culture and politics.” Raphaela says she will keep embracing new relocation opportunities: “I like seeing different environments. It's a challenge and I enjoy it.” Coralie rates the skills and experience gained from doing different things. She advises, “Go beyond the box. Don’t hesitate to volunteer, even if it's not treasury specific. Every day treasurers touch different aspects of the business, so we can go always above and beyond what is expected from pure treasury responsibilities.”
What are your tips for the next generation of female leaders?
Raphaela believes it’s important to enjoy what you do. Coralie and Winkie go a step further suggesting a job should be “fun.” Raphaela adds, “I think it's very important to be resilient, proactive and inquisitive. Winkie agrees about the need for curiosity: “Always try to find out more; deep dive; don't mind getting your hands dirty. You want to know more detail because that is what drives invention and simplification.” Winkie’s recipe is to be interested enough for your job to be the thing that drives you to wake up every day. Coralie says her mentor told her to keep her enthusiasm, and when you lose it, it’s time to go.