Zanders and gtnews/AFP offer that little bit more
Innovation in treasury training
Since Zanders began to collaborate with gtnews on providing expertise and content for treasury training courses, both organizations have been able to expand the reach of their educational programs and are offering tailored, marketresponsive courses. So how does the partnership work and how are they ensuring the success of their training courses?
Zanders is well known for offering a range of treasury services, from hands-on advisory, to interim support, to transaction and outsourcing. But recently treasury training has become an integral element in the company’s repertoire.
“We are able to develop training courses that match the interests of our market directly.”
Sander van Tol, partner at the firm, points out that there are important learning opportunities for people at all levels of the profession, whether they are newcomers to treasury, or wizened managers with years of experience. Training courses offer the ideal opportunity to update and add to practical knowledge while meeting an experienced tutor and networking with peers.
Zanders and gtnews/AFP offer three new training courses This year, Zanders treasury training has taken on a broader scope through its partnership with gtnews and the Association of Financial Professionals (AFP – the US-based owner of gtnews). With gtnews’s global readership of 50,000, as well as the AFP’s base in North America and its new partnership with the Chinese treasury association, Zanders was attracted by the international reach of its new training partner.
“For us the global aspect of gtnews and the AFP is very important,” explains van Tol, although there were several other reasons that also made the partnership a good fit. Sander adds: “Gtnews only uses independent tutors and Zanders also prides itself on its independence in the marketplace. We only develop courses that we think are appropriate and meet our internal quality standards.”
Mike Hewitt, CEO at gtnews, explains that the companies have had a long-standing relationship: “We work closely with Zanders on many different projects anyway, so we already knew them very well.
The courses Zanders was already offering to its clients fitted well with what we wanted to do. We’ll really start to see the results of the partnership in the last quarter of this year.” Zanders and gtnews have worked together to develop three new treasury courses on corporate finance, corporate risk management and working capital. The three courses will initially run in November and December 2010.
Offer that little bit more
Gtnews first launched its own treasury training courses soon after it was acquired by the AFP in November 2007. The first course – a compact half-day introductory course to treasury – was taught by David Kelin, partner at Zanders’ London office.
According to gtnews’s Hewitt, the course aimed to fill a gap in the treasury training market at that time: “There was a need for training courses that delivered a lot of content in a short period and no one else was running half-day training courses at the time. This was very cost effective in terms of getting information across and getting staff trained quickly.”
The course met with great success and is still in demand but gtnews and Zanders are continuously looking for ways to improve and expand the content of their training.
Van Tol says that they are working together to tailor each course’s agenda to meet the needs of the individuals attending: “This means that we want to find out what people’s learning objectives are prior to the course. We are also working on the post-course experience, so we make sure that an experienced tutor is available to answer questions after the course, and we also work with gtnews to provide relevant articles after each course as well. We want to offer that little bit more.”
Zanders and gtnews/AFP are also now offering customized courses that can be tailored for a specific client’s needs.
In touch with the market
One of the strengths of gtnews’s training has been the company’s ability to analyze the market’s demand for information through the readership statistics on gtnews.com.
Hewitt explains: “Gtnews has built-in readership research, so we can see what subjects people are reading, we are able to develop training courses that match the interests of our market directly.” Feedback from participants also plays an important part in tailoring the courses and developing new training.
David Kelin, a tutor on the gtnews introductory and technology courses, points out that it was the feedback from the early courses and the readership patterns on gtnews, that enabled the team to develop their treasury technology course.
Kelin says: “We realized that many corporates are actually quite confused about what technology is used in the market and what is right for them, so we put together a course on treasury technology.
Based on further feedback, we then developed a short one-day course on Swift for corporates, which has also been successful.”
However, one of the issues gtnews came across was that the demand for courses and topics was growing faster than gtnews could deliver. “This is when the agreement with Zanders took off”, says Hewitt.
With the broad range of niche experience and knowledge within the pool of Zanders consultants, finding tutors and subject matter is not a problem, as Sander van Tol notes: “Zanders has over 100 treasury consultants, so that is a great resource when it comes to tailoring the courses and providing experienced tutors on specific market topics.”
Kelin adds that the fast reaction to market need and the resources at Zanders have enabled the gtnews/Zanders partnership to offer practical and current training in compact, tailored courses.
Kelin says: “We’re also able to put together courses relatively quickly, which enables us to cater to market needs. We’re getting very favorable feedback from attendees on the fact that our courses are very specific and brief.”
Currently gtnews is offering between two and four courses per month but the partnership with Zanders has meant the range of courses on offer is growing. Hewitt says: “We’re going global and are going to be running the introduction to treasury course and a technology for treasury course in Hong Kong. We’re also looking at providing courses in Brussels and we’re working on more courses and topics with Zanders for 2011.”