Chat with the exco – mr stephen hogan vice president regional treasury centre asia pacific, deutsche post dhl – tfa geeks

TFAGeeks: Hi Stephen, many thanks for agreeing to spend some time sharing with us your knowledge and life experiences. You are a frequent speaker at Treasury seminars, an active EXCO member of the ACTS, and of course the Vice President of the Regional Treasury Centre Asia Pacific (RTCAP) at Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL). What is the magic or key to your success in managing a challenging job and finding time for your personal commitments and serving the Corporate Treasury community?

We work hard, but at the same time we all have family commitments and recognize that it’s important to focus on those areas as well, in order to be successful. Beyond that the ethos and cultural of DPDHL is that we are a large family of colleagues, in excess of 500,000 people across 220 countries.

That connection also plays a major part in being successful.

For example, in our company RTCAP is part of the DPDHL Corporate Finance department, and responsibilities go beyond traditional Corporate Treasury issues, into areas such as M&A, Legal Entity Governance, Pension Management, and Strategic Financing. In order to support our logistics business, RTCAP have to delve into all these topics depending on the circumstances; so my team and I are constantly changing hats on a daily or even hourly basis. Therefore, I wouldn’t say our role is easier or harder than in a Financial Institution, but it is certainly more varied I think.

Some of our ACTS members may have come along the Accounting route or general finance path, others through the financial institutions, but I think now they have evolved into a distinct and experienced community. From my observations and interaction, they are very keen to learn new techniques and to network with their peers, and that is why I think the monthly ACTS events, either on a particular topic or just socially have been widely successful!

Thankfully, in DPDHL our data centers in Prague and KL are fully staffed with IT experts who we can depend upon to take up those challenging programming tasks. However, I think it is important to some degree for a Treasurer to be tech savvy, or more importantly be open to embracing new ideas, challenges and opportunities, and venture onto the path to digitalization.

Stephen: Overall, I sleep quite well. Please do not worry about me suffering from any lack of sleep, thank you very much. In part that is because as I mentioned I have a great team with me in Singapore, but beyond that we work very closely with our department colleagues in Bonn, Germany and Fort Lauderdale in the US. So whatever the hour and moment, there is always a member of the Corporate Finance department who is awake and will be firmly at the helm of things.

Nonetheless, I think it is more important for me to provide them the foundations and opportunities to learn and succeed; to play and have fun (especially if I can join in). And I yearn for them to become strong independent, open and free thinking individuals who will choose their own paths and destinies. Of course, at the moment they are young and so are focused on being part of The Avengers or aspiring to be one of The Guardians of the Galaxy – excellent career choices in my opinion too!

Stephen: Having a good financial knowledge background is of course very important. However, what is more important I feel is being a team player, understanding how to work successfully across diverse groups of people, sharing ideas and working towards a focused common goal. At the same time having an opinion and being willing to offer it up, challenge the norms, challenge others, suggest new ideas, show your independence and willingness to take on risks. One of those risks is being mobile, take the opportunity to go alone and explore the world and work in different places you might find you like it, I certainly did.