Michael Burose, CTP
CTP Profile: Walking in Memphis
In 2008, Michael Burose, CTP, accepted the position of senior investment analyst with the city of Memphis, and that is where his career in treasury began. In that position he was responsible for assisting with cash management and pension administration. “Fresh out of college, I went to work in sales, but my heart had always been in finance, so I started my own financial consulting firm. After nearly 13 years, I decided I wanted to make a change, and the job with the city was a perfect fit,” said Michael.
Climbing the career ladder to today
Over the course of his nearly 14 years with the city, Michael has risen up the career ladder and now serves as investment manager, where he works directly under the CFO Shirley Ford. In this position, he works to manage and safeguard the city’s investment activities for its defined benefit plan, defined contribution plan, other post-employment benefits (OPEB) plan, operating cash, and bond proceeds cash. Michael does this by maintaining relationships between the city, its money managers, legal counsel and banks.
As investment manager, he is also required to research, recommend and execute the investment of city funds, using portfolio management techniques in accordance with the city's investment strategies and policies. Michael is also responsible for buying and selling individual securities from broker/dealers to outperform the benchmark rate of return and earn interest to be included in the city’s operating budget.
If you ask Michael what he’s most proud of in his treasury career, he’ll tell you: managing a successful administrative team for two years. “My team has worked tirelessly to ensure that our office ran smoothly, and it showed in our company’s overall productivity. The higher-ranking associates even recognized us for our work output, and I was awarded a promotion after leading the team for less than a year during the pandemic.”
The challenges and the skills that lead to his success
The most critical treasury issue Michael is facing today is cashflow forecasting. “Cashflow forecasting must be on the radar for every treasurer to effectively execute on the mission of the organization,” he said. If treasurers could perfectly predict their future cash positions, they could make other anticipations based on this; however, you can never get this perfect as it is dependent on so many external and internal factors. “As the world and business changes every year so too should a treasurer’s forecasting method,” he said. Michael said his approach to meeting the challenge is to: estimate future cash inflows and outflows, generate a proforma cash position, and identify how to cover any cash deficit or allocate cash surplus.
Of all the skills and training he has gained over the years, Michael said what helps him most in his current position are strong time-management skills, the ability to work effectively under pressure and good numerical and IT skills. In addition, he feels that knowledge of banking systems and processes, as well as cash management principles are essential to his success.
Looking to the near future, Michael plans to add project management to his list of applicable skills. “As a treasury professional, you are increasingly required to step out of your traditional role and take on additional responsibilities,” he said. “This has led to project management becoming an increasingly prominent part of the role, whether through systems implementation, acquisitions or development of new financial models. Whatever it may be, gaining strong project management skills will be a real differentiator.”
As for the next step in his career path, Michael plans to earn his Financial Planning and Analysis certification, otherwise known as FPAC.
Earning the CTP
Michael chose to earn his CTP (Certified Treasury Professional) in order to validate his competency in liquidity, capital and risk management functions. “I felt that it would prepare me for greater on-the-job responsibilities and improve my marketability in treasury management,” he said.
And did it? “The CTP credential has allowed me to advance within the city of Memphis from an analyst to overseeing all cash and investment management,” said Michael. He went on to say that the vast body of knowledge required to earn the CTP credential provided him with a clear educational edge over other candidates, and that he would definitely recommend the CTP to others. “The CTP credential provides you with the appropriate coursework to effectively do your job.”