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Companies still need to cut costs say senior interim executives

The need to cut costs remains the biggest pressure facing organisations, according to a survey of 288 senior interim executives by Alium Partners, the UKs leading independent provider high level interims.
Sixty one per cent of the interims said this was the greatest issue facing the organisation they most recently served, followed by managing cultural change in response to the downturn, mentioned by more than half of interims.
In spite of these challenges, two thirds of senior interims (64 per cent) believe that 2010 could provide transformational opportunities for many organisations. 
To help employers in the current environment, interims expect to spend the year implementing their skills in programme management (42 per cent), finance (41 per cent) and business development and marketing (36 per cent).
A third of interims anticipate demand for their services in the public sector, of which thirty per cent respectively expect to go into central government and the NHS. The remaining two thirds of interims expect to be working in the private sector, with a 30 per cent serving a FTSE 250 company and fifteen per cent supporting a private equity firm.
Nick Robeson, CEO of Alium Partners, said: With the recovery likely to be protracted, and with the potential for a double-dip recession, businesses will need to continue taking out as much cost as possible. At the same time, they must ensure they have the right agility to maximise growth opportunities.  This is a fine balancing act, requiring considerable skill to ensure that cost cutting initiatives do not become value destruction exercises typically more companies fail during recovery than downturn because they do not have the resources in place to manage growth.
 Senior interims are in demand exactly because they have experience of successfully leading through previous downturns.  Furthermore, they represent the ultimate, low-risk, variable management cost.


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