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Over one in ten interim execs now earn more than 1,000 per day

Over one in ten interim execs now earn more than 1,000 per day

Market recovering from recession but it is still skilled cost-cutters and turnaround experts that are still in greatest demand

Over one in ten (13%) of all interim executives are now paid more than 1,000 per day reveals research by Interim Partners, a leading provider of interim management solutions.

Interim executives are managers or other senior executives, usually below board-level, who are recruited on a short-term basis.

The research, based on data from 1475 interim executives, found that 74% of interim executives get paid more than 500 per day.

Interim Partners says the economic slowdown has created an acute shortage of senior level employees with the right kind of experience in areas such as corporate turnaround, cash management, procurement and cost cutting.

Says Doug Baird, Managing Director of Interim Partners: Although a lot of good interims did suffer in the recession, there were some skills sets where demand actually increased over the last two years - where interims were able to maintain and even increase their rates.

Interims who specialise in cost cutting and procurement managed to command such high rates because they have been delivering huge cost savings to a company.

A well executed procurement or cost savings programme can deliver millions of pounds in value so companies have no problem paying a full price for an individual that they know they can trust to execute the programme properly.

As interim executives do not get benefits such as pensions or holiday pay their take home pay tends to be far higher than an equivalent full-time employee. According to the research 39% of all interims take home more than 20% more money as an interim than they did as a full time employee.

The research found that 38% of interims expect their rates to start increasing again this year with only 11% expecting rates to decrease. Interim Partners points out that 33% of interims say that were forced to cut their rates last year as the demand for interims moved through its weakest period.

Although interims are expecting demand for their skills to rebound this year many expect an increasing number of their instructions to come not from the company that they will work for itself but from its debt or equity holders.

Explains Doug Baird: That is one thing that is unique to the interim world is how many of the instructions to appoint interims come directly from private equity investors or, increasingly, from the companys bankers.

16% of interims expect that private equity investors will be the key decision maker over appointments in the next year and a further 10% believe that a companys bankers will be making the final hiring decisions. Only 68% believe it is the company itself which will have the final say.

Adds Doug Baird: The recession has caused mayhem with both private equity investments and with loan books and a big feature of this downturn is just how closely investors and creditors are getting involved in the day-to-day running of those companies that have been hit hardest by the downturn.

Financial services expected to be the biggest recruiter and change management specialists expected to be highest in demand

34% of interim executives expect that the financial services sector is going to the biggest user of interims over the next 12 months. The second biggest user of interims is expected to be in the manufacturing & engineering sector which only got 10% of votes as the biggest user of interims for the year ahead.

Interim Partners explains that banks and other financial services companies are still very short of specialists in the risk and compliance functions but that they were seeing growing demand for project managers and change managers.

Says Doug Baird: For the last two years many of the biggest financial institutions were limited to fighting fires and that meant a virtual hiring freeze. Now they are taking a more considered look at where they want their businesses to focus. That reorganisation requires the change management experience that you can normally only get from an interim or a management consultant.

Demand has picked up dramatically and it is not just from investment banks, retail banks are undergoing significant restructuring and insurance companies are changing to ensure compliance with the new Solvency II legislation.

Despite the high level of financial stress in the economy interims expect that change managers will be the most in demand role for the next year, with 25% identifying it as such, whilst only 20% of interims expect turnaround specialists to be the most in demand role.

Interim Partners says that although many businesses have suffered a huge drop in profitability thankfully it is only the most financially stressed that need the more radical surgery of a turnaround specialist and that most companies will seek to restore their health by looking at a series of individual change management projects.

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