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Rise in second career Interim Managers

Rise in & lsquo;second career’ Interim Managers

October 2011 sees the scrapping of the Default Retirement Age which will change UK businesses fundamentally. As a result, a greater number of people will be working into their 70s and even 80s and having second or even third careers.  According to Russam GMS, the award-winning Interim Provider, a growing number of men and women in their mid to late 50s are starting out as Interim managers in order to experience a different way of working, diverse industry sectors and have greater choice and flexibility over their work.  

Charles Russam, Chairman of Russam GMS says, “Many senior executives who have retired from their first careers or who have been made redundant are coming into Interim Management.  Age prejudice doesn’t exist in Interim Management, it is a meritocracy – where experience and knowledge is valued highly, and the best candidate will always get the job. Maturity is also important because it tends to stop silly mistakes being made.”

“However, Interim Management is not for the faint hearted and it is important that people who are considering it as their next move, invest sufficient time and research to decide if it is for them. It is hard work and suited to people who relish the challenge of running a small business and all that it entails.”

Russam GMS’s latest six month & lsquo;Shapshot’ market survey of 12,000 Interim Managers revealed that over half of all Interim Managers are in their fifties and they command the highest pay of all age groups at &pound628 a day.

One person who has made the transition into Interim Management recently is Paul Simmons, a former regional director at Barclays Bank, who retired from his 37 year banking career aged 54 in 2009. After taking six months out to travel, he became an interim manager.  Paul now combines his Interim work in banking with being a business mentor and a trustee of a local charity. He also recently completed further training as a business coach and is enjoying the challenges of running his own business.

Paul says, "When I retired from my position at Barclays I still wanted to be involved in business life and to make use of the skills and knowledge I had developed over the years. Becoming an Interim and a mentor has given me the opportunity to work with a range of interesting clients and enjoy fresh challenges every day. I have been really impressed with the quality of people I am working with and I am continuing to develop myself whilst contributing to the businesses I am working with."

Paul is also involved in a cultural and leisure trust in Peterborough, a charitable organisation that is responsible for all the sports, cultural and heritage services in Peterborough. The charity has an &pound8m turnover and Paul is using his financial skills by sitting on the audit committee and providing some support to the Head of Finance. In spite of having three roles, he is firmly in control of his time and limits work to two and a half days a week.

Charles Russam, Chairman of Russam GMS comments, “Many older Interims still want to work intensively on assignments, but also want downtime to pursue other interests – they are looking for a different way of working and a better balance. Interim Management offers new challenges, good pay, greater flexibility and for many people, a new lease of life.”

Another newcomer to Interim is Barry Finan, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, who enjoyed a successful 15 year career at Rolls - Royce Group Plc where he was latterly Director of Finance, Cost Excellence, a central position covering the Gas Turbine supply chain. He retired in late 2009 aged 56.  Part of his reason for leaving Rolls - Royce was his desire to take a short career break and to pursue fresh work challenges. After a four-month career break, Barry decided he was ready to return to work. However, he wanted a complete change and having had a successful career of over 35 years in the private sector, wanted to work in the public or charity sectors in either Health or Education.

He enlisted the services of an executive career consultant to help him focus on what he wanted to do, reposition his CV, focus on his key skills, strengths and what he could offer future employers. Barry realised that he wanted to be his own boss and decided that Interim Management would be a good potential career option. At the same time, he decided to apply for a non-executive director position in the NHS. He also approached Russam GMS and soon after won his first interim management assignment in July 2010 working with Semta, the UK sector skills council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies, as a Finance Director and he also won the NED role with his local NHS PCT.

Charles Russam, Chairman of Russam said, “Many businesses are crying out for the skills, expertise and experience that Paul and Barry have, and there are many opportunities for people like them.  Our recent survey showed that the market is growing again and businesses are hiring – now might just be the time to move into Interim Management.” 


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