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Interim executives driving business performance in companies overseas, finds Alium survey

Interim executives driving business performance in companies overseas, finds Alium survey of over 1,000

Senior interim managers continue to drive business performance in companies overseas, according to an annual survey of more than 1,000 interims by Alium Partners, a leading global provider of interim management solutions.

The Alium Annual Interim Survey found that more than a third (35%) of interims have completed an assignment abroad in the past year, compared to just a fifth (21%) the year before.

60% of interims responding to the survey also said they had been engaged on assignments in Europe in the past 12 months.  Asia and Australasia (21%), North America (17%) and the Middle East (15%) were also common destinations.

Many overseas assignments were focused on growth and high performance, with the initiation of new projects (26%), addressing internal change (26%), business development (18%) and driving quality and performance (17%) some of the most frequently desired outcomes.

In contrast, assignments within the UK tended to be crisis-driven.  Forty per cent of interims said that the primary outcome of their last UK assignment was to support a transformation or turnaround programme.

Speaking about the survey, Mike Hollin, CEO of Alium Partners, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the response from over 1000 of our interim executives – the highest ever received in Alium’s history. There is a definite sense that the number of overseas interim placements is on the up. While Alium does place candidates already based in-country, we are seeing a particularly notable increase in the number of UK-based interims who are going abroad to undertake assignments. Recently we have seen successful international assignments in a number of diverse geographies from the European mainland to the Middle East and Latin America with roles ranging from the traditional financial or HR needs to more strategic support services positions in the FMCG sector.”

When asked about their recent assignments in the UK, more than a quarter (26%) of respondents to the survey claimed that, over the past year, they have been engaged in place of management consultants. This represents a rise of 5% compared to the previous 12 months. Interims felt that their experience (67%) and subject expertise (56%) were the main factors impacting this choice, more so than cost savings (40%) or speed of delivery (36%).

Perhaps reflecting this trend, two thirds of interims said that they had previously worked in a team of two or more interims, and 42% expected clients to make greater use of teams of interims in the next 12 months.

Alium’s survey also showed that interim assignments are frequently extended. Seventy two per cent of interims responded to say that this was the case on at least one of their assignments over the past year, up from 67% in Alium’s previous annual survey. More than 40% of assignments were extended by six months or more three quarters (74%) were extended by three months or more.

Concluding on these results, Mike Hollin added: “Nothing demonstrates more clearly the value of interims than that the companies in which they are placed are so keen to extend their contracts or employ teams of interims. It is also interesting to see an increasing number of interims reporting that they have are replacing management consultants, showing a definite shift in market behaviours towards the expertise and delivery of the interim.”


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