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INTERIM ASSIGNMENTS ON THE INCREASE

INTERIM ASSIGNMENTS ON THE INCREASE

•        The Interim Management Association’s latest Ipsos MORI survey reveals a growing industry

•        Number of new assignments started up by 18 per cent 

•        Enquiries for interim managers peaked in 2012

The demand for interim managers is increasing, according a new survey (1) which shows a rise in the number of assignments started, in progress and completed by professionals on short-term contracts.

The findings come from the latest Ipsos MORI survey, commissioned by the Interim Management Association (IMA) - www.interimmanagement.uk.com, the body which represents the interim management provider industry.

In the last quarter of 2012, the number of interim management assignments increased to 382 from 324 in the previous quarter - showing an overall increase of 18 per cent. Assignments in progress rose to 1,433 from 1,307 - an increase of nearly 10 per cent. However, when comparing the 2012 annual figures with 2011 - the number of new assignments decreased by 4 per cent overall, and those in progress were down by just 1 per cent.

Meanwhile, for the calendar year 2012, the average length of an assignment for an interim manager increased to 175 billable days - the highest recorded, this also compared with 173 days in 2011.

Since 2006 the cumulated turnover of IMA Member firms has increased by 51 per cent, and now the industry is valued at &pound1.5bn to the UK economy.

Programme or project management work is the most popular occupation for interim managers. In the last quarter of 2012, this accounted for 40 per cent of assignments, compared with 35 per cent in Q3 of 2012.

The private sector accounts for an increasing number of assignments. In Q4, 2012, 72 per cent of interim managers were operating in the private sector and only 28 per cent in the public sector – the biggest disparity since the survey began.

“The survey results are very encouraging and indicate that 2013 may well be the year that restores our industry to double-digit growth figures -  to the levels before major cuts took place in the public sector", said Jason Atkinson, chairman of the IMA and managing director of Russam Interim.

“I wasn’t surprised to see the growth in project management assignments for the last quarter of 2012 – approximately 10,000 of the UK’s 25,000 interim managers operate in this manner.

“Increasingly, interim managers are viewed as a cost-effective alternative to hiring management consultants or recruiting additional senior members of staff. They can be parachuted into an organisation for eight to 12 months – to deliver results quickly before moving on to their next assignment.”

(1) Ipsos MORI IMA Market Audit Q4, 2012 – 1st October - 31 December 2012, 21 members responded.

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