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Growing pressure over boardroom pay set to spur more senior executives to become interim managers

Interim Managers’ research found that almost half (49%) of the interim management professionals surveyed said that growing public and shareholder pressure over board members’ remuneration would encourage more senior level executives to move into interim management. 

This is up from just 37% who said the same last year and 28% the year before. The study was conducted among nearly 700 interim executives, who are managers or senior executives, at or just below board-level, and are recruited on a short to mid-term basis.

At the same time, confidence among interim managers about their own pay levels is strong, with more than a third (36%) predicting that their daily rates will increase over the next 12 months and 58% expecting them to remain stable. Typically, interim managers can command an average of &pound800 per day, with some earning up to &pound1500.

Steve Rutherford, Managing Partner at Interim Partners, comments:  “With shareholder activism and the media spotlight still firmly focused on the contentious issue of how much board members should be paid, the pressure that senior executives are under to justify their pay packets looks unlikely to ease up any time soon.”

“In this context, the attractions of making the leap into interim management start to look more and more compelling.”

“Not only does it tend to be well-remunerated, the interim route also gives top-level executives more scope to negotiate their own terms based on their own demonstrable value, away from the public gaze.”

“Interim management is already fast becoming seen as a legitimate and consciously-chosen career path for many senior executives, and our findings suggest that this trend is set to continue.”

38% of respondents said that the proportion of interims in senior management increased last year, and 57% expect the number of senior roles filled on an interim basis to grow in the future, highlighting the buoyancy of recruitment in the sector.

The research also found that, although 41% of the interim managers surveyed had been offered a permanent job following a placement in the last 12 months, only 5% had accepted it, adding weight to the idea that interim management is, for many, preferable to fixed employment.

Project or programme delivery specialists were seen as the interims likely to be in highest demand over the coming year (according to 23%), as firms continue to seek interims with the skills to drive through strategic initiatives to deliver specific targets, such as expanding into new markets or delivering new products or services. 

Those with change management expertise are likely to experience similarly high demand (23%) followed by turnaround specialists (13%), perhaps reflecting that many companies are still adapting to the new economic environment.

Requirements for interim Finance Directors and senior IT managers are also expected to increase, with 11% and 7% of respondents respectively saying that roles in these areas would see most demand this year, up from 8% and 4% last year.

In terms of industry sectors, the construction sector is expected to create the most new interim management positions this year (25% put this top), followed by technology, media and telecoms (24%), professional services (13%) and financial services (12%).

Steve Rutherford says, “As the construction sector rebounds, with growth across housebuilding, commercial property development and infrastructure,  firms are increasingly looking to interim managers to provide expertise at short notice.”



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