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55% of FTSE CEOs have background in finance, finds Robert Half UK

A background in finance continues to be the most common career background of today's FTSE 100 CEOs (55%), compared to 21% in retail/hospitality, 15% in engineering/natural resources, 15% in marketing and 14% in technology, according to new research from Robert Half UK.

 

The company found that almost one in four (23%) CEOs are qualified Chartered Accountants.

 

The ninth annual Robert Half FTSE 100 CEO Tracker shows that the average tenure of Britain's top bosses is five years and three months, with the longest tenure record currently held at more than 30 years. The majority (66%) of today's CEOs move from a senior role in the same industry, which Robert Half says shows continuing importance placed on building up a credible understanding of a single sector when aiming to move into a C-suite role.

 

There were a total of ten new entrants to the FTSE 100 in the period analysed, including Inmarsat, Worldpay, Informa and Paddy Power. Further change came in the form of nine new CEOs taking the helm of companies already in the FTSE 100, including Mike Wells, who replaced Tidjane Thiam at Prudential in June 2015 and James Edward Staley, who replaced Antony Jenkins at Barclays in December.

 

The number of women heading up the FTSE 100 has increased by one in the past 12 months.  There are now six female CEOs in the FTSE 100 with the appointment of Alison Brittain to Whitbread earlier in 2016, up from just four in 2011 and 2012.

 

The majority (60%) of FTSE 100 CEOs are British citizens, yet 20 different nationalities are represented at the top of the UK's largest companies, including leaders from South Africa, New Zealand and the Netherlands.

 

From an education point of view, a fifth (18%) of FTSE 100 CEOs are Oxbridge educated, down 1% from the previous year and more than a quarter (28%) have an MBA or PHD, down four points from last year.

 

Phil Sheridan, UK managing director at Robert Half, said, "Executives within every sector are seeking ways to continue meeting their own business goals in the face of external influences including growing regulatory frameworks and geopolitical uncertainty. As the leaders of Britain's largest and most successful businesses, the individuals heading up these organisations can collectively influence the direction, confidence and economic prosperity of the wider UK economy.

 

"In these increasingly complex global operating environments, leaders who are able to traverse the commercial landscape while maintaining strong fiscal responsibility are in greatest demand. This trend is supported by this year's findings where experience within a single industry combined with a foundation in finance is what organisations seek from those taking the helm."

 

 

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