Interim demand set to rise as finance directors become rare breed

More
than 10 per cent of the UK’s leading companies may find themselves without a
financial director  when facing their
year-end, according to new research by Executives Online.

This
scenario is likely to confront over 2,100 top businesses in the UK and is a
growing phenomenon.

The
study reveals that companies today are 50 per cent more likely to face this
problem than in the 1980s and, as a result, the demand for interim finance
directors is set to double over the next four years.

Executive
Online claims that the main reason for the trend is the quicker turnaround in
financial directors.

Financial
directors now typically stay in their post for two and a half years, a dramatic
fall from the 1980s when financial directors on average stayed with a company
for four years.

Added
to this, the research shows that companies are taking longer to find a suitable
replacement for an outgoing finanical director 
  on average, six months.

This
means that if a finance director resigns from October onwards their companies,
(those with typical January-December reporting), may well reach the year-end
without a suitable replacement.

Norrie
Johnston, managing director of Executives Online, commented, "It can take
some time for a recruitment agency to put forward suitable candidates to
replace a departing FD. Interviews then take a month. If none are right, the
process must be repeated. Attempt any of this around Christmas and you lose
another month because diaries are so full. When you finally find the right
person, they will be locked in to at least a three-month termination period. A
company whose FD resigns today may still be without a replacement in
April."

Executive
Online’s research predicts that the market for interim managers will double,
reaching £400m by 2005, and 20 per cent of this spend will be on interim
finance directors.

By Ben Willmott

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