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International Perspective

International Perspective

Use and Cost-effectiveness of Interim Executives – UK Research

The UK is a long-established mature market for interim executives and there is some significant research material available. The following results are taken from Market & Opinion Research International (MORI) surveys of Britain’s Captains of Industry.

Research into the use of Interim Executives at Board level revealed that three-quarters would consider using an interim executive in the future and the principal anticipated application would be to cover for the sudden departure of a CEO or senior executive.

Interims have generally been used for the following range of applications:

  • To hold the fort 16%
  • Crisis Management 13%
  • Closure/Sell Off 11%
  • Sudden Departure 11%
  • Accelerating Momentum 9%
  • Turnaround 9%
  • Acquisition Management 8%

The main positions for which interim executives have been used include:

  • Special Project(s) Director 48%
  • Finance Director 45%
  • Managing Director 26%
  • Manufacturing/Operations Director 19%
  • IT Director 19%
  • Human Resources Director 13%
  • Logistics Director 10%
  • Marketing and Sales Director 3%

These results are taken from Market & Opinion Research International (MORI) surveys of Britain’s Captains of Industry  and were sponsored by BIE/Board Level Interim Executive.

Interim vs. Management Consultants

Asked “How strongly do you agree or disagree with the statement that interim executives are more suitable and cost-effective for implementing change or transition than management consultants?” 48 per cent of the above Survey’s participants agreed, while 14 per cent disagreed. The same question put to those who had employed an interim executive revealed that 65 per cent were in agreement, only 10 per cent disagreed.

  • The UK market for interim management is estimated to be growing at 20% per annum.
  • The market is expected to continue growing strongly.
  • Availability of suitably trained/experienced interim executives to meet growth in demand has not been a problem, due in part to management shake-outs throughout industry.
  • End-users expressed a high level of satisfaction with interim executives used in the past and indicated that they would probably/definitely use interim executives again in the future.
  • End-users appreciate in particular, the interim executives’ specialist knowledge and experience; the ability to raise skill levels; availability and speedy outputs.

Source: Sambrook Research Report


“Today’s environment is the strongest recruiting market we have seen in our 20-year history. More and more businesses are filling technical, professional and managerial openings on a temporary basis.” Spherion Interim Executive Recruiting

Staffing organisation IMCOR reports that it is filling more senior-level assignments than it has previously. According to John A.Thompson, IMCOR chairman and author of the book “The Portable Executive”, demand for interim executives is continuing to grow at a good pace. He says the growth trend continues, with chief financial officers and controllers in greatest demand and chief operating officers ranking second nationally. L.A. Times