Market Trends and Updates: Finance Interim Management

With Q3 behind us and Christmas fast approaching, we wanted to provide you with a market update of the past quarter and some Q4 trends we see in the finance division of our interim management practice.

In Q3, we experienced significant demand from clients across the Retail and Manufacturing sector. Increasingly, we found that significant reviews of business operations and target operating models were underway as clients face ever-increasing international competition. Many clients used management consultancies to undertake these reviews as opposed to relying on existing internal talent. This was based on a belief that whilst an incumbent’s business knowledge is second to none, clients felt they may lack much-needed objectivity.

Another key demand seen in Q3 was driven by clients outside of London. We found that this group of clients struggled to recruit the calibre of individual who could bring both cognitive diversity and new experiences to their leadership team. As a result, our Interim Management Practice saw an increase in demand for candidates with strong pedigrees in FP&A, Commercial Finance, Audit, Finance Transformation, and Financial Control. This demand was linked to Finance Directors having to make significant improvements across areas such as business partnering, management information, and customer engagement. As argued by my colleague Wayne Poulton, this often prompted clients to recruit individuals with out-of-sector experience.

With even more Brexit uncertainty and low retention rates, securing the right talent at the right time is challenging. Interim Managers have been increasingly used by many regional businesses as an immediate short-term solution to bridge the gap between the demand for expertise and the need for a timely solution. We have seen a growing demand for Interim Professionals across Treasury, Audit, and Tax and FP&A. This growth has been due to the need to integrate dynamic technologies into reporting processes, as well as to provide data-hungry businesses with real-time analysis.

Clients are also raising their candidate expectations. Whilst they continue to look for candidates with strong technical capabilities, they are also increasingly looking for greater commercial acumen. In a world of uncertainty and rapid tech development, our clients are seeking out those leaders who possess both technical know-how, and the ability to integrate technology seamlessly into a commercial context.

We know many clients who have achieved significant outcomes and cost savings by deploying Interim Management Solutions as opposed to outsourcing to the ‘Big Four’. If you would like to hear more about how we may be able to help you or to discuss a particular assignment, please contact Jonathan Stringer of Norman Broadbent Interim Management for an initial confidential discussion on +44 (0) 020 7484 0036 or at