CFO Network Quarterly Update

The level of Finance Director appointments across the Yorkshire region has continued to be strong over the past three months.

Mar 15, 2021
Mar 15, 2021
CFO News Article

The number of appointments is consistent with the previous period (September to November), but we need to factor in December which usually sees only around 60% of the number of starters to other months.

Much has been reported on the increased levels of deal activity – triggered by the (ultimately false) deadline of changes to Capital Gains Tax and increased appetite from private equity to invest from their existing funds.

As always, I have analysed the whole market (not just our placements) and have included some of the key headlines below:

  • Manufacturing has been the dominant sector, accounting for 16% of the appointments. Technology (14%), Engineering (12%) and Retail (12%) are next in line. Financial Services and Professional Services are noticeable by their lower levels of activity.
  • 17% of the appointments were women. This beats the rolling average of 14% but is a figure that shows how much work there is for the finance profession and the Yorkshire region still to do. Judging from our event with Foresight on International Women’s Day (attended by over 40 of our inspirational business leaders), there is enough hope that the balance will start to be addressed.
  • Approximately 9% of the appointments came from an ethnic minority group. This figure is alarmingly low – we will continue to monitor this in future quarters and draw out a figure over a longer period of time.
  • The interim market remains buoyant. Irrespective of the countdown to the latest IR35 off-payroll changes, the need for quality, flexible support is increasingly high and the market is competitive.
  • Of all the skillsets that are in demand, commercial finance, FP&A and analytical skills over commercial numbers and across IT platforms remain the most sought after.

It would be an exaggeration to say that our network is excited about the future, but not to say that business leaders are optimistic. We still have a lot of work to do but with the lessons we have learned, the reserves of fortitude that we have all developed and with a gathering momentum, it will make for a fascinating and positive next quarter.

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