CFO Network Quarterly Update

The Finance Director appointments market continues to gather pace, seeing 17% quarter on quarter growth

June 14, 2021
Jun 14, 2021
CFO News Article

The latest results show beyond much doubt that the market for financial leadership appointments is strong and that it is growing at a fast pace. There was a small downturn in the number of start dates and campaign launches in April as the Easter holidays and gradual releasing of lockdown caused a welcome distraction – this puts the high levels of activity up to the end of March and from May onwards into an even more positive context.

PE, plc and privately owned businesses. Young SMEs to huge corporates. An eclectic range of sectors. The appointments seen over the past quarter have covered the full range, in all categories of ownership, size and sector. The detail behind the numbers is really encouraging.

My analysis which covered all appointments (not limited to just our placements) showed:

  • Manufacturing / Engineering is once again the dominant sector seeing 24% of the total appointments. Technology (17%), Distribution (6%) and Construction (6%) make up the rest of the most dominant sectors. Retail, wholesale, renewable energy, telco and services are all represented.
  • 24% of the appointments made were women. This is the highest representation in the past year and is above the rolling average of 15%. Although this is positive and welcome, the figure will need to be looked at over a longer period of time before we draw any conclusions.
  • Interim placements are not covered in our numbers, but the market continues to grow.
  • The markets for turnaround and deal activity remain strong.
  • Another growing source of opportunities for interims has come from technical, financial & reporting needs where the supply of permanent candidates has been reduced.
  • Maternity leave contracts are also noticeably up this year.

Since we entered lockdown in March last year, we have seen over 275 CFOs / Finance Directors start new appointments in the Yorkshire region. If you had told me that 12 months ago, I would not have believed you (and I consider myself to be an optimist!). Nobody can predict the long-term future, but I can predict that the next two quarters (at the very least) are going to carry on as positively for senior finance appointments.

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