Demand for interim managers ‘outstripping supply’

Interim managers have not been in such great demand since the height of the dotcom boom six years ago, according to a survey of 8,000 executives on the books of recruiter Russam GMS. The number of interims on assignments has risen by 5.1 per cent on the previous year, the research suggests.

Daily rates are also at a record high: the average paid is £585, an increase of 5.4 per cent from 2006. According to chairman Charles Russam, rates start at around £300 and go into the thousands for the most senior and in-demand managers.

‘For the first time ever, we are seeing demand for interim managers putting serious pressure on supply, which no doubt accounts for the daily rate increases,’ says Russam. ‘However, this is tempered by strong client pressures to keep rates down, coming from procurement professionals – themselves now in greater demand.’

Russam tells that it is harder now to fill interim positions than at any time during the past 25 years.

‘We’re still getting a lot of interims saying “put me forward”, but a lot of them are then pulling out because they’ve found another job,’ he explains. ‘That’s never happened before.’

According to Russam, there may be 20,000 to 30,000 interim managers in the UK, about 15,000 of whom are registered with agencies.

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.