The vote has happened, and the uncertainty has been replaced with, well, more uncertainty.
With the political and economic environment of our country plunged into chaos, the most optimistic business leaders are still predicting that it will be some time before we can extricate ourselves from the EU, conclude trade negotiations and get back on an even keel.
However, life goes on, and private equity backed businesses will be continuing on their path to growth, perhaps having to adapt their strategy or even abandon it for a new one altogether.
So, how can investors and CEO’s minimise the risk to their business?
Enter the interim manager.
No other community of executive talent can adapt to, harness and relish copious amounts of change like the interim management community. They are used to going into a business, quickly identifying where the opportunities are and then setting about rapidly transforming it to take full advantage of them.
How can interims add value in the current climate?
The business may want to undertake contingency planning around a number of possible scenarios, pre-empt a hit to trade with cost-cutting or plan for changes in the regulatory landscape. Whatever the issue, an interim can take an objective, level headed view and put in place robust plans to cover all eventualities.
Replacing a planned permanent hire
It might be wise for a business to consider hiring an interim in place of a permanent executive whilst the future trading environment is still unclear. The plan for taking the business forward might look very different post-withdrawal negotiations. A permanent member of the team will be hired with the skill set to execute a specific strategy, but if the strategy changes, a completely new set of skills may be required.
‘It’s possible to recruit much more experienced people on an interim basis than you may be able to on a permanent basis. The result is a fast application of specialist skills to a difficult situation.’ Chairman, private equity backed businesses
Evaluating all aspects of the business
From debt to foreign exchange, customer satisfaction to supplier relations, all aspects of the business can be assessed in fine detail to squeeze out every ounce of value. Rather like trading in a recession or through a turnaround, an interim can help ‘batten down the hatches’ and operate in as lean a way as possible. Interims will take an objective stance, without the baggage of history or internal politics; they will just focus on what’s best for the business.
The characteristics of an interim
Interims have ‘been there, done that’, in good times and bad, many times before. They have amassed a wealth of skill and experience, can hit the ground running and will have an immediate impact on the business. They recognise good practice, and can clearly see where improvements can be made.
They can adapt to any situation, quickly reading situations and people and deciding on the best approach. Interims can be both strategic and hands on, providing advice and guidance that will stay with the business after their departure.
A fresh perspective
Sometimes, businesses are guilty of ‘group think’, a tendency to want to preserve the norm. They recognise that change is good, but that it also comes with risk. Interims bring a new way of looking at things, backed up by experience elsewhere. Without any hidden agendas, they are motivated by the business challenge.
‘The nice thing is that an interim comes with lots of really fresh ideas from having worked in many different organisations, corporate and private equity.’ Chairman, private equity backed businesses
A stabilising force
Bringing in an interim can also bring an air of confidence and stability, steadying the ship in uncertain times and making decisions quickly and purposefully. Morale and motivation can increase as the workforce begins to see fast, positive impact on the business as a result.
Cost and value
Interims come without all the extra costs associated with permanent hires. There are no benefits, pension, bonus or equity to pay, and none of the other standard employee costs like NI, holidays etc. But the value they can bring to a business is immense, and in many cases game changing.
‘I got a very high level person with lots of experience…. We definitely got value for money and were extremely happy with the result.’
Chairman, private equity backed businesses
Find out more about our Elite Interim Network, a community of private equity experienced interim managers spanning all roles and sectors.
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