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Payback time for finance chiefs in greater London

12 January 2011

Finance professionals in Greater London are enjoying a rise in demand for their business management skills and commercial know-how, according to research from Hays Senior Finance, the leading recruiting expert. Two-thirds of employers say retention of qualified accountants will be a key priority in 2011, with four in 10 (40 per cent) worried they won’t be able to hold onto their star players. The research suggests they may have good reason to worry, with two-thirds (67 per cent) of senior finance professionals saying they intend to look for a new job in the new year.

Paul Thomas, Regional Director of Hays Senior Finance in London, says, “Companies of all sizes, from blue-chip multinationals to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), have been lifting headcount freezes to ease the burden of existing finance teams. Employers are also making more use of interim appointments, with some companies paying interim chief financial officers (CFOs) up to £1,200 a day.”

In London, chief financial officers (CFOs) and group finance directors in large corporate organisations can expect to earn £200,000-£500,000, with many employers paying more to fill their most senior vacancies than they typically did prior to the economic downturn. Competition has already intensified to the extent that senior finance professionals routinely receive more than one job offer. Thomas says: “Employers are increasingly being trumped by lucrative counter-offers, as CEOs and board directors attempt to hang onto their finance chiefs. Talented qualified accountants are increasingly being sought-after for financial analysis roles, or to help mitigate operational or business risk.”

Paul Thomas says, “Accountants played key roles for most organisations during the recession. They implemented painful but necessary cost-saving drives, and identified areas of business with the greatest revenue-earning potential. Today, as companies look to safeguard rising revenues and find new markets in a fragile economic climate, those same senior finance professionals are now helping them plot and steer a path to sustained growth and financial strength.”

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About Hays
Hays plc (the "Group") is the leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Australia and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments.

As at 30 June 2010, the Group employed 6,845 staff operating from 270 offices in 28 countries across 17 specialisms.

For the year ended 30 June 2010:
– the Group reported net fees of £557.7 million and operating profit of £80.5 million;
– the Group placed around 50,000 candidates into permanent jobs and around 180,000 people into temporary assignments;
– 26% of Group net fees were generated in Asia Pacific, 30% in Continental Europe & RoW and 44% in the United Kingdom & Ireland
– the temporary placement business represented 58% of net fees and the permanent placement business represented 42% of net fees;
– Hays operates in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE and the United Kingdom.

For further press information please contact:
Emma Price or Alex Tucker
T. 020 7259 8821