The banking and financial sector is showing a high demand for Interim Managers to support it through a period of major transformation where specialist skills, experience and knowledge are needed, according to Russam GMS, the award-winning interim management provider.

The latest twice-yearly snapshot survey of 12,000 interims from Russam GMS revealed that banking, finance and insurance was the second largest sector for assignments, with only engineering and manufacturing having a greater share. The research found that banking, finance and insurance was the second highest paying sector for interims, with an average daily rate of £701 per day, with only those working in the FMCG sector paid more at £853 per day. Recent research from the Interim Management Association (IMA) backs this up as it found banking and finance accounted for over half (53 per cent) of all interim management assignments in the private sector during the first quarter of 2012, up 14 percentage points from the previous quarter.

Interestingly Russam’s snap shot research also highlighted that change management has emerged as a new professional discipline in interim management – with 17% of interims now seeing themselves as change managers. According to Russam GMS, the banking and financial services sector is increasingly demanding these change managers to drive the major transformation projects, including mergers and acquisitions and restructuring.

It also found that half of all Interim Managers were tasked with supplying skills that were absent in their client’s business, rather than the traditional use of interims as ‘gap fillers’. Interims pose a less risky option for banks in the current climate as they are a resource that can be turned on an off, with little or no overheads such as pensions to pay.

Jason Atkinson, Managing Director of Russam Interim said: “The recent research from Russam GMS and Interim Management Association show that demand for interims is high in banking and finance. There are major transformation projects taking place in the banking and finance sector – from mergers and acquisitions through to restructuring and compliance work. Typically, banks won’t have individuals with the skills and experience to lead such projects on their payroll. It makes more financial and business sense to hire in this specialist resource on a project basis. Interim is a great option as it is a resource that can be turned on and off – something which appeals to a sector still going through major change and turbulent times.”

Adam Hembury, Interim Change/Transformation Director says, “My view is that banks and financial services companies are delaying major transformation projects for a few months whilst the market is still uncertain. They simply don’t have the appetite for risk so have retrenched. However, with the pace of regulatory change continuing in the sector and the need to restore consumer confidence, experts who can lead projects in areas like payments processing, complaints handling and other back end systems are in demand. I am confident that major transformation projects will be back on the table and banks will be calling in interim change specialists to run them.”

Mark Hayes-Newington, Managing Director at the Financial Services Forum says, ““In financial services, the interim role is becoming increasing important particularly in areas like marketing where there are a higher number of senior women. Interims are being used in many areas from handling gaps around maternity leave, through to the management of projects, be these development projects or implementation of new initiatives.”