Senior Executive Market Updates – Prepare for 2024

As we enter the middle of Q4, activity in the market remains buoyant across a number of sectors, geographies and functions.

This is demonstrated by the market updates InterExec are receiving from our global network of 15,000+ executive search consultants.

Business sectors across the major geographic regions continue to look positive as organisations hunt for outstanding people who could lead growth and transformation into 2024. Specific sectors reporting a positive market include:

• Major consultancies
• FMCG
• Financial services
• Industrial
• Private equity
• Mining
• Technology

Although higher interest rates are still having a somewhat of a negative effect on investment into the tech space, candidates with skillsets around AI / ML remain in high demand Regardless of sector or scale of organisation, understanding the effective application of these emerging technologies is becoming a preoccupation for many businesses as well as governments globally, as can be seen by the high profile coverage of the UK AI Safety Summit.

The pharmaceutical and healthcare markets are still reported to be relatively slow in terms of senior level appointments however, the reasoning seems less clear cut; some search consultants attribute it lower investment, particularly from the US where one of the sector’s major lenders recently collapsed. Others attribute the lack of executive hires to a degree of ‘right sizing’ for organisations which over-expanded between 2020 and now.

Candidates within the professional services / management consultancy space continue to see relatively high levels of engagement, both for further roles in consultancies as well as leadership positions into relevant industries. Despite reports that several major consultancies are shedding numbers, this doesn’t seem to be having an overtly negative effect on opportunites at Partner level and above.

Looking at the wider finance sectors there are several key things worth noting.

Since the last mailshot major UK and US banks have announced their Q3 2023 figures and they are mixed; however none are a cause for concern.

The banks may well be seeking executives who understand and have managed distressed debt and in addition have experience of special situations.

Credit risk professionals are also likely to be in demand.
One particular problem sector is real estate – experts in restructuring this sector are clearly of interest.

Cost cutters along with business transformation specialists are also in demand.

Wealth management continues to perform well.
In the UK, banking sector regulators have confirmed plans to scrap the cap on bankers’ bonuses with the new policy going live at the end of October.

In a joint statement, the UK financial watchdogs confirmed that they will remove the current limits on the ratio between fixed and variable pay.

The timing of the change means banks will be able to offer bigger rewards in the upcoming round of bonuses, which regulators hope will give banks more flexibility about their cost base going into a potential downturn.

The wider Middle East has bucked a wider global downturn with a surge in public listings this year, in which 13 IPOs collectively delivered $1.8bn in proceeds across the region in the first half of the year – a significant 44% boost compared to the same period in 2022, according to EY.

Described as Davos in the Desert, this is an integral part of Saudi Arabia’s $1 trillion Vision 2030 Programme. Contracts worth hundreds of billions of dollars are on offer to create infrastructure, manufacturing, green energy and construction projects. It should also be noted that The Public Investment Fund (PIF), Saudi Arabia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, is worth more than $700bn and it’s open for business.

Finding the right search consultant with the most appropriate job opportunity to match your objectives in this unadvertised and often politically complex marketplace is one of the key InterExec skills.

Additionally focussing and preparing you and planning the entire process by which you identify and find that new challenge is InterExec’s core skill.

Please, do not hesitate to get in touch with the InterExec team at any time up to 6 months prior to when you hope to move.