Demand soars for experts in stripping out costs

Demand from banks for extra senior staff to help them sell off loan portfolios and non-core businesses is driving a surge in work for interim executives.

The number of new assignments given to interim executives is at its highest level for two years, according to the recruitment specialist Interim Partners. Doug Baird, managing director, said: "Businesses are taking steps to respond to the eurozone crisis by trying to become as lean as they can. That is creating demand for interims with experience of going into a business and taking out any non-core costs in a way that has the least possible impact on customers and staff morale."

Interim executives are senior executives, usually just below board-level, recruited on a short-term basis. They earn as much as £1,000 to £2,000 a day.

Research by Ipsos MORI for the Interim Management Association identified 526 new interim management assignments that began in the third quarter of 2011, compared to the 431 that started in the second quarter.

Andrew McIntee, director of financial services at Interim Partners, said: "One new area of demand is for interims that have the experience to help banks work through the restructuring of their large portfolios of distressed debt."