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The Interim Management Market and Research

Note 6.1.6

The problem we have here is that we don’t really have any up to date and reliable Research Material about the Interim Management Market.

We don’t know anything authoritative about its size, dimensions, sector and professional discipline breakdowns, genders, earnings, utilisation, geographical spread, etc.  Probably the nearest we get is the material produced by the IIM – www.iim.org.uk  Their research is based on information supplied by Interim Managers – either known to the IIM or referred to them by volunteer Interim Management Providers.

This means that material about Interim Managers themselves is likely to be meaningful but NOT meaningful where you would be looking for information from Users/ Clients of Interim Manager – including material such as the size of the Market, etc.

The IMA has produced Research Information in the past through IPSOS MORI but this has been based on actual assignments handled by their Members.  The problems here arose through the bias resulting from their members’ areas of activity and also when their numbers reduced from about 30 to about 13.

Russam GMS has produced their six monthly Snapshot Survey since 2001 but discontinued it in 2014.  Their view was that the response and sample size had reduced to the extent that invalidated the judgements.  There was also a view that the definition of “Interim Manager” had become opaque and the constituency of the pools of independent Professionals that could legitimately be defined as Interim Managers had changed and was continuing to change.  Other Interim Management Providers have published Research Material from time to time but this has mainly been of a qualitative nature.  Anything to do with Quantitative statistics would need a representative client base sample – which no-one Interim Management Provider would have.  In practical terms, it was not valid to aggregate figures from multiple Providers.

However, what has been offered is a distinctly crude measurement process based on being able to assess in broad terms the turnover of the IM Providers, adopt the figure of 40%, being the percentage of Interim Managers known to Providers who derive their assignments through Providers and assume that 100% is the size of the Market.  During the eighties and early nineties that was thought to be about £1bn.

The IMA website reports (as at 4.2.16) that the IM market is worth £1.5bn, that there are 15k IMs currently active and that activity has risen by 93% since 2006.

The website also states that the IM Market will be worth £2bn by 2015 and that 25% of this will be overseas work.

More recently, a different and equally as “scientific” method has been used!  This takes the assessed number of active Interim Managers in the UK – the IIM thinks this is about 16k and others think that this might be about 20k – we know from various sources that the average daily rate is about £750 and who are, in practical terms, available – which is thought to be about 200 days.)

This produces a turnover figure of about £1.7bn based on 16k active Interim Managers and £2.1bn based on 20K.

Finally, the growing difficulties in measurement are compounded by not knowing exactly what Interim Management is, not knowing just how many Interim Management Assignments actually happen, given that there are so many Interim Management Intermediaries now including web based activities such as LinkedIn, etc.  (See our own commentary in Section 6.1.1. – Definition of Interim Management.)

These figures do appear incongruous when compared with Working Free’s assessment of the Self Drive Worker market  being 45% of 32m, which is the working population in the UK – out of a total population of 64m.

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