No Escape from the Recession for Corporate Governance Professionals

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The outlook for corporate governance employment stability in the short term looks bleak despite the increased need for risk assessment and regulation. Leading corporate governance recruitment consultancy Barclay Simpson looks at the impact of the Recession corporate governance professionals in their interim report, identifying the slump in salary growth across the UK as well as the shortfall in new opportunities.

Whatever new regulatory regime may be implemented, it is clear that managing risk and uncertainty is becoming an increasingly important part of corporate strategy

In its Interim Market Report – July 2009, corporate governance recruitment specialist Barclay Simpson reviews the outlook for corporate governance in the UK. Economic trends are analysed and market forces assessed to determine the employment prospects of those employed in internal audit, risk management, regulatory compliance and information security.

Although corporate governance is mentioned daily in the media as a key area of political and business concern, the recession has not spared its practitioners. Like many other professions, they are experiencing redundancy whilst taking cold comfort that they are not suffering as badly as other areas of the economy.

Compared to 12 months ago, Barclay Simpson report that the generation of new corporate governance vacancies have fallen by 65%, and that there has been a 50% increase in the number of people seeking a new position either because they have been made redundant or fear the possibility. Unsurprisingly, percentage average salary increases achieved via the recruitment market have declined to single figures as employers take advantage of the weakened bargaining position of job seekers. However, it is not all one way traffic. Those in secure positions are reluctant to take the risk of changing employer. In some areas skill shortages remain to the confusion and frustration of hiring managers who, in recessionary times, expect to be able to pick and choose the staff they want to hire.

Looking to the future, those who work in corporate governance anticipate that the overhaul of the regulatory regime will present employment opportunities. “Whatever new regulatory regime may be implemented, it is clear that managing risk and uncertainty is becoming an increasingly important part of corporate strategy,” says Adrian Simpson of Barclay Simpson. “Companies are looking to reduce their risk profiles and surveys are indicating that companies both in and outside of financial services are planning to strengthen their corporate governance teams.”

However, whilst many corporate governance departments are reporting an increase in workload and a shortage of staff, this is not translating into an increase in demand. Corporate management remains focused on reducing costs and maximising efficiencies. In the absence of a material improvement in business conditions it will require new regulatory initiatives to be rolled out before there is any meaningful uplift in the corporate governance recruitment markets.

About Barclay Simpson:

  • Barclay Simpson is a leading international corporate governance recruitment consultancy providing permanent and interim recruitment solutions for internal and computer audit, risk management, regulatory compliance, information security and legal professionals.
  • Interim Market Report site:


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Adrian Simpson

Ian Coyle
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