The INIMA Report 2021

A market survey by the International Network of Interim Manager Associations (INIMA)

The Background

This was the first European Survey conducted by Interim Managers for the primary benefit of Interim Managers. The INIMA survey collected the views of 750 practising professionals who were members of all the leading European Interim Manager Associations.

The Interim Managers

A typical European Interim Manager in the survey was male, aged 56 years,  with more than 6 years of experience as an interim professional and working at C-level role or above. The top five(5) primary functional specialities of Interim Managers were general management, operations, human resources, finance and sales. Functional expertise reflected the national economy and the national IM associations, so each country had a distinct profile. In 2020 the average utilization of European Interim managers was 56% and there was a considerable spread between countries, but by January 2021 the spread had reduced significantly. The effects of the pandemic in the year 2020 were different for each economy, each sector and each Interim Manager.

The Clients

Private industry accounted for 90% of European interim assignments in 2020, the Interim Managers worked in more than 35 distinct activities,  the top three(3) were equipment manufacturing-mechanical engineering, automotive and industrial.  European Interim Managers had assignments in the full range of enterprises, from the start-up with a few employees,  to large corporations. In Spain and Italy, over half of the assignments were in companies with less than 100 employees.

The Assignments

Interim Managers are change-agents by nature so it was no surprise that change management and process optimization were frequent issues addressed during assignments. The average duration of an interim assignment in Europe was 11,4 months and there was a modest variation between the countries, but the outliers were more interesting. Short assignments were popular in the UK, France and Poland whilst long assignments (often part-time) were popular in Italy. The range of the day rates was extremely large, from €300 to €2000, which showed the diversity of national economies, national IM markets, size of clients and sectors.  The main sales channels remained the personal network whilst the percentage of assignments landed through interim providers was less than past European surveys.

In the next six months, the pressure on pricing was predicted to remain high across Europe, but there was optimism for IM business opportunities in 2021.

INIMA aims to be an International Network of Interim Manager Associations as a non-profit organization whose partners share common principles, values and a code of conduct. INIMA supports cross border collaboration to advance the Interim Management profession and facilitate the exchange of knowledge between the members of the INIMA partner associations. INIMA shall encourage communication, and share experiences, best practices and competencies.