Deloitte’s David Sproul joins CEO for a Day scheme


DELOITTE chief executive David Sproul is among 11 chief executives to take part in global executive search firm Odgers Berndtson’s CEO for a Day scheme.

Chief executives from 11 leading and privately-owned, and public sector organisations will be taking part such as BT, Standard Chartered, Legal & General, ITV, Kier Group, DFS, Deloitte, Weir and, in the public sector, The National Trust and Cabinet Office, and Odgers Berndtson itself. The scheme has run over a decade in other offices globally and has previously had over 350 organisations and 700 CEO’s and students taking part.

The scheme intends to shape future talent initiative in the UK, especially in the finance industry, as at least a third of the sitting CEOs and aspiring candidates have a background in finance. Therefore, it will show young people the key attributes they need to become future CFO’s and CEO’s in finance.

Mark Freebairn, head of financial management practice at Odgers Berndtson in London, leading the scheme said, “These ideas will increase the value in business and finance, the students bring in the relevant qualities as a powerful finance group which presents an opportunity. For the students looking to become a future CFO candidate, they should plan, develop the right experience, work for global organisations, which they will have a firm start on through this scheme. Good mentors ask for new opportunities, and they should always be challenging themselves.”

The CEO for a Day scheme invites second and third year university student finalists for a one on one day with a CEO in November and they will be able to learn about the background, career path, concerns and motivations of today’s leaders. Many students believe effective leaders need to have integrity and inspire, with a powerful vision, but also show empathy and a willingness to listen. The methods of motivating young people for all aspects of business are important for companies.

Eric Beaudan, leadership practice director, Toronto, “We look for profiles of executives who are very ambitious, results-oriented, independent, self-reliant and organised. But what we found in profiles when working with these students is that ambition and a desire to get things done remains important.”

The characteristics that millennials have compared to finance professionals are traits such as, discipline, charisma, creativity and being dynamic. The best candidates have high attributes in sociability, learning techniques and inquisitiveness, features typically less evident in the older generation of leaders. This changing picture of generational characteristics and motivation presents a change in the talent pool.

Sonia Pedreira, managing partner Portugal and Spain said, “We started the programme in 2009, in the financial crisis when young people had very negative feelings about the banks…. we decided to run the initiative to help attract the best young talent to companies, because the brightest students weren’t choosing to work in companies, preferring start-ups or other organisations.”

Regarding past CEO for a day candidates, some who applied with no interest in management have subsequently taken management roles.

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