Financial experience counts for more with FTSE 100 chiefs

More than half of chief executives in the FTSE 100 share index have a ‘strong
financial background’, according to a new survey which highlights the premium
top firms are placing on accounting and financial experience.

According to recruitment company Robert Half, 51 per cent of FTSE 100 chief
executives have a financial background ­ defined as being a qualified
accountant, having worked as a finance director or in the banking industry. This
figure is up from 39% a year earlier.

Based on the latest reshuffle of the FTSE 100 index, which came into effect
this week, 12 of the 15 UK chief executives appointed in the past year have
sound financial experience, said Robert Half.

Phil Sheridan, managing director of Robert Half UK, said: ‘Executives who
possess strong financial backgrounds are actively being sought to lead some of
the UK’s most recognised companies.

‘Accounting and finance expertise is clearly regarded as a key ingredient for
successfully navigating challenging business conditions.’

Women remain under-represented in the FTSE 100, with only four female chief
executives, down from three a year ago.

The average age of a FTSE chief executive is now 52, up from 51 last year,
Robert Half said.

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