Best brains may be lured to US

Link: Blair’s position not safe, say FDs

Recruitment experts are predicting a ‘brain-drain’, due to US regulatory compliance issues following the Enron and WorldCom scandals that have led to a big increase in the respect and desirability for UK senior financial executives.

Mina Gouran, head of board services at executive recruitment firm Korn/Ferry International, said that US companies were not looking to Europe in general, but specifically the UK. ‘The qualifications and grounding of accountants in the UK is highly respected abroad.

‘For many international businesses it is becoming a key requirement to look for senior financial executives who have a great knowledge of UK GAAP, US GAAP and IFRS.’

Greg Robinson, director for the financial officers practice at recruitment agency Norman Broadbent, said that British FDs had strong reputations internationally. ‘They are seen as great sounding boards regarding compliance issues, and therefore great candidates for non-executive director positions,’ he said.

But Robinson is less concerned about FDs taking roles in the US and sees the situation as a positive thing for the UK generally ‘Their experience abroad will give them a broader business knowledge,’ he added.

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