Why it’s hard to live by the rules

Regulatory restrictions are making it harder for the boards of financial services groups to hire “generalist” non- executive directors, a new report contends.

Conducted by the search firm Per Ardua, the survey of FTSE 350 chairmen working in the sector found most are now highly focused on risk and regulatory issues, but also that some feel this raises the possibility that meeting the broader needs of the business will be secondary to satisfying the regulators.

Most people in the sector feel increased regulation is a good thing, even when it increases boards’ workloads, said Simon Hearn, the chief executive of Per Ardua. “But some chairmen went on to say that there is such a focus on risk and remuneration committees that they don’t have any room on their board for generalists, and that they need some because they are the people more likely to be the next chairman.

Read more in The Sunday Times

Boom time for the in-betweeners

Demand for interim managers is soaring. It climbed 15 percentage points in the first quarter of this year, the Interim Management Association says.

It also reported a strong rise in public sector assignments, up from 30% of the total to 44%.

Financial services accounted for 45% of interim appointments in the private sector.

Organisations’ expectations of interim staff are evolving alongside the growth in demand, said Ben Hawkins, executive director at BIE, an interim provider.

“They are being sought for projects around consolidation and transformation. They are expected to drive value,” he said.

Read more about the interim market in The Sunday Times

I get by with a little help from my alumni network

Studying for an MBA at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, Julia Fintz made the most of every opportunity to network.

“I went to as many events as I could, joined clubs, attended talks,” said Fintz, a former project manager at Credit Suisse. “And since then I’ve continued to attend as many events as I can to maintain the relationships I built while I was there and to establish new ones with people from other years.”

Business school alumni networks remain useful long after the post-graduation job hunt, said Fintz, 34, who returned to banking for several years after finishing her MBA in 2009 before setting up Lekker Adventures, a travel business, in 2013. She turned to her alumni network for advice in getting it off the ground — and now sees it as a source of customers.

Read more in The Sunday Times

Freelance journalist and writer