Financially Minded CEOs in Demand Post-Recession

By Robert Half, PRNE
Monday, April 25, 2011

Diversity Still Lacking Amongst FTSE 100 CEOs, Robert Half Analysis Finds

LONDON, April 26, 2011 - It appears that finance skills are key to becoming a leading
CEO, findings from the annual Robert Half FTSE 100 CEO Tracker reveal. Nearly
half (49 per cent) of serving Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) in the current
FTSE 100 Index have financial backgrounds*, compared to only 31 per cent in

Of the 10 FTSE 100 CEOs who have been appointed over the past
year, seven leaders (70 per cent) have financial backgrounds, including
Andrew Harrison of Whitbread and Nicandro Durant of British American Tobacco
who have both held Finance Director roles in their career.

"As the economy continues to improve, we are seeing an
increasing demand for leaders with a strong financial skill set to guide
organisations through a challenging operating environment and drive
competitiveness so they emerge a stronger, more capable business", said Phil
, Managing Director for Robert Half UK. "This renewed significance in
fiscal expertise reflects the increasing regulatory environment and need for
accountability for the numbers behind the business."


Although diversity amongst the FTSE 100 has come a long way in
recent years, looking back at last year's results, the 2011 research suggests
there has not been an improvement at the C-level. This is especially
prevalent when it comes to gender, nationality and age.

The number of women making the top position in 2011 has
remained unchanged, with four at the top for both years. However, the number
of CEOs under the age of 45 has increased from 4 per cent to 6 per cent over
the last year, indicating that a higher number of younger professionals are
making their way to the top.

    FTSE 100              2010          2011

    % Woman                 4             4
    % British Nationals    59            54
    % under age of 45       4             6

While the majority of CEOs are British nationals, the
remaining leaders come from a wide range of countries, including the United
, Mexico, Syria, India and South Africa. The youngest FTSE 100 CEO is
still Oleg Novachuk who, at only 39, runs the copper mining company
Kazakhmys. Jaime Lomelin of Fresnillo, who has been at the helm for over 20
years, retains his title as being the oldest CEO in the FTSE 100 Index, aged

Titles, tenure, and education

Seven of the FTSE 100 CEOs hold titles including Dame Marjorie
of Pearson, the international media and publishing company, and Sir
Martin Sorrell who also holds the accolade of longest serving FTSE 100 CEO.
Sorrell, of advertising and communications giant WPP, has been at the top for
nearly 25 years.

Sorrell is also one of a clutch of FTSE 100 CEOs who attended
the elite halls of Oxbridge. With a 2 per cent increase on last year, 21 per
cent of current CEOs attended either Oxford or Cambridge, with the vast
majority of the remainder holding some form of higher education

About Robert Half

Robert Half pioneered specialised recruitment services and
today is the world's leader in the field. Founded in 1948, the company is
traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: RHI) and operates five
separate divisions in the UK, each serving distinct markets. They include:
Robert Half Finance & Accounting and Robert Half Management Resources, for
temporary, permanent and interim professionals, respectively, in the fields
of accounting and finance; OfficeTeam, for highly skilled temporary
administrative support, Robert Half Financial Services Group, for
high-calibre banking and capital markets professionals and Robert Half
Technology for highly skilled information technology professionals. Robert
Half UK has been named to the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For

There are more than 350 Robert Half locations worldwide. For more
information about Robert Half please visit or
follow us at

About the Robert Half FTSE 100 CEO Tracker

The Robert Half FTSE 100 CEO Tracker is conducted each year in
March. Research is conducted using company websites, annual reports and CEO
appointment news coverage.

About FTSE 100 Index

The FTSE 100 share index is a stock market index made up of
the 100 largest UK registered companies in terms of their market

*Financial experience / background signifies those with a
qualification in accountancy (for example a Chartered Accountant), those who
have held a previous FD, CFO or similar financial role (for example financial
controller) or those who have worked within the banking industry.

* During the recession the number of CEOs with a financial background
rose by 64% and is now holding steady.

    Year           FTSE 100 CEOs with a Financial
                            Background (%)

    2008                        31
    2009                        51
    2010                        51
    2011                        49

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Lucy Sethill, Burson-Marsteller, +44(0)20-7300-6276, Lucy.sethill at; Kristie Perrotte, Robert Half UK, +44(0)20-7331-2294, Kristie.perrotte at

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