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No matter which way the UK public votes on the 23rd of June, the build-up to the EU referendum has caused much uncertainty, not just within the City, but beyond Europe’s boundaries due to London’s central positioning within the global financial services sector.

It is well known that when the economic future is unclear, companies tend to take a conservative strategic approach and protect their position / investment. There has been a clear correlation between the looming referendum and the number of projects being placed on hold.

Yet, on the 24th of June, the period of relative stagnation will be instantly reversed as firms seek to restart projects which have been put on hold or, if the decision is Brexit, there will be an immediate need for impact analysis.

Reactionary times, being the first to respond

How can companies ensure they are agile, competitive and scalable in a post referendum Britain?

A former Managing Director of Barclays Wealth, explained; “companies will be expected to instantly tool-up and begin to immediately action projects that have been on hold for several months. A key advantage will be obtained by the companies who can ‘hit the ground running’ post-referendum. In a market where small differences can lead to substantial competitive advantages, this could be a crucial differentiator.”

However, according to Grant Thornton UK, “over 65% of respondents said they have done no planning at all” for Brexit. This could mean that if the referendum result takes the UK out of Europe, companies may not have the strategy or the resources ready to implement an effective plan for success.

Executive interim solutions provide experience and flexibility

“You need to be agile in times like this”, quoted a COO of a European investment bank, “it is essential to have a wealth of highly-experienced hands available to you at short-notice – individuals who know how to deliver.”

An effective way to immediately supplement an existing talent-base, thus enabling a company to instantly action critical projects, is to draw upon the experience of executive interims.

Interim-to-permanent model – low risk, high rewards

As much as interim solutions are often overlooked, so too is the interim-to-permanent model.

An interim-to-permanent model enables companies to immediately harness the skills of highly-seasoned executives, whilst providing them with the opportunity to assess the soft skills and cultural fit of the individual before committing to a permanent hire.

Building a framework that embraces disruption and change

As much as the EU referendum is the current focal point for organisations, it is just one example of how the FS industry as a whole is facing a constant stream of change and disruption, from competitive avenues such as the challenger and fintech market as well as from external regulatory and compliance legislation.

The Global Client Director at Amazon Web Services, stated at a recent keynote address that; “the rate of change that we are experiencing today is the slowest we’ll ever know.” His perspective is one of adopting a mind-set that fully embraces disruption, with the goal of turning it into a competitive advantage.

In preparation for this change, the FS industry must seek to prioritise agility within their overall talent strategy, whereby they can seamlessly access a rich and diverse pool of talent, who can be rapidly deployed within an array of critical functions.

Executive interim solutions provide this.

For more information on the executive interim solutions provided by Leathwaite, please contact +44 207 151 5151 or visit