Exploiting the expertise and experience of an interim manager is
a smart move in these uncertain times – and may give a significant
competitive advantage.

CEOs manage resources to achieve results. If this were easy,
every asset finance company would be a success story. The reality
is that CEOs are often constrained by shortcomings in their armoury
or by time. The ability to improve the armoury with the right
additional weapon or engage extra value-added resources can deliver
impressive business benefits.

Tapping into the expertise of interim managers is a smart move
in these challenging and uncertain times – making use of a hands-on
person with significant experience and a proven track record of
delivering results.

Evolving roles

Interim managers were traditionally used by asset finance
companies in times of distress, perhaps to cover the unexpected or
sudden departure of a senior executive, and primarily to hold the
fort. Today, interim management has evolved to the extent that
experts are available to cover a wide and diverse range of roles
and specialist areas. Interim management has great potential for
companies to make the most of the fast-moving business

As companies have come to appreciate the benefits of using
interim managers, they are now making greater use of them on a
planned basis, and not solely when something unforeseen arises.
Companies may be limited by not having the necessary in-house
skills, or they may be too busy with other commitments to achieve
their objectives.

Although the term used to describe people engaged on an interim
basis is ‘interim manager’, many of the assignments are at director

Valuable benefits

Interim management is enabling companies to improve their
competitiveness without incurring high permanent fixed costs by
bringing in specialist skills as and when they are needed. Interim
management is generally synonymous with business change. The scope
to mismanage change is enormous and interim management is
increasingly acknowledged as a successful means of helping to fill
the capability hole.

Interim managers can be attractive to clients for numerous
reasons, such as their experience and proven success, speed of
response, flexibility, accessibility, independence, objectivity,
focus on action and results, resourcefulness and enthusiasm. The
ability to be up and running immediately is a significant asset for
the company.

Interim managers may be engaged to help steer a company through
a major change, such as launching a new-start or a new initiative,
achieving an acquisition or merger, integration, downsizing or
disposal, turning a business around or, worst-case scenario,
ensuring survival.

They may be required to implement a restructuring or to change
business culture, to help business or team development, for crisis
management, for mentoring or to lead specific projects. They may
step in for an unexpected departure or to ease a skills

Some interim managers offer general advice and support or serve
as a sounding board for a business’ own ideas. They can be an
important source of fresh views. In times of crisis they can help
guide the management team through difficult decisions.

Worth the cost

The best managers know when to tap into external expertise or
supplementary resources to add value. Given that interim man-agers
are hand-picked for the task and that it is important to them to
maintain their professional reputation, any concerns about engaging
external assistance should be immediately dismissed.

Engaging an interim manager might seem expensive, but securing
the right person for the job will mean that the cost is repaid,
frequently many times over, making it a wise investment.

With an interim manager the company has a fixed overhead. He is
contracted to deliver a fixed assignment for a fixed fee and fixed

Straightaway, the company receives the benefit of the interim
manager’s experience and skills. The fees charged for an interim
manager represent excellent value when flexibility and the
comparative cost of permanent employment are brought into the

A wealth of experience

Interim managers are often over qualified for the job and it is
probable that there is nothing that they have not seen before. They
do not need a learning curve and can start to contribute right
away, and make an early impact or deliver results.

An interim manager can provide a fresh, unbiased view and is
focused on the objectives set him. He should be taken into
management’s confidence because he is impartial and his assessment
of the business may prove invaluable. Indeed, he may be the only
person that management knows who has previously undertaken the task
or project in question.

Asset finance companies that leverage their ability to tap into
management talent on an interim basis are now realising that this
may help to give them a competitive advantage.

Being results-driven, an interim manager is as motivated as the
company to achieve the desired objective. We can expect interim
management to increase in popularity, particularly in today’s
volatile and demanding times.