Evening view over Paris with Eiffel tower and Sacre Coeur

The Interim Management market in France




Reading time: 5 minutes

Interim Management is on the rise and market leader Valtus is experiencing an all-time high. This is also mentioned in the INIMA Annual Survey 2022, stating that there has been a large growth of Interim Management in France since the last survey in 2021, and in 2019 the market was valued at Euro 440 million. We have talked to Yves Mégret, Partner at Valtus, about the French Interim Management market.

“The interest for Interim Management solutions is growing fast, and during the last 10 years, the variety of our clients has increased, especially within large, often listed companies, but also start-ups and scale-ups, the public sector, and non-profit assignments. One example of a pro-bono IT assignment is when we helped the restaurant Restos du Cœur, which was started by the famous comedian Coluche.”

After the recession of 2008, companies have slimmed their organizations and are working leaner. The disadvantage for the companies is that now the competencies for leading strategy projects are lacking internally, which has increased the need for Interim Management. During Covid, there was a decline in requests for restructuring and turnaround professionals. This was mainly because the government supported the companies, leading to that they managed to get out of the crisis pretty well. Companies that would normally have been closed due to the crisis, have even been boosted thanks to the allowances and secured loans by the government. This has delayed their crises, and now the need for turnaround assignments is growing again.

The largest part of Valtus’ clients are middle-sized companies and subsidiaries. The assignments are also increasingly diversified. Earlier, the focus was on general management, HR, finance, and operations. Now the demand for Interim Managers has widened considerably and concerns for example IT, marketing, communications, digital, legal, purchase, and supply chain. The sector breakdown of Executive Interim Management in France continues to leave the lion’s share to industry, which (~40%) therefore represents the sector that consumes the most of Valtus’ assignments before services, distribution, new technologies and health.

“For Valtus, Interim Management is above all about guiding companies through the complex stages of transformation.”, says Félicie Dera, responsible for Client Experience and Marketing at Valtus.

The typical Interim Manager is still 55+, but more and more people in their 40ies are interested in a career as Interim Managers. 10 years ago, working as an Interim Manager was something you did at the end of your career, but now it is seen as a career of its own and you can go between interim assignments and permanent positions. This is an important development as these persons get self-confidence in their market value and what they can achieve operationally.

Still, women only make out about 20% of their Interim Managers. “However, the impact of legislation on gender parity should contribute to gradually increasing the proportion of women. Moreover, they perform better in customer interviews!”, says Yves Mégret.

Why does your clients choose to hire Interim Managers?

“30-40% of the assignments are because of vacancies, and 60-70% are because the organizations have a need for project transformation. This can be, for example, M&A or performance improvement, whether regarding quality, sales, finance, or strategic project management (implementation of an ERP, opening of a new country/market, construction of a factory). In 2022, the market experienced unprecedented growth.

This is the result of the combination of several factors:

  • First of all, unprecedented tension in the job market is leading customers to use our services to deal with excessively long vacancies
  • An overall dynamic economy despite the turbulence linked to the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and the underlying inflation
  • A significant change in the relationship to work following the Covid-19 crisis is leading managers to reconsider their mode of investment and strengthening the quest for meaning in their daily work
  • At the end of the year 2022, the uncertainties linked to 2023 certainly prompted clients to favour the use of seasoned experts and flexible forms of collaboration
  • And finally, even if we should not be happy about it, the return of crisis and restructuring issues are once again a topic after having been put on hold for more than 2 years, because of the support measures that the French government has put in place; but those that were fragile before the crisis and which have survived thanks to the aid, face difficulties again as the windfall effect is over”

At the same time as the interim market is booming, the competition is also growing. It is increasingly common for Interim Managers to form their own networks within their functions and industries. In addition, the number of Executive Search companies offering interim services is increasing. Valtus is experiencing the added value of their partners in understanding customer needs, the accuracy in the selection of managers and the quality of mission support, as well as our ability to support the customers internationally, are decisive competitive advantages.

Yves Mégret, Partner, Valtus, Paris

Valtus France is part of Valtus Group, the largest Executive Interim Management provider in the world with offices in six countries. Valtus was created by Philippe Soullier in 2001 with the vision of helping companies transform and evolve with the support of talented Interim Managers and leadership teams.

Read more here: www.valtus.fr