Seminar on interim management: European trends

Surveys in Germany show that on average companies that have used interim managers get 5 euro back for every euro an interim manager has cost them. This was one of the conclusions of the seminar that InterimLeder organised for its interim managers on Friday 6 November.

Germany is a mature market for interim management

There are many companies in Germany that specialise in providing interim managers. Many of them have long experience, having started back in the 1990s. The number of interim managers in Germany is estimated to be between 20,000 and 25,000. As in Norway, interim managers are mainly used in the areas Gap Management, Change Management and Project Management.  

Interim management in Germany: Assignment types and trends

The main trend is that an increasing proportion of the assignments are directed at change management. Interim managers are found in many different industries, but perhaps naturally the biggest sector is motor and industry. Interim management in the public sector is not a large area in Germany. It is interesting to note from the surveys that were carried out that of all the companies questioned, 55% answered that they used interim managers regularly.

ROIM (Return on Interim Management)

Thus interim management is already a widespread and well-established service in Germany, but what kind of return on investment does the customer get from using an interim manager? The surveys show that for very euro the companies invest in interim managers, they get many back. 20% of the companies said that they get 10 euro or more back for every euro an interim manager costs. Fewer than 1% said they get back less than they invest. On average, the companies said that they get back five times their investment.

Choice of interim manager

One of the most important criteria when choosing an interim manager is how quickly they can be in place – ideally they should be able to start within days. Another important criterion in the choice of interim manager is that the interim management company has a good overview of the market, that it has a large base of potential managers – which in turn increases the probability of finding the right interim manager. Many companies also find interim managers through somebody they know, but the surveys show that interim managers found through an interim management company are of better quality.

As far as the future is concerned, German companies say that flexibility in the labour market will increase, which means in turn that the use of interim managers will also increase. 

Interim management on the British market

Just as in Germany, interim management has existed in Britain for many years. Today there are industry associations for companies that supply interim managers to the British market. As they have developed experience, they have also gained a good insight into and considerable statistical material about the market and its use of interim managers.

Assignment types and trends in Britain

In Britain too, the use of interim managers has spread across many different industries, but the biggest sectors are construction, telecommunications and the media. Unlike in Germany and Norway, in Britain there is widespread use of interim managers in the public sector.

In terms of types of assignment, these are clearly somewhat different from Germany. Change management is declining somewhat, while project management and turnarounds are increasing. Obviously this may be connected with the different groupings that apply in Germany and Britain. 

The market for interim management in Britain

There is a large market for interim management in Britain, with many companies involved. There are both companies that supply interim managers, known locally as ISPs or interim service providers, and independent interim managers. The British market has a very well developed interim management sector, which is worth about £1.5 billion a year. Continued growth is anticipated in this market, both in volume and in revenues. Interim management is also a recognised career path. Executive search and interim management complement each other to a great extent. A large proportion of assignments are via ISP companies. 


In countries such as Germany and Britain, which have a more developed and mature attitude to the use of interim managers, interim management has become a profession for many and a defined sector that is still growing. In terms of what the concept of interim management means, there are great similarities with Norway.

A decisive criterion in the choice of interim manager is how quickly the interim manager can be in place. Companies only obtain this by going to companies that are professionally involved in hiring out managers, so-called ISPs. These have good databases of capable, experienced managers and can therefore provide highly qualified interim managers at very short notice. 

In conclusion, we can say that our concept in Norway contains the same important elements as those of Germany and Britain. Return on investment in and use of interim managers is doubtless at least as high in Norway, but the market for interim managers in Norway is still immature in comparison with these two countries.