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Quarter of FTSE 100 bosses are qualified accountants

Background in finance most likely career path among Britain's top bosses

COMPANY bosses working in the FTSE 100 are more likely to have a background in finance than any other specialism, recruiters Robert Half said.

The 2015 annual Robert Half FTSE 100 CEO Tracker found that more than half of Britain’s top bosses have a financial background, while one in four CEOs are qualified chartered accountants.

By comparison, 21% come from careers in retail/hospitality, 17% in engineering/natural resources, 14% in marketing and 11% in technology.

“Finance has again proven itself to be the route to the top of Britain’s biggest businesses as the ability to provide strong financial leadership and commercial acumen continues to be a key asset of FTSE 100 CEOs,” said Phil Sheridan, UK managing director at Robert Half.

“Professionals with an education or background in finance are highly sought after by organisations and demand continues to outweigh supply in today’s job market.”

The majority of today’s CEOs move from a senior role in the same industry. In the last 18 months, 62% of the new FTSE 100 CEOs appointed have a history of only ever working in one industry, prior to this selection panels chose CEOs with single industry experience just half of the time.

“The climb to the top job can take different paths, but specific industry experience has proven to be a key consideration for businesses when appointing their chief executive. Combining strong functional and technical knowledge with a deep understanding of the industry and competitive landscape is a sound strategy for motivated professionals looking to advance their careers,” Sheridan added.

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