CFOs place their chips on Britain

Two-thirds of chief finance officers wouldn't relocate abroad - even for their dream job. The UK as a desirable place to work: who'd have thought it?

by Dave Waller
Last Updated: 06 Sep 2011
63% of UK-based CFOs wouldn’t relocate abroad, even when offered the right career opportunity and remuneration package. That has to come as quite the endorsement: despite all the current turmoil. With the general economic slowdown, the lack of opportunities and the desperately high property prices, you’d have thought those with financial skills would leap at the chance of upping sticks to sun it up in the name of a fat salary or lower taxation. Apparently not. We think we’ve found something for David Cameron to crowbar into his speeches.

Of course, that’s not to say that everyone is 100% fixed on staying. The survey, conducted by recruiter Robert Half, found that plenty of CFOs would still consider jumping ship. Of those, 36% said they’d be driven overseas by the lure of career progression, 30% by the prospect of a better salary.

The interesting thing is that, despite salaries remaining stagnant, and the converse attacks on bonuses and taxation, just 14% of CFOs would consider moving for a higher bonus, and only 13% would move to a domicile with a more favourable tax regime. So talk of the exodus of financial professionals may well be greatly exaggerated.

In fact, much of the drive to up sticks isn’t anything to do with the job, or even money at all. It’s more about the country: a better quality of life would attract 27% of CFOs, while 15% would move abroad to provide a better environment to raise their children. The top cities are New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, Chicago and Singapore - most of which represent a sweet-spot in terms of financial muscle and a decent climate. And the UK will never be able to compete in both of those…

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime