ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

Fifth of FTSE 100 CEOs are accountants

Almost a fifth (18%) of bosses at the UK’s biggest business have an accountancy qualification

Over half of the FTSE 100 CEOs have a background in finance.

According to the Global Accounting Network, 51% of the CEOs at the 100 biggest UK companies have a background in finance, while traditionally this position was held by sales or marketing people.

The recruiter said that in the past, promoting senior professionals with a strong background in sales or marketing into the top job was often viewed as a way to boost a company’s fortunes.

However, founding partner Adrian O’Connor said CEOs with solid background in finance are finding that their skills tally with the fundamental needs of businesses.

“With UK firms coming out of the back of a recession, it stands to reason that boards and shareholders are increasingly realising the value of strong financial expertise at the highest levels,” O’Connor said.

“CFOs have had a much greater say in the strategic direction of firms of late, with their input being widely recognised as absolutely integral to the company’s success. With this in mind, the fact that accountants are disproportionately represented at the top of FTSE 100 firms is unsurprising.”

There are 18 CEOs with an accountancy qualification, including Dominic Blakemore, CEO at Compass and member of the ICAEW, and David Thomas from Barratt, an associate chartered accountant.

Other accountants included on the list are Ashtead’s Geoffrey Drabble, G4S’ Ashley Almanza, Glencore’s Ivan Glasenberg and London Stock Exchange’s David Warren.

Originally published in Economia on 19 February 2018.

Jessica Fino