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Time to focus on the world stage

By Mark Craddock. Published on 21 September 2015

Mark Craddock, who specialises in senior finance and CFO appointments at Eton Bridge Partners, says that although recent focus has been on Greece and the Eurozone, opportunities for growth are much wider.

To read the full article on the CIMA website, please click here

For the time being (when this article was written) the possibility of a Greek exit from the Eurozone has diminished, thanks to a last-minute bailout deal and emergency funding to stave off the most immediate crisis.

In the longer term there are many more hurdles and negotiations to overcome before Greece’s future can be secured. If a Grexit did still eventually occur, what impact would this have on the UK?

In 2013, total UK exports of both goods and services to Greece was GBP2.82 billion*, just 1.2% of UK exports to the EU, or 0.55% of UK total global exports.

Although this is a relatively small figure, the British Chambers of Commerce have warned that many UK businesses may be hit by the resulting market upheaval, changes in trade flows, and payment issues.

Look further afield

Despite that, it’s important to put the statistics into context and recognise that there are many more non-European markets with stronger, growing economies where Britain could be pushing harder to trade.

Britain is now the world’s fifth largest economy, overtaking France in terms of GDP at the end of last year, and it is expected to continue to pull ahead. By 2030, Britain is expected to outstrip Germany to become Europe’s top performing economy, thanks in part to its position outside the Eurozone.

Further afield, in just a decade China is expected to overtake the US as the world’s largest economy, helped by a massive expansion programme which – while Britain still vacillates over the building of a third runway at Heathrow – has seen more than 100 new airports built between 2011 and 2015.

The world is clearly not standing still and, given the huge amount of talent we have in this country, it’s important to look around and focus more strongly on the world stage.

Even though the UK already has the joint lowest corporation tax in the G20, the Chancellor has said his decision to cut it still further to 18% in 2020 would ‘give businesses the lower taxes they can count on to grow with confidence, invest with confidence, create jobs with confidence.’

He further added that it would send the message around the world that the UK is ‘open for business’. That is something I believe we must all consider when reviewing new career opportunities.

Yes, Europe is closer to home and of course we benefit when the European economy is more stable. But there are plenty more opportunities to be had beyond those borders.

All the time now, I’m seeing businesses invest in major new infrastructure and, as a result, demand for commercial finance people continues to grow. Those with expertise in systems and shared service centres are among the most sought after and the world could easily be their oyster.

Look around, it might be time to spread your wings and grasp those career opportunities while they last.

Mark Craddock
Partner – Executive Search – Finance

Mark Craddock


Mark leads the executive search CFO & Finance Practice at Eton Bridge Partners. His personal area of focus is handling retained mandates to recruit permanent CFOs and their direct reports across the UK, Europe, and increasingly globally.