More Regulation, More Problems for Global Corporate Finance Leaders

Regulatory changes and recruitment remain key challenges to firms worldwide

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Nearly half of financial services executives who responded to a global survey expressed concern about their national economies, but 70% said they were confident in their country’s economic growth prospects.

Robert Half Financial Services surveyed 1,100 finance directors, chief financial officers and chief operations officers in Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S., and interviewed senior industry executives for its report, “Navigating Change in an Evolving Regulatory Landscape.”

Although 80% of respondents said they were confident about their firm’s growth potential, many still had concerns when they looked within their firms:

—41% of executives were most worried about business costs, 37% about profitability and 23% about increasing regulatory issues
—88% of respondents said managing regulatory change had proved challenging
—66% foresaw a continuation of heavier workloads due to regulatory changes, and 35% anticipated spending related to financial regulations to keep rising
—33% said they were working with interim or project professionals to address compliance demands, and 23% planned to add full-time staff
—89% of executives said they had faced challenges in hiring employees with requisite skills, and 83% were worried about their ability to keep top performers on board
—68% of respondents said integrated governance, risk and compliance programs had been effective for their businesses.

“Executives must balance compliance demands in equal measure with profitability goals,” Neil Owen, Robert Half’s global practice director, said in a statement.

“The firms best positioned to succeed are those that are staffed with financial professionals who take a proactive stance to managing regulatory compliance and develop long-term strategies that address shifting business priorities.”

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