Most UK chief financial officers not keen to move abroad

by Ray Clancy on September 12, 2011

UK CFOs not keen on moving abroad

Almost two thirds of British based chief financial officers would not relocate abroad, even when offered the right career opportunity and remuneration package, new research reveals.

Some 63% would prefer to stay in the UK and of those surveyed, as only 16% have relocated abroad during their career, the research from recruitment specialist Robert Half shows.

For those who would consider relocating abroad, the primary driver would be career progression with 36% saying they would move for this reason while 30% would move for a higher salary.

A better quality of life would attract 27% of CFOs to relocate abroad, while 15% would move abroad to provide a better environment to raise their children.

Interestingly, despite the furor over bonuses and taxation, just 14% of CFOs would cite a higher bonus as a key driver to relocate and just 13% would move to a domicile with a more favorable tax regime.

‘It is extremely encouraging to see that CFOs view Britain as a safe haven both in terms of lifestyle choice and employment opportunities,’ said Phil Sheridan, managing director, Robert Half UK.

‘The research is a clear indication that Britain is still an extremely attractive environment to live and work. Given the uncertainty in the financial markets and high property prices, nearly two thirds of those surveyed would not relocate abroad, even when offered their dream package,’ he added.

The top financial cities that would attract those CFOs prepared to relocate include New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, Chicago, Singapore, Geneva, Toronto and Zurich.

Sheridan said that it was interesting to find that CFOs considering relocation are attracted primarily to long haul destinations, where the weather and global financial standing play an important part in their decision.

The findings will worry those nurturing the future CFOs of Britain who suggest overseas placements are critical in the formation of a well-rounded senior finance chief. The finding contradicts recent claims by a number of economists who want chancellor George Osborne to remove the UK’s top tax rate of 50 pence.

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