Experience time bomb - the clock is ticking

18 April 2005

How important are the leaders of a company to its financial performance? According to industry analysts Plimsoll Publishing Ltd, we are about to find out, as one in three of UK Leather Merchants & Wholesalers company directors will be aged over 60 by the end of 2005. As these industry stalwarts near the end of their career, who will follow in their footsteps? Plimsoll's latest study is an analysis of the UK's top 174 companies and the 335 company directors that are responsible for them. David Pattison, senior analyst at Plimsoll, comments: 'The reason for most concern is that of the 204 directors that have been in office for over 8 years, 41% will be aged 60 or more by the end of 2005. Is the industry facing an experience 'timebomb' as these veterans near retirement age?" The full 372 paged analysis of the UK Leather Merchants & Wholesalers industry includes an examination of the age and time in office of directors at the top 174 companies. It assesses how their decisions have influenced the financial performance of the companies for which they are accountable. Directors are named in the analysis under various sections including: Marathon runners: These 265 directors have perhaps had the most influence over the financial performance of the companies they run. Each has been in office over 5 years, making their track record clearly visible. 21% of the companies run by these directors are placed in a high financial risk category in the analysis. Recently appointed: These directors have it all to prove but face varying challenges. Of the 32 directors that have been appointed in the last 2 years, 7 are working at companies that are under severe financial pressure. They need to act quickly to get these companies on a firm footing. On the other hand, 12 of these directors have fallen on their feet and are working at financially strong companies. Other sections of Plimsoll's analysis look at the influence of a director's appointment on the performance of a company over the last five years, naming those directors who since appointment have either: 1. Turned a failing company into a successful one; 2. Increased the company's market share; 3. Improved the profitability of the company. A separate section covers directors working beyond retirement. There is no evidence to suggest that age is a barrier to success in the UK Leather Merchants & Wholesalers industry. Of the 48 directors working beyond retirement, 50% are running companies rated as financially strong. With the industry set to lose so many experienced directors, can it attract new blood? The following director statistics should prove interesting to those considering a career in the UK Leather Merchants & Wholesalers industry. The 372 paged Plimsoll Leather Merchants & Wholesalers analysis is available in paper format (£305) or electronic format (£499 plus VAT). This special edition includes a comprehensive analysis of directors in the industry and the impact their appointments has had on the companies they control. Order by calling 01642 626400 or visiting [http://www.plimsoll.co.uk]. Readers of Leather International will receive a 5% discount.

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