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The Key Challenges CEOs Faced in 2017

With the political scene unpredictable and the UK economy, although seemingly steady, in a fragile position with growth projections below our Eurozone neighbours, CEOs have had to accept that handling uncertainty and disruption in their businesses has become a fact of life.

The KPMG 2017 Global CEO Outlook reveals insights from nearly 1,300 CEOs, discussing how disruption has impacted their businesses and how they respond to continual ambiguity. The report shows that most CEOs see disruption as an opportunity to re-design their business strategy, invent new services and products, and transform their business so it can become even more successful.

With continued pressure to deliver results on the bottom line, CEOs are keenly focused on managing their business’ core strengths while transforming the way they create value.

Key Outlook findings:

  • Disruption is an opportunity→ 65% see disruption as an opportunity, not a threat, for their business
  • Shifting playing field→ 65% are confident about economic growth – down from 80% in 2016
  • Reputation risk climbs the agenda→ Reputational and brand risk has risen in importance during the past year, to become one of the top three most important risks they face today
  • Strategic priorities→ 53% of CEOs are increasing penetration in established markets, making this the most highly cited priority for growth
  • The evolution of the CEO→ 70% of CEOs say they are now more open to new influences and collaborations than at any other point in their careers
  • Intuition and analytics in understanding the customer→ 64% of CEOs say they are effective at sensing market signals
  • A perception of improved cyber resilience: Four in 10 believe they are fully prepared for a cyber event – up from just 25 percent in 2016
  • Trust in a time of disruption: About three-quarters of CEOs say their organisation is placing greater emphasis on trust, values and culture in order to sustain its long-term future.

Download the special UK report to explore findings from the UK CEO perspective and take a look at the reported personal and organisational characteristics a CEO needs to keep pace with this evolving role.

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Do you require an experienced Finance Director and trusted Finance Business Partner to help you navigate business challenges and re-shape your strategy for 2018 and beyond? If so, please contact Ruth Snell, your local Executive Finance Search & Interim specialist on 023 9248 0524 | 01202 312222 or email