Soesterberg, The Netherlands – Senior Management Worldwide is delighted to announce that they have appointed Maurizio Quarta as Advisor to the Board of Directors. Maurizio Quarta is Managing Partner of Temporary Management & Capital Advisors in Italy, founded in 2002).
Grégoire Cabri-Wiltzer, president of Senior Management Worldwide: “As former president of SMW for three consecutive terms, Maurizio has meant a lot to our organisation. And we are pleased that he will continue to make his experience available as an Advisor to the Board. Specifically, Maurizio will work on the international development of our growing association.”
From his long active role in the world of Interim Management and his long-time involvement as co-founder of SMW, we asked Maurizio to reflect on developments and venture a verdict on the future of Interim Management.
How do you look back on almost 20 years of SMW?
It is still impressive to see what we have done in those 20 years. In 2004, we founded a group of international Interim Management providers because we could. Today, it would be a must! The four original founders (France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom) decided to join forces out of a strong belief that the future of the IM market would lie primarily on an international scale. In a sense, we opened this path and others quickly followed.
In addition to established international and multinational organizations, we saw consistent growth of smaller ‘Pocket Size Multinationals’. And we also foresaw an increase in the international activities of SME’s in many countries. It was a bit of a gamble, but in the end, we got it right and it paid off.
What stands out now?
One word: growth! Almost continuous growth in many ways. Growth in the number of countries where Interim Management has become a normal and established practice. SMW partners are currently present in 28 countries around the world. Our ability to serve clients internationally goes much further; we do business in over 40 countries. Our clients value us because we are able to follow their expansion and serve their needs virtually anywhere in the world. In addition, we learn from each other and share our knowledge with others as well.
We have contributed to the gradual growth of Interim Management in an increasing number of countries. Some of our partners have been pioneers in their countries, building a market from almost nothing. They eventually succeeded, thanks in part to the support of SMW partners from the more ‘developed’ countries and the image effect of the SMW partnership.
So SMW as a teacher?
Growing the international awareness of Interim Management and naming its benefits has always been important to us. That means we wanted to promote both the culture and operational knowledge of Interim Management as a tool. And that has succeeded, because the latest surveys show that ‘unfamiliar with the tool’ scores very low as an obstacle for a company when purchasing Interim Management services.
We also do this locally. In many countries, the SMW partner is an active member of national Interim Management associations and works closely with functional management associations, universities, business schools and business associations, to promote the use of Interim Management. In many countries, the local SMW partner plays an active role in promoting and conducting surveys and studies. In Italy, for instance, I was one of the founders of the first Interim Management Association in 1993.
We also participate at the international level: in 2016 we conducted a survey of more than 1,200 managers in 12 countries, and in 2022 SMW was one of three organizations contributing to a global survey in 50 countries.
How do you share your knowledge with third parties?
We produce white papers and case studies to share our and customers’ experiences and know-how.
What we have seen is that more and more managers are interested and available to take on interim assignments. Partly due to the severe cuts in the manager population in many countries. This is quite a thorny issue. A balanced development of the market requires truly motivated managers, people who are looking for challenging projects and not a job. This is why our efforts in many countries are focused on building a strong awareness of what being interim means.
Especially in the SME sector, we also see growth. Although more than 62% of the projects are still carried out by clients with less than 500 employees, the number of SME’s using Interim Management has clearly increased over the past decade. Also for international projects.
What do you expect for the next 20 years?
The latest surveys clearly indicate a positive mood for the near future. A little further out in time, it remains diffuse. But like 20 years ago, we are confident of further overall growth.