I was having a meeting with a seasoned interim manager this week and he was very interested to work with The Bayard Partnership because he could see that we had all the advantages he was looking for, but did not take as big a margin as our competitors. This got me thinking – what is the average cut that most suppliers of interim management assignments take?

One of our interviewee’s previous suppliers said “You have two thirds of what the client pays us and we take a third”. This might sound reasonable but when you see it as a mark up, it comes out at more than 40%. So the real question should be: Is the +/-400EUR per day mark up (in his case) to the agency good value for money or not? One can presume that the agency's clients must think so, otherwise they would look for other alternatives of hunting for their interim managers? Or is it simply accepted as a necessary downside due to the fact that looking for the right interim manager is very time consuming and risky? Perhaps interim managers are also a little to blame as they are too busy on their assignments to do the necessary networking to be sure of finding enough assignments directly?

In these days of litigations and uncertainty, most customers do not want to have direct contracts with their interim managers, but there are many exceptions. Reviewing contracts, discussing small changes to terms and conditions etc. takes up far too much time on both sides. Hence a well written template agreement saves time and gives a certain degree of protection. But if they could, one would imagine that the end customer would like to see as much of that 40% in their own bank account.

As we move forward into evermore turbulent days, the need for interim managers will only increase and it will be the free market that will eventually decide the correct up lift. However, in the meantime – how much percentage are you currently paying to your agent/supplier and do you find it too much?