Finance most common route to becoming a CEO, research finds

Having a background in finance is the most common route to becoming a CEO in the UK, according to research from global executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles.

The Route to the Top study found that a financial background was the top route for CEOs in the UK, US and Germany, with over 35 per cent of CEOs in the UK having a background in finance.

Younger

The study also looked at the ages of CEOs in the countries included in the study and found that CEOs in the UK are much younger than those in the US, Germany and France.

FTSE100 CEOs were found to be five years younger than CEOs in the US on average, with 53 per cent under the age of 55 compared to 17 per cent in the US. Over 40 per cent of CEOs are aged 60 or over in the US, whilst just 13 per cent of CEOs are in this age group in the UK.

The study also found that CEOs in the UK were much younger when they were promoted to the position, with over 50 per cent of FTSE 100 bosses becoming a CEO when they were under the age of 50, compared to just 25 per cent of CEOs in the US.

Lack

The survey also showed a lack of female CEOs, with women accounting for just 6 per cent of CEOs in the UK, compared to 8 per cent in the US, 2 per cent in France and 1 per cent in Germany.

Internal promotions were found to be the most common way of becoming a CEO, with over 60 per cent of CEOs in the UK being promoted this way.

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