How the shift in global economic power has impacted finance’s future workforce

28 October 2014

Shift in power

It is predicted that seven of the world’s top twelve economies in 2020 will come from emerging markets, leading to a fundamental shift in the world’s business landscape. As a result, finance functions will have to maintain their global presence, whilst continuing to focus on establishing strong foundations in these new markets. This will indicatively involve a shift away from shared services towards finance teams that can provide insight in an increasingly demanding workplace. Identifying, attracting and retaining the right talent will be key to developing agile and resilient teams.

Implications of this shift

So, what does this really mean for the finance functions of the future? Over the coming weeks we will discuss in greater detail some of the possible impacts of this shift.  Firstly, we will look at the workplace.

As income levels rise across the emerging markets, a new middle-class will develop - one which is highly educated and skilled. The strength of these emerging economies will lead to a continued move away from their traditionally low-skilled, low-paid work towards more highly-paid, increasingly commercial and highly complex industries and commerce.

Impact on Finance

A recent Oxford economics study put Business Services in the top 3 for the most geographically mobile industries over the next 20 years, which places the finance function in the vanguard of this shift. Even today you can see the gradual shift away from the traditional hubs of economy and commerce - Harvard Business School has seen a tripling of its MBA graduates moving into positions in the Middle East and Africa from 2008 to 2012. Moreover, PwC research has predicted a real wage increase in traditional manufacturing hubs such as China, Malaysia and the Philippines of up to 8% between 2011 and 2030. These trends surely indicate that the finance function is soon to see an increasing shift away from traditional hubs – to emerging markets where they will continue to build a more business focussed and a highly qualified workforce.  

We will be discussing further impacts of this megatrend on finance functions at our upcoming Finance Leaders’ Summit on 6 & 7 November. If you are interested in learning more about the proposed agenda click here, or to read more about our point of view on this topic, please click here

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