Managing Director of our Hospitality, Travel, Leisure & Sport Sector,
reviews the successes and changes in 2016, and looks forward to 2017 with
Sporting success on and off the field
Sport experienced a very interesting 2016. On the field, this included
Britain's huge success at the Rio Olympics and Paralympics, the turnaround of
the England Rugby team and the Leicester fairy tale win of the Premier League.
Off the field, the global sports industry continues to change rapidly,
particularly through digital transformation increasing fan engagement and
performance technology. This in turn has fuelled the growth of a whole range of
start-ups and SMEs, as well as increasing the attraction of Sport leadership
roles to executives from a wide range of other sectors. During 2016 we
concluded work with numerous sports governing bodies, with eight Premier League
football clubs and with several businesses associated with horse-racing, rugby,
cricket and golf.
“The global sports industry continues to change
rapidly, particularly through digital transformation”
2017 looks to be another exciting year across the sporting landscape with the
prospects of growth in elite level football in China, the continued advancement
of technology and within the UK, the ever increasing levels of international
ownership of professional teams.
High level placements across the
Within the Restaurant and Food Retail Sector our network
helped us to grow our presence within Europe where our London and Frankfurt
offices collaborated on several projects. We also continued to build strong
relationships with private equity houses and other significant investors. CEO
and COO roles were completed across all geographies as well as key functional
appointments, notably in Marketing and Finance.
Active Leisure Sector -
a key area for Mergers & Acquisitions in 2017
Within the Active Leisure sector, we saw increased
hiring of senior individuals as companies strengthened leadership and scaled
brands across the UK and internationally. This particular sector is likely to
become a key area for M&A over the coming 12-18 months as these businesses
become more sophisticated in how they operate and market themselves. We also saw
an increase in PSD's activity at board level with executive and non-executive
appointments for both current and potential investments.
unsurprisingly during 2016, Brexit played a part by reducing M&A activity
and encouraging a cautious outlook on headcount in the second half of the year.
We expect this slower rate of deal-flow to continue in the first half of 2017
for mid-cap investments, whilst valuations and expectations of current ownership
adjusts to a more palatable level for prospective investors.
Moving forward, the weakness of Sterling will present an
opportunity for global investors and international trade buyers, as was the case
with the occasional transaction in 2016. Overall we are looking forward to 2017
with optimism. The year is unlikely to be without challenges for all
Hospitality sub-sectors with staffing and other costs rising. As a result it
will be critical for businesses to ensure they have the appropriate senior
talent in the right place - and early enough - so plans are delivered and
“It will be critical for
businesses to ensure they have the appropriate senior talent in the right place
- and early enough - so plans are delivered and challenges
Demand for General Managers
impossible to generalise regarding the Hotel market for 2016 - the international
corporate market was affected from a recruitment perspective by the two big
mergers - Accor with FRHI, and Marriott with Starwood. Both organisations'
restructuring has meant that some very high quality corporate and regional
talent has come to market. Meanwhile, at corporately owned hotel property
level, the demand for high quality DOS and revenue professionals remains high.
Regardless of M&A activity, every hotel needs a strong leader, and at PSD
demand for General Managers across the UK and Europe remained strong throughout
the year. 2016 was PSD's strongest year since 2008. We enjoyed supporting hotel
companies at all levels in the hiring of top quality General Managers and remain
very optimistic for 2017.
“2016 was PSD's strongest
year since 2008 … and we remain very optimistic for