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2020 Human Capital Survey

11 November 2020

Gambit Corporate Finance LLP is pleased to publish the key findings from its 2020 Human Capital Survey, which highlights a significant level of positive sentiment exists across the sector, with most respondents expecting activity to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021. Survey participants consisted of C-Level Executives from businesses with a turnover range of between £1m and £700m, providing valuable insight based on representative viewpoints from across the sector. To view full report please click here.

The Survey's key findings include:

  • Nearly two thirds of participants were positive about the next 12-18 months citing buoyant demand in Covid-19 resilient sub-sectors, capital availability and an ability to service the UK’s significant, impending, retooling and reskilling initiatives.
  • 70% of respondents indicated a moderate or negligible impact of the pandemic on their business, reinforcing the level of confidence that exists around the sector’s Covid-19 resilience, which has also served to maintain M&A market activity.
  • Just a quarter of respondents indicated that they had utilised loan schemes such as CBILS and 75% of those reporting a severe Covid-19 impact had not yet accessed the scheme, with the recent extension of CBILS to January 2021 offering a renewed window of opportunity to obtain potentially vital support.
  • Growth initiatives were most chosen as a strategic priority within the next 12 months, including overseas expansion, increasing headcount and, mainly, undertaking strategic M&A, indicating strong optimism about short to medium term market prospects.
  • Respondents with turnover of £1m-60m were most likely to express a desire to undertake M&A activity in the next few months, indicating clear appetite in the mid-market to undertake a transaction as businesses become less risk averse having evidenced an ability to navigate pandemic related uncertainty.
  • Despite featuring as the most commonly cited strategic priority, nearly one in two respondents referred to the achievement of organic growth as being a challenge in the next 12-18 months, positioning the M&A market as an effective means to achieve strategic ambitions.