Managing Director Recruitment

A Managing Director oversees the day-to-day operations of a company. While the role is often confused with that of a CEO, many companies choose to have both positions in their leadership structure. MD recruitment should be considered as having the same challenges and opportunities as CEO or CFO recruitment.

Companies need to recruit manager directors who can manage operations, introduce efficiency plans, and implement cost-saving measures. Most organisations will choose to recruit from outside their company when filling the role of Managing Director.

Exec Capital is a boutique executive recruitment agency based in London, operating throughout the UK and abroad. We connect start-ups and businesses with senior C-suite and executive professionals, including managing directors. Our talent pool has experience working with start-ups, scaling businesses, and public companies.

We offer a 360-degree approach to recruitment, offering executive search, headhunting, and traditional recruitment. Call our team on 020 3287 2365 for a no-obligation consultation to kickstart your MD recruitment.

What is a Managing Director?

A Managing Director (MD) is a senior executive with responsibility for the company’s oversight and operations. They’ll develop a strategic vision and align its objectives with the company’s long-term strategy and goals. The roles and responsibilities of an MD can be tailored to suit the needs of your company. Most responsibilities are interchangeable with that of CEO. A smaller company may choose to recruit an MD in place of a CEO

The responsibilities of a Managing Director include:

  • Developing company policy and guidance.
  • Overseeing risk analysis and management, including ensuring compliance.
  • Oversight of day-to-day functions and operations.
  • Developing the company’s wider strategy alongside the wider executive team.
  • Relationship managing, including with stakeholders and investors.
  • Offering data insights and strategic guidance for the C-suite and executive team.

Managing directors sit on the company’s board, offering advice and guidance throughout every decision-making process. The board may request for the Managing Director or CEO to implement these decisions.

Are you an executive exploring new opportunities as a Managing Director? You can join the Exec Capital talent pool today by contacting our recruitment team through our online form.

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Managing Director vs. CEO

The roles of CEO and Managing Director are interchangeable. Most positions are senior leadership roles, but there are subtle differences between an MD and a CEO. ‘Managing Director’ is the term commonly used for senior executives, whereas a CEO sits higher on the company structure. The scope and responsibilities of both roles can vary depending on the industry and market.

1. Role of MD and CEO

Most companies with a Managing Director do not have a CEO, making them the company’s most senior executive. Some companies may consider their MD to effectively be the CEO. However, a CEO cannot automatically be assumed to have the roles and responsibilities of an MD. Most managing directors will actively engage with lower management levels of the company than CEOs.

2. Public Persona

CEOs are often considered to be the public face of their company. They’re the executive who will engage with the press and stakeholders, speaking on behalf of the company. CEOs have to communicate the company’s values, vision, and long-term strategy to stakeholders, the public, and potential investors.

By comparison, a Managing Director also needs to be a skilled communicator, but their focus is on internal stakeholders and potential investors. An MD is rarely the public face of a company.

3. Leadership Structure

The adaptable nature of Managing Director and CEO positions means that the roles can be hierarchical or equal. It’s up to the company to determine its leadership structure. Although a Managing Director tends to be the more senior role, due to its legal definition, the role of CEO is typically considered more senior as the top executive.

4. Responsibilities

Day-to-day responsibilities are where difference usually arises between CEOs and managing directors. Legal obligations, liability, and accountability vary between the two. Managing directors have a legal responsibility for the company due to how heavily involved they are in the day-to-day operations of the company. By comparison, a CEO does not have this same legal obligation. However, a CEO is the company’s public face and expected to explain its successes and failures to the public, investors, and board members.

5. Company Decision Making

CEOs are responsible for overseeing the company’s executive decision-making, impacting every aspect of the company’s direction. By comparison, a Managing Director focuses on the daily operations of the company. Typically, major decisions will be made by the board with both the CEO and MD providing advice and input.

Recruiting a Managing Director

There’s no ‘right’ time for a company to recruit a Managing Director. Often, they’re recruited to replace an outgoing founder or to take over the day-to-day operations to allow executives to focus on other work. An MD can also be recruited to fill a company’s skills gap at an executive level.

Most companies choose to outsource their recruitment of MDs. Working with specialist recruitment agencies, such as Exec Capital, outsources the most time-consuming and labour-intensive administrative work in the recruitment process. Outsourcing allows your team to focus on their day-to-day responsibilities and work while remaining actively involved in the hiring process.

Our specialist MD recruiters bring diversity to the hiring process, expanding the talent pool with candidates from less traditional backgrounds. We specialise in part-time, interim, and fractional recruitment for executive roles, including Managing Director.

Recruiting a Managing Director on a part-time basis can give your company access to industry-leading talent in an affordable way. Your company can transition the role of Managing Director to a full-time position as the need arises.

Working with Exec Capital

Exec Capital is a specialist executive recruitment agency founded by industry experts with decades of experience in executive search. Our team offer unique insight into executive recruitment, understanding industry changes and trends. We operate on both sides of the recruitment process, offering insight for companies and candidates alike – from industry trends to salary expectations and role development.

Kickstart your MD recruitment today by calling our team on 020 3287 2365 for a no-obligation consultation.