Navigating opportunity and risk in today's boardroom

Executive Exchanges Programme Report

With a fast changing geopolitical environment of increased regulation, rapid digital innovation, market convergence and transforming customer behaviour, boardroom decision-making requires a higher tolerance for and comfort level with risk than ever before. Nothing has demonstrated this more powerfully than the UK’s vote to leave the European Union. The implications of the decision will take months and even years to work through.

National Markets, Head of Consulting.

KPMG in the UK


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Speedboat on open water

Executive Exchanges Programme Report

We reveal the results of our survey conducted pre-Referendum in April and May 2016 amongst 200 mid-market company executives. Some of the key findings include:

  • When asked to rate how ambitious they believed their current business strategy is on a scale of 1 (not at all) to 10 (extremely ambitious) there was an average score of 7.2. This somewhat cautious approach would appear to be closely related to concerns about the changing geopolitical macro environment with ‘economic uncertainty’, the ‘need to make the strategy acceptable to shareholders and investors’ and ‘regulation or legislation’ being highlighted as the top deterrents to strategic ambition.
  • ‘Business acquisition or merger’ and ‘investing in technology’ were the key priorities when asked which strategies were most likely to deliver transformational growth.
  • Nearly a third (31%) of directors indicated that uncertain economic conditions are constraining strategic decisions and 24% said that regulation/legislation is having the same effect.
  • Investing in technology came out top (52.5%) of priorities in executives’ current three year strategy, In today’s rapidly evolving world where technology increasingly drives and dictates business performance and consumer interactions, this comes as no surprise. Indeed, it’s reassuring that executives recognise the extent to which digital capabilities are critical.

Our survey highlights some key takeaways to consider for your boardroom agenda. Download the report to read more.

Key considerations for your boardroom agenda


42 years of accumulated decision making will be turned on its head. 

Your competitors will be facing similar turmoil, so look for opportunities for relative advantage. 

For the latest guidance on Brexit visit and register on the KPMG portal for regular updates.


An economy growing less quickly provides opportunities to those who can take advantage. Those who can offer better value for money may see significant growth as their customers seek to reduce.


What about deals – who is now in range? That might include your business, so perhaps you need to consider defending yourself from a hostile takeover.

The customer journey

Will the current fast-changing environment affect the way your customers deal with you? Just as you are reviewing your business from top to bottom, so too are your customers as it is easier than ever to compare products, services and prices.


Is your business digitally optimised? Are you maximising the potential of mobile technology, the cloud and other digital channels to deliver greater efficiency, better meet customer needs and help your people be more effective?


Every company is at risk from cyber attack – but by minimising the risks you also have an opportunity to gain competitive advantage and strengthen your market position. What can your board do to ensure the business is adequately equipped to prevent and respond to cyber incidents?

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