Survey: CEOs Holding Steady Amid Banking Woes

While nearly two-thirds of middle-market CEOs are concerned about the stability of their company’s bank, so far it’s not enough to inspire them to change institutions, according to the latest CEO Survey from Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business and New York-based IPA 100 firm Marcum LLP (FY21 net revenue of $799.1 million), which polled 255 CEOs in April on the heels of the failure or federal rescue of three regional banks.

Thus far, fears over a wider-scale banking crisis have not affected most CEOs’ outlook about the business environment, with the number rating their outlook as 5 or higher (82.5%) largely unchanged from the previous survey in February. However, there are dramatic differences in outlook among industries. In commercial real estate, for example, the 45% of executives who expressed strong optimism about the business outlook in February had fallen to just 11% by April. Over the same period, on the other hand, the percentage of manufacturing and distribution CEOs who reported having a very optimistic business outlook rose from 27% to 45%.

“Though CEO optimism persists across industries, their strategic planning is being shaped by economic uncertainty, talent scarcity and escalating costs,” says Marcum chairman and CEO Jeffrey Weiner.

Other areas of note from the survey:

Business planning: Economic concerns continue to be the most-cited influence on business planning, with 58% of CEOs reporting it as one of their top three concerns, followed by the availability of talent and rising material and operational costs due to inflation.

Remote work: About 45% of CEOs reported they permit their employees to work remotely and will continue to do so. Meanwhile, close to 13% of respondents say they’ve discontinued the remote option, while about 29% are considering a similar move. Reasons cited for reconsidering remote work policies include the diminishing threat of COVID-19, decreased employee productivity, the need for face-to-face interaction/collaboration and potential employee abuse of the policy.

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