Investor Relations

Press Release

More Executives See Signs of Recovery Following March Stock Market Rally

April 8, 2009

- Despite Acknowledging the 'Severe Recession,' Percentage of Executives Who Believe the Economy is Recovering Nearly Doubled in March -

LOS ANGELES, April 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Buoyed by a sustained stock market rally, executive attitudes about the state of the global economy ticked up in March, though the majority still feel we are in the midst of a "severe recession" according to results from the latest Executive Quiz released today by The Korn/Ferry Institute. Additional findings show that executives favor limited involvement by governments in key corporate actions such as layoffs and compensation limits, but the majority feels that bonuses should be returned by executives at companies receiving government bailout funds.

When surveyed at the beginning of March, just seven percent of executives felt that the global economy was recovering, while more than three quarters (76 percent) said it was in severe recession. However, when re-asked the same question at the end of the month, 13 percent of executives felt the economy was recovering and those believing it was still in severe recession declined by nine percent (67 percent).

Other responses probed executive sentiment towards government involvement in corporate actions. Just 11 percent of executives feel that government is the most important player in leading us out of recession, while business (16 percent) and consumers (17 percent) earned slightly stronger support, and 56 percent believe that all three are equally important.

Forty-seven percent of executives are against compensations caps, while another 22 percent are neutral and just 31 percent are in favor. However, 60 percent of respondents believe that executives at government-supported companies should give back bonuses.

"We are all hoping that we have hit bottom and are on the way back up, but our survey results show that executives are conflicted about the relationship between business and government," said Joe Griesedieck, vice chairman and managing director, CEO Services for Korn/Ferry. "What executives do agree upon is that consumers, business and government all play vital roles in our recovery."


The Korn/Ferry International Executive Quiz is based on a global survey of executives registered within the firm's online Executive Center, Respondents from more than 70 countries, representing a wide spectrum of industries and functional areas, participated in the most recent Executive Quiz in March 2009.

About The Korn/Ferry Institute

The Korn/Ferry Institute was founded to serve as a premier global voice on a range of talent management and leadership issues. The Institute commissions, originates and publishes groundbreaking research utilizing Korn/Ferry's unparalleled expertise in executive recruitment and talent development combined with its preeminent behavioral research library. The Institute is dedicated to improving the state of global human capital for businesses of all sizes around the world.

About Korn/Ferry International

Korn/Ferry International (NYSE: KFY), with more than 90 offices in 40 countries, is a premier global provider of talent management solutions. Based in Los Angeles, the firm delivers an array of solutions that help clients to identify, deploy, develop, retain and reward their talent. For more information on the Korn/Ferry International family of companies, visit

SOURCE Korn/Ferry International
CONTACT: Asia Pacific, Carol Lo, +65.6231.6219,,
or EMEA, Juerg-Herbert Baertschi, +44 20 7312 3178,,
both of Korn/Ferry International; or
The Americas, Kevin Oates, +1-310-584-8331,,
for Korn/Ferry International
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