Canadian CEOs are far more bullish than their global counterparts about their ability to harness technology and grow their businesses, finds KPMG’s 2018 Global CEO Outlook.
The annual report surveys almost 1,300 global CEOs on the biggest risks facing their businesses and the strategies they’re using to address them and drive growth.
“Business leaders in Canada are feeling an unprecedented level of confidence that has them aggressively ready to take on the challenges and opportunities facing their companies,” says Benjie Thomas, Canadian managing partner of advisory services for KPMG in Canada, in a release.
The report finds that 94% of Canadian CEOs are confident in domestic growth over the next three years, compared to 74% of CEOs globally. And 96% of Canadian CEOs say they expect their businesses to grow in step with the economy.
Thomas expects 2018 will see a big uptick in global mergers and acquisitions, and Canada will be no exception, with 82% of Canadian CEOs saying they’ll make an acquisition over the next three years. More than one-third of those expect the acquisition to have a significant impact on their overall organizations.
CEOs cited a desire to speed up the pace of business-model transformation, diversify their businesses and speed the adoption of new technologies as the primary motivations for acquisitions.
Canadian CEOs also see themselves as business disrupters, with 96% saying they’re actively disrupting the sectors in which they operate. Virtually all of these CEOs (98%) are in the process of building artificial intelligence (AI) into their operations, with nearly one-quarter (22%) having fully implemented AI in their processes and another 56% using AI in limited applications.
The report also finds that Canadian CEOs believe the risk of a cyber-attack is the greatest threat to growth. Half of CEOs say it’s no longer a case of if they’ll be hit but when, and many have taken personal ownership to protect clients and their companies from an attack.
For more details, read the full report.
About the survey: Perspectives were gathered from 50 Canadian CEOs as part of a global KPMG study that included nearly 1,300 international CEOs. Half of the Canadian CEOs who responded report annual revenues between $1 billion and $9.99 billion (28% earn more than $10 billion, and 22% earn between $500 million and $999 million). Of respondents, 62% have held their positions between four and nine years.
CEOs represent a range of industries, the top three being banking, energy and manufacturing. CEOs from asset management, insurance, consumer and retail, infrastructure, automotive, telecommunications, life sciences and technology are also represented.