May 12, 2011 13:13 ET

Update: Corporate Execs Eyeing Career Changes

FranNet, ExecuNet Team Up to Meet Growing Demand for Top-Level Guidance

LOUISVILLE, KY--(Marketwire - May 12, 2011) - Scores of high-ranking corporate executives are considering starting or buying a business, creating an historic opportunity for franchise companies looking for new talent.

C-suite interest in career alternatives also is boosting demand for companies that counsel senior-level personnel, and two premier U.S. providers have teamed up to give them individualized attention.

FranNet, a network of regional franchise consultants, and ExecuNet, a network of corporate leaders, have joined forces to provide seamless service to top executives looking for a change. They'll have plenty of work: ExecuNet's 2011 Executive Job Market Intelligence Report found 32 percent of high-ranking executives are thinking about buying or starting a business or consulting practice. The report is based on surveys of 3,636 participants that included executives, search firm consultants and corporate human resource professionals.

"There is real interest in alternatives," said Lauryn Franzoni, executive director of ExecuNet. "Executives are looking outside lateral corporate-to-corporate moves to achieve their ambitions. They want more personally rewarded work and a better work-life balance. Many of them see calling their own shots as a way to do so. Also, with jobs still scarce, they think, 'if there is not a great fit out there for me, I'll create one myself.'"

Buying a franchise is attractive because it carries a level of autonomy but also involves tested, proven operational systems that reduce entrepreneurial risk. "The key," said Jania Bailey, FranNet's President & COO, "is educating corporate executives about the wide range of businesses and investment levels in franchising."

"Many of our clients are corporate executives who lost their jobs to down-sizing or fear they may, and they are surprised by the diversity in franchising and the types of career moves they can make," Bailey said.

The new partnership gives ExecuNet members access to jointly produced resources including case studies and educational materials as well as a direct pipeline to FranNet's regional consultants.

"We are in a period of time where business leaders think they need to take more control over their destiny," Franzoni said. "Making a career change to business ownership is a great option."

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