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Marcum-Hofstra Survey: CEOs Report Production, Supply Chain Disruptions Due to Coronavirus

Snapshot of CEO Outlook in Early Days of Pandemic

Even before statewide lockdowns swept the nation and shuttered most of the U.S. economy, more than half of middle-market CEOs said the spread of coronavirus had disrupted their companies’ production and supply chains, according to the latest poll from Marcum LLP and Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business.

The Marcum LLP-Hofstra University CEO Survey found that approximately 56 percent of mid-market CEOs reported production disruptions related to COVID-19. At the same time, the global pandemic has forced many businesses to shut down operations entirely in several international markets, the survey found.

For example, 80 percent of CEOs said they are no longer operating in Italy, while 45 percent have ceased operations in China. Coronavirus has also prompted 22 percent with operations in Canada to shut down in that country, the survey found.

Nearly three-quarters of all CEOs said their companies are operating at a reduced capacity in the U.S., with seven percent reporting a total operations shutdown here.

The survey of 256 CEOs nationwide was conducted the week of March 16, 2020, when only four states – California, Illinois, New York and New Jersey – had instituted statewide stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of the virus. Now, all but a handful of states have done so.

“This is a snapshot of the earliest stages of the coronavirus pandemic’s direct impact in the United States. It gives us a baseline of CEO mindset that can be used as a point of comparison in later stages of the outbreak, as well as after it  begins to recede,” said Marcum Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey M. Weiner. “Not surprisingly, CEO confidence plummeted overall as coronavirus started to take hold here, but about a third of CEOs remained in positive territory at that point in time. Let us hope that American ingenuity and innovation rises to the occasion to see us through the crisis and to fuel the economy when we come out on the other side.”

This is the fourth installment of the Marcum-Hofstra poll, which launched in May 2019 and is being conducted as part of the Zarb School of Business MBA curriculum. The survey polls mid-market CEOs on a range of issues, including economic outlook, growth and investment plans, and specific policy and news developments such as the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Among the key findings in this installment of the survey:

  • The countries in which CEOs said they were no longer operating due to COVID-19 included: Italy, Spain, China, Australia, Canada, and Japan, among others.
  • The business leaders said several of the countries in which they had reduced operations capacity were Japan, France, Mexico, the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Singapore and Canada.
  • Quarantined employees was the most common reason (cited by 37.3% of CEOs) for coronavirus-related production and supply chain disruptions, followed by inability to source critical materials and having to locate new sources for materials.
  • Overall confidence in the current business climate has plummeted; 35.6% of CEOs rated their outlook as an ‘8’ or higher, compared to 58.6 % in the previous Marcum-Hofstra survey, which was released in January. The number of CEOs who gave their outlook a rating of ‘5’ or higher dropped even further: from 94.1% to 71.5%.

This survey was developed and analyzed by a class of Hofstra MBA students led by Dr. Andrew Forman, associate professor of marketing and international business, in partnership with Marcum.

“This is an extraordinary learning experience for our students, who are getting rare insight into how mid-market CEOs deal with crisis management as they navigate this unprecedented economic situation,” said Zarb School of Business Dean Janet Lenaghan.

For the complete Marcum LLP-Hofstra University CEO Survey and an archive of prior surveys, visit https://www.marcumhofstraceosurvey.com.

About the Survey

C-suite executives at 256 companies participated in the third Marcum LLP-Hofstra University CEO Survey. Participating industries included:

  • Construction/Engineering/Mining
  • Financial Services
  • Government and Non-Profit
  • Health Care (providers and payers)
  • Manufacturing (consumer)
  • Manufacturing (industrial)
  • Online Retailing/E-Commerce
  • Personal/Consumer Services
  • Professional Services
  • Real Estate
  • Restaurants/Catering
  • Retailing
  • Technology Services
  • Transportation
  • Travel and Leisure
  • Wholesale/Distribution
  • Other

About Marcum

Marcum LLP is one of the largest independent public accounting and advisory services firms in the nation, with offices in major business markets throughout the U.S. and select locations overseas. Headquartered in New York City, Marcum provides a full spectrum of traditional tax, accounting, and assurance services; advisory, valuation, and litigation support; managed accounting services; and an extensive portfolio of specialty and niche industry practices. The Firm serves both privately held and publicly traded companies, as well as nonprofit and social sector entities, high net worth individuals, private equity funds, and hedge funds, with a focus on middle-market companies and closely held family businesses.  Marcum is a member of the Marcum Group, an organization providing a comprehensive array of professional services. For more information, visit www.marcumllp.com.

About the Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University

Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business prepares students to become tomorrow’s global leaders. Located just 25 miles from New York City, Zarb students have access to internships and networking opportunities across every industry. The Zarb School combines entrepreneurial, hands-on learning and research with real-world experience and mentorship in state-of-the-art facilities, including a Behavioral Research in Business Lab, Center for Entrepreneurship, and academic trading room. Our undergraduate and graduate programs in accounting, management and entrepreneurship, marketing and international business, finance, and business analytics are ranked and recognized by US News & World Report, Princeton Review and Poets & Quants as among the best in the world. This survey was developed and analyzed by a class of Hofstra MBA students led by Dr. Andrew Forman, associate professor of marketing and international business, in partnership with Marcum. The questions reflected current issues of interest to CEOs of mid-sized companies. For more information, visit hofstra.edu/zarb

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