Research this month by the Institute for Turnaround shows a significant increase in the number of companies embarked on turnaround plans. Commentators no longer dismiss the credit crunch as an issue for financiers. Pain is there in the real economy and it is set to increase. Rampant commodity inflation, over-leveraged balance sheets and lack of available credit contribute to a difficult trading environment. Debt, when it can be obtained, is prohibitively expensive. Job cuts have started in the City and are spreading elsewhere.
Against this background, businesses needing support and advice are being approached by individuals and firms holding themselves out as ‘turnaround experts.’ The Institute for Turnaround says that company directors should do a careful credentials check before appointing someone to lead a turnaround. “Business executives may not have experienced what it’s like to trade through a downturn or recession. They are vulnerable and may make ill-informed decisions. For instance, we know of companies that are confusing forms of insolvency such as administration, with a genuine turnaround,” said Institute for Turnaround Chief Executive Christine Elliott.
The Institute for Turnaround remit is to rehabilitate under-performing companies. Its members are rigorously accredited – the only such national accreditation in the UK. The Institute suggests that businesses find out how their potential turnaround executive’s or adviser’s fees are structured and their primary sources of remuneration over the last five years. Companies should also check professional references and qualifications including an opinion from their lead bank and whether the person is a licensed insolvency practitioner. For information about various forms of insolvency, they should contact R3, the insolvency practitioner’s organisation.
“A company in extreme difficulty is likely to be under intense pressure from creditors and customers and could well need a fundamental re-think about its business model. Turnaround is a specific set of skills and experience. All the more reason to check that the professional expertise you buy does what it says on the tin.”
The ‘Turnaround Traffic Lights Survey’ was conducted between June 26 and July 8 2008 amongst Institute for Turnaround accredited members responsible for rehabilitating almost 1,000 businesses with serious operational and financial difficulties. The companies ranged in size from £2 million to £13 billion turnover.
The Institute for Turnaround (IFT) is Europe’s leading professional body for the whole Turnaround Community. IFT was founded in 2000 as The Society of Turnaround Professionals. We represent a unique audience responsible for funding, structuring, negotiating and executing business turnaround that shapes the real economy. We have a membership of rigorously accredited turnaround executives and advisers, with corporate partners representing the best in law, accountancy, corporate banking and finance, private equity and other experts involved in the field.
Christine Elliott, Chief Executive and Director
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone – 020 7324 6244; Mobile – 07812 370121
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