As you will have read in the introductory piece from David Whitehouse, our international reach continues apace. While it’s fantastic news that we’re building out our international practice, here in the UK we remain as focused as ever on delivering solutions for our clients in the UK.
Read Upside - Autumn 2019
Integral to that has been the recent appointment of a number of new faces to the ever-expanding UK Restructuring Advisory team. Ben Collett and Tyrone Courtman have both recently joined the firm as managing directors, focusing on advisory services for corporate clients across the Midlands, UK and Europe and Vijay Merchant has joined as a director.
Ben will share his time in our Birmingham, Manchester and London offices, primarily focusing on assessing and driving strategic change programs involving restructuring, turnaround, profit improvement and mergers and acquisitions for clients in both underperformance and growth situations. Prior to joining Duff & Phelps, Ben was Director of Strategic Projects at IMI PLC, where he led cost reduction, operational change, strategic growth and acquisition integration programs.
Tyrone is based in our Birmingham office and will focus on developing the firm’s restructuring advisory service for corporate clients in the East Midlands. He joins Duff & Phelps from PKF Cooper Parry, where he was head of the firm’s Business Transformation, Turnaround, Restructuring and Insolvency Services practice.
Vijay is also based in our Birmingham office and will focus on business turnaround, restructuring and advisory, particularly for corporates in distressed scenarios. He joins Duff & Phelps from KPMG, where he worked in the Restructuring team.
The Midlands team was engaged on a number of assignments in the half of 2019. A large proportion of these are confidential assignments where we are working with owners and managers to navigate challenging financial situations. We have recently been engaged in the construction, retail and care sectors, but generally continue to work across a spectrum of business sectors.
We have seen a notable increase in formal insolvency work in recent months. Oddbins Wine Merchants, Briers Gardening Products and Woods Haulage were all dealt with by the team earlier this year. In addition, we were also appointed Administrators of Accessible Transport Group, which amongst other activities, is responsible for the West Midlands Ring and Ride Service (which has over 12,000 registered users) and the Birmingham City Council “Home to School” service which transports nearly 2,000 disabled and vulnerable children to and from school on a daily basis. We are delighted to have recently secured the sale of Accessible Transport Group to National Express. Since the group entered administration earlier this year many people came together and worked tirelessly to achieve this successful outcome of certainty for the future.
In the wider Midlands economy, uncertainty surrounding how the UK will detach itself from the European Union is already evident. Major motor manufacturers are already making plans to scale back production, temporarily close production lines following Brexit or move facilities overseas. The ramifications will be felt throughout the supply chain with the risk of contagion to the wider Midlands economy.
Accurate forecasting, planning and embracing of the rescue principles promoted by Duff & Phelps will be necessary to manage a challenging economic period. Duff & Phelps is uniquely positioned to advise stakeholders in a variety of distressed and special situations. Our UK team includes sector experts who were recruited from the industry and have real “workshop floor” experience. With our deep understanding of the challenges being faced, we urge those businesses facing tougher trading conditions to contact us.