The turnaround market

It has been a good year so far for Wefway, as we have been working with the Turnaround Management Association and fielding calls from ex-colleagues at Lehman Brothers.

My investigative work has surrounded issues involving a company’s accounts and products, specifically in the areas of financial services, retail businesses and the property sector, as, unsurprisingly, they are the three sectors suffering the most from the current downturn.

Due to the specialist skills required in turnaround work and the many pieces involved, I work alongside two other small companies, EC Squared and Strategic Vision, helping to gather the various parts required to save a business.

There has been a clear rise in demand for my services this year. I am getting calls through my website and people are contacting me through the Turnaround Management Association, which is interested in working with me on projects. Where they provide a specialist service as part of the turnaround chain, they are looking to hook up with another professional that can manage that change overall.

A problem we’ve had recently is that it has been difficult to find buyers for struggling businesses. We have been looking for private individuals who have money to spend. Typically, we have also been sourcing South-East Asian investors, as their currency is currently quite strong against the pound.

It is currently proving difficult to find capital and financing, so one option is that people who are part of a turnaround, such as myself, will invest some of their own money to help save the business.

Next year there will be a greater demand for my work. The market is going to get more competitive, so there will be the creative tension between an increase in work and more turnaround funds competing for that business. To succeed you will need either a unique selling point or to offer the client something innovative, such as a cash injection to show that you believe in the business.

The added value also comes when, as a turnaround professional, you move on, having empowered the client to run their business successfully again on their own, thus not outstaying your welcome.

Nick Britton

Nick Britton

Nick was the Managing Editor for when it was owned by Vitesse Media, before moving on to become Head of Investment Group and Editor at What Investment and thence to Head of Intermediary...