Posted: 13 Apr, 2018
As President of the TMA I was delighted to host this week’s TMA event in conjunction with Herbert Smith Freehills and to see another strong turnout to continue the trend for 2018. Alongside our London NextGen event on Retail, we had 200+ bookings alone this week in London. This brings the total TMA events held across the country this year to date to 11 and overall delegate bookings to over 800. A great start, I hope you'll agree.
It was great to hear from John Whiteoak and John Chetwood of HSF and to tap in to their practical experience of advising boards of distressed businesses throughout complex restructuring processes and also, when processes fail, their experience in proceedings against directors.
The topic of the their presentation was particularly relevant in light of the well-publicised scrutiny from regulatory and public bodies in response to recent high profile corporate failures – including investigations from the Insolvency Service, action from The Pensions Regulator, investigations from the FCA and also from the FRC. There was also a discussion with the audience around the impact of recent Parliamentary committee proceedings.
These issues are particularly timely given the "Insolvency and Corporate Governance" consultation issued in March. A number of the proposals outlined in this paper – in particular the focus on sales of businesses in distress and value extraction schemes – are capable of significantly altering the current landscape of our industry. It was great to hear views from the speakers and attendees on the potential impact of these measures. It seems clear that any legislative changes in this area will need to be very carefully considered as there is a material risk that the proposed changes could undermine the rescue culture and deny struggling businesses the opportunity (and capital) to effect successful turnarounds.
Whether the clients or situations are large or small, the themes discussed during the evening were particularly relevant. Many household names now, and in the future will be dealing with matters that they would never have contemplated a couple of years ago. Given that many large and well-known companies are having to deal with these matters, I feel our TMA members will be busy.
Interestingly there will be issues coming out of the consultation paper which already have current implications on the way restructurings are dealt with. For example a number of CVA's have "value extraction" issues i.e. lending new monies with large fees to help save a business. Clearly these concepts will only be examined on a failure, but logic dictates that advisors need to be aware of how "saviour monies" can be viewed in other circumstances.
The next few TMA events are as follows: Leeds 19th April, Bristol joint TMA, IFT & R3 19th April, Thames Valley 5th June, London 6th June and Birmingham 6th June.
Andrew J Pepper
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