Partners, Peter Gothard and Glenn Livingstone and Senior Consultant, Stephen Parbery spoke to the Australian Financial Review on the importance of independence and the shift Ferrier Hodgson has made to taking on more advisory work and getting involved from an early stage to help businesses turnaround and towards profitability.
With the changes we have seen in the restructuring and turnaround realm now that PPB is under PWC, Ferrier Hodgson is left as one of the three major independent restructuring, turnaround and insolvency firms in Australia. Peter talks about the firm's ongoing efforts to stay well equipped, resourced and reputable. Some excerpts from the article are below – you can read the full article on the AFR website.
Ferrier Hodgon’s Sydney Managing Partner, Peter Gothard said: "The type of work we're doing is changing away from what would have been, 20 years ago – liquidation work or receivership. We're now [doing] more turnaround and restructuring."
"Our goal is to get involved much earlier than we might have done historically, so we can come and help to turn the business around and make it profitable again."
"Our turnaround, restructuring market is changing and it's changing in a couple of ways."
"The first change is that for a long time now we've had very low interest rates, quite benign economic conditions in Australia and around the world. So, naturally enough, in terms of distressed turnaround, restructuring, that activity is reasonably low at the moment.”
"But the other place [that] tends to influence our marketplace is where you have industries or sectors which are going through change and disruption."
He cited retail as an example of "a very, very fast-changing market, disrupted by technology, disrupted by large international competitors moving in, and still suffering from high rents and high labour costs. We've got a very strong retail team and they're really powering along."
Stephen Parbery, Senior Consultant at Ferrier Hodgson said: "In order to remain independent and to continue doing roles such as in Queensland Nickel, I had to be in a firm with the sufficient resources, quality controls, that you would need for a major restructuring firm. Ferrier Hodgson is obviously the [main] independent firm in this space in Australia with a national presence. So I was attracted to the firm for the quality of the work that it does and the fact that it is independent and has got a great reputation."