Australia has begun to adopt a ‘business rescue culture‘ which is intended to boost the economy through early intervention in business crisis situations. The purpose is to preserve a struggling business’s goodwill, assets and employees so that sustainable growth can be achieved. With the bushfires, drought and COVID19 crisis, never has there been more of a need for Eddie’s professional services.
Eddie provides short timeframe restructuring and turnaround advice to family business owners facing a crisis. This not only helps protect against failure and liquidation, but it also assists business owners manage risk, make informed decisions and remain in control of their situation. A system for recycling, rebuilding and sculpting viable business models is essential for economic growth in South Australia – it encourages a healthy appetite of risk, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Too often business owners are encouraged to seek the appointment of a liquidator too early – the stigma associated with a formal insolvency regime destroys goodwill, reputation and value.
Directors, business owners and suppliers are much more willing to support an informal workout where insolvency poses a threat. Rather than head down the expensive (and largely unsuccessful) route of Voluntary Administration and a Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA), the directors of companies can now utilise the ‘Safe Harbour‘ protection from insolvent trading personal liability (introduced in 2017).
This enables directors to remain in control of the company and develop their own strategies to restructure or turnaround the business. The business turnaround Adelaide community is much more willing to collaborate, negotiate and work through difficulties. Adelaide is a small place and a business owner’s reputation is important.
What Differentiates You?
The services we provide are differentiated from that offered by traditional insolvency accountants – we assist business owners to to continue operating in times of crisis and uncertainty.
Ultimately, we seek to strike a balance and achieve the best possible outcome for both business owners and stakeholders.
Turnaround Practitioners treat the root cause of the problem. Our advice enables business owners to retain control of their company whilst developing restructuring and turnaround strategies.
The worst thing that can be done is to approach an unqualified, inexperienced or uninsured advisor. These dodgy advisors prey on distressed individuals and often recommend illegal business phoenixing. In addition to their ‘so-called advice’ resulting in dire consequences, Eddie warns that the regulators are in the midst of a crackdown to eliminate these advisors and their professional accomplices.
In February 2020, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Combating Illegal Phoenixing), Bill was passed. The Amendment places a framework around phoenixing definitions, criminal offences and civil penalties to the Corporations Act 2001 – the legislation, however, does make provisions for legitimate business rescue.
The Safe Harbour ‘better outcome’ test, in addition to ensuring market value in achieved, will enable family businesses to safely restructure for the right purposes and avoid any risk of being associated with illegal phoenix activity.
After relocating from the UK and working in the insolvency profession here in Australia, it was immediately apparent that there wasn’t a suitable rescue regime for smaller and family businesses. Whilst the UK doesn’t have the ideal rescue regime, there was clearly room for huge improvement in Australia.
Following an objective and independent review of the business, I immediately relieve the pressure placed on both directors and management by formulating market leading strategies.
With a successful track record in conducting business turnaround Adelaide, I take great pride in confidently tackling the multiple and complex issues that companies face in times of crisis and uncertainty.
Eddie Griffith, TurnAbout AU
Eddie studied under and follows the work of Jason Harris, Associate Professor at UTS Faculty of Law and Adelaide University PhD student in the Adelaide Law School (undertaking a thesis on corporate rescue and restructuring laws). Citing the work of Harris, Eddie agrees that the corporate insolvency landscape is finally changing.
While the number of formal insolvency appointments haven’t dramatically increased since the Global Financial Crisis, the dialogue surrounding financial distress and the methods to address it have begun to move away from formal insolvency appointments to restructuring and turnaround – before financial distress becomes insolvency.
Australia’s corporate laws have not been supportive of turnaround efforts as they are too focussed on assessing blame for financial distress. This is starting to change with the new safe harbour provisions and new protections against ipso facto clauses in contracts during formal appointments.
Australia’s draconian insolvent trading laws have finally been changed to provide greater protection for directors undertaking restructuring, which should help more businesses avoid unnecessary insolvency appointments.
While some progress has been made in dragging Australia’s draconian insolvency laws into the modern age, with safe harbour and ipso facto protections, there is still too much focus on blame and shame for corporate failure. We have a long way to go before Australia develops a productive corporate rescue culture.
Eddie attests to the fact that the earlier help is sought, the more options that are available to help rescue and turnaround a struggling business. Eddie provides confidential and obligation free consultations. Initial meetings up to one hour are free. Advice ranges from troubleshooting to discussing sensitive matters and emergency interventions to prevent the worsening of a crisis.
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Eddie has over 20 years’ experience in business restructuring, insolvency and turnaround management. Eddie originally commenced at a top 4 firm in the UK and gained a unique background after being exposed to a broad range of industry sectors with top tier firms and smaller boutique insolvency practices both in the UK & Australia.
In 2011, Eddie relocated from the UK to South Australia with his family. Whilst a key player in multiple high profile external administrations, Eddie’s real passion is to work with owners, advisors and stakeholders of family owned businesses to enable the successful continuation of business operations wherever possible.
• Member & Certified Turnaround Analyst of the Turnaround Management Association. CTA.
• Graduate Member of The Australian Institute of Company Directors (Company Directors Course). GAICD.
• Master of Business Administration, Fellow & Chartered Manager of the Institute of Managers & Leaders (formerly AIM). MBA, CMgr, FIML.
• Certified Fraud Examiner of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). CFE.
• Member of the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA). MIPA AFA.
• Member and Certified Credit Executive of the Australian Institute of Credit Management (AICM). MICM, CCE.
• Advanced Dual Certification with the Australian Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association – ARITA:
– Advanced Certificate in Restructuring & Turnaround (highest mark award, 2016).
– Advanced Certificate in Insolvency (Insolvency Education Program, IPAA 2012).
• Joint Insolvency Exams & Certificate of Proficiency in Insolvency (England & Wales). IPA (UK).
As a pioneer in the emerging field of operational turnaround, restructuring and business renewal, Eddie was the first professional in South Australia to achieve the following: