The lowdown on what it is really like moving into Corporate Restructuring

The low down on what it is really like moving into Corporate Restructuring

Are you nearing the end of your ACA contract?

Here’s the low down on what it is really like moving into Corporate Restructuring

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In the second instalment of our insights into the career opportunities available to newly qualified accountants in the Advisory world, we are considering the move to corporate restructuring.

The job

The day to day job of a corporate restructuring analyst or associate is varied and full of challenging work.  You will generally get the chance to work closely with the senior management of a variety of different companies very early on, where you will get to work with multinational companies, global investment banks and high profile global and European private equity houses and their portfolio companies.  You get to know the clients really well, understanding their business and bringing intelligent solutions to maintain and increase value for their business.  You will be working to improve cashflow and profitability through in-depth involvement in the clients’ operations and transactions.   You will also get to support PE firms, bank syndicates and hedge funds to make sure that their portfolio companies have the right plans in place and are able to execute and deliver the financial growth expected of them.

A detailed look at the main duties include:

  • Getting to swiftly understand a client’s situation to enable creative and innovative solutions/options for businesses and their stakeholders
  • Work with Senior Directors and Directors to deliver client projects through the management of multiple work streams
  • Support business development activities; creating client pitches and proposals to win new mandates
  • Offer time sensitive assistance to companies that are under-performing or experiencing a major liquidity crisis
  • Work directly with company management & help to stabilise financial and operational performance

Specific work within that general overview includes:

  • Balance Sheet Restructuring
  • Financial and Operational Restructuring
  • Asset Sales
  • Cash & liquidity management and forecasting
  • Cross-border wind-downs
  • Preparation and validation of business plans for company management teams
  • Independent business reviews

Why would you want to do this job?

Corporate Restructuring is often viewed as being at the depressing end of the business advisory spectrum – dealing with failing businesses and then working to put them out of their misery.  It can be that, but the majority of the projects that we see our candidates getting involved with are actually very positive – working with management teams to improve the profitability of their already successful business, working with PE houses to turn around and grow their investment companies, working with otherwise successful companies that are in a temporary cashflow crisis brought about by factors beyond their control – such as the current Covid 19 emergency.

Overall this is a great way to work very intimately with a company on a variety of business boosting endeavours, and will give you the skillset to move into a variety of other roles in the future, including Private Equity, C-suite positions within the corporate world, a variety of other advisory roles within Consulting and Investment Banking.

Who would it suit best?

If you are good at working under pressures and keeping to tight deadlines, and have a strong financial motivation, then corporate restructuring is a good move for you.  You need to be someone who can thrive in a fast-paced environment, has very strong facilitation skills with the ability to forge consensus around credible, executable solutions.   You should also enjoy presenting to groups of senior executives, and so be able to demonstrate excellent written and oral communications skills.  You should be a problem solver – able to go into a situation without preconceptions or bias and able to ask the right questions to enable you to come up with solutions.

What’s the catch?

Corporate Restructuring is an exciting and rewarding sector to work but it does come with a downside.  Due to the project focused nature of the work, and the sometimes-tight deadlines to hit to keep your client moving in the right direction, you can be expected to work long and often unsociable hours.  If a deadline needs to be met it is all hands to the deck until it is done, so some of your out of work commitments and activities need to be put on hold.  The work is demanding, and the work environment can often be stressful and pressurized.  To the right person this can be exhilarating but to others is can be very draining so do think carefully if this sector is right for you. 

Our consultants at Alan Mitchell have been working with clients and candidates in the Corporate Restructuring sector for over 20 years now and will give you very straightforward advice on the sector and if it is right for you so please contact Philip Seager to find out more – philip@alan-mitchell.co.uk.