Wherever possible I try and keep a business trading to either restructure or sell as a going concern. I believe that we are in the business of minimising loss to all stakeholders including the creditors (secured and unsecured), employees and the owners.
Des is a Senior Consultant to BRI Ferrier South Australia with over 35 years’ experience in insolvency and business recovery. For the last 25 years, Des has worked with BRI Ferrier and its antecedent offices. Prior to this, he worked for an international accounting firm which included two years’ experience working on a range of matters in the UK. Des has substantial experience in all aspects of corporate insolvency particularly as administrator, receiver and manager and liquidator. His experience is predominantly in the SME market in Adelaide covering a portfolio of industries including agriculture, financial services, manufacturing, property and tourism & hospitality.
- Appointed voluntary administrator and subsequently deed administrator to a cleaning company which employed approximately 300 people. Burdened with substantial daily wage liabilities and a lack of working capital, the business was quickly sold with all employees retaining their jobs. As per the deed of company arrangement, the directors of the company contributed the necessary funds to meet all employee entitlements and to allow for a dividend to unsecured creditors.
- Appointed voluntary administrator to an infrastructure plumbing company midway through completion of numerous major projects for the South Australian Government as both an independent contractor and joint venture partner. The company suffered a considerable loss due to an incorrectly costed project. On appointment, Des restructured the company’s operations, consolidated staff numbers and introduced a new investor to the business. The injection of funds allowed the business to continue to trade while retaining all 100 employees. Subsequent to the restructure, the secured creditor agreed to continue funding the company and the unsecured creditors received a dividend of 10 cents in the dollar.
- Appointed joint administrator of two significant South Australian country hotels. After assessing the company’s positions, Des continued to trade the businesses while searching for potential buyers. Offers were subsequently received and settlement occurred in January 2012 and March 2012 respectively.
- Appointed voluntary administrator to a remote tourist resort. Des traded this business for six months until it was ultimately sold as a going concern. During the trading period, the kitchen, restaurant and retail spaces were hit by lightning and destroyed by fire. The kitchen was subsequently rebuilt using transportable equipment and cool rooms. Des also negotiated with the insurers as to the value of the buildings and equipment destroyed. Consequently, his claim for loss of profits returned a significant portion of funds owed to secured creditors.
- Whilst on secondment in the UK, Des participated in the recovery of the international loan book of a large Middle Eastern bank based in London. This involved working with solicitors in many countries to recover funds in a number of different legal jurisdictions.
Qualifications and memberships
- Member, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
- Member and previously Treasurer, Australian Institute of Credit Management (SA Division)
- Previously founding member, secretary and treasurer, Family Business Advisors Group (SA Chapter)
- Associate Diploma in Accounting, University of South Australia