James Koutsoukos

Principal

The biggest challenge for businesses at present is a lack of working capital. This is a result of an inability to raise finance as well as increasingly stringent trading conditions. I help clients and stakeholders by understanding their business, preserving asset values, identifying cash flow drivers, quarantining legacy liabilities and reengineering business processes to improve efficiencies.

James is a registered and official liquidator and principal of BRI Ferrier with over 11 years' experience working in distressed financial management. Prior to joining BRI Ferrier in 2005, James worked for Ferrier Hodgson. James provides services in company insolvency, business recovery, business advisory and forensics. James is regularly engaged by major and second tier financiers to undertake investigative accountant assignments to develop work out strategies, pre-lend reviews and conduct debtor/invoice facility audits. James also specialises in assisting clients with financial difficulties and has been involved with many voluntary administrations where he has achieved successful outcomes by focusing on preserving asset values and core business operations to achieve a sustainable restructure.

Experience

  • In 2012, Bas Phillips, a retailer of Manchester for over 70 years was subject to a creditors' voluntary liquidation. James undertook a marketing campaign and facilitated a sale of the business, preserving a long standing Australian brand and achieving a satisfying result for the secured creditor.
  • In 2011, on behalf of a bank, James prepared an investigative accountants report on Aerius Travel Company, a corporate travel agent. Consequently, the bank appointed BRI Ferrier as its receiver where James successfully sold the company’s business and assets.
  • In 2011, Venture Solutions Australia Pty Ltd was subject to a creditors' voluntary liquidation. Venture Solutions was a labour hire company employing 23 staff and 200 casuals with an annual turnover of $10 million and debts of approximately $4.7 million. James sold the business, repaid the secured creditor in full, retained employment of staff and minimised disruption to the company’s clients whose contracts are continuing via the purchaser.
  • In 2010, on behalf of a lender, James conducted an investigative accountant and advisory assignment of a specialised transport company. With a turnover in excess of $30 million, the company owed the lender approximately $8 million. James undertook an assessment of the bank’s security position and implemented a strategy to recover the debt. After six months, the strategy was fully implemented and as a result, the lender avoided appointing a receiver and was paid in full.
  • In 2010, BRI Ferrier was appointed voluntary administrator and subsequently liquidator of AE&E Australia Pty Limited, a provider of thermal power generation and environmental technology. James developed a strategy to fund completion of AE&E’s major projects including a $550+ million power plant thereby preserving the value of the company’s assets. He was also responsible for managing the sale of the company’s business and assets. This role is ongoing.
  • In 2009, BRI Ferrier was appointed voluntary administrator to The Old Kiama Wharf Company Pty Ltd, which formerly operated a seafood restaurant and takeaway shop. The restaurant operated from premises under a crown lease and owed priority creditors $365,000 and unsecured creditors $3.5 million. After an extensive investigation into the company’s affairs, the business was placed into liquidation. James assisted with recovering a voidable transaction and returning the business to the company for the benefit of creditors. Subsequently, James sold the business and successfully transferred the crown lease to a new operator.
  • In 2007, BRI Ferrier was appointed voluntary administrator of Simmone Logue Fine Food Company, a private and corporate caterer. James managed the trading of the company’s business and improved efficiencies during this time. Burdened with substantial debts and large overheads, James facilitated an injection of funds for working capital and successfully streamlined operating procedures. After two months, the company was returned to the management team and continues to operate today as a successful catering company.
  • In 2006, BRI Ferrier was appointed voluntary administrator of a not-for-profit industry group training company which employed 600 people in apprenticeship programs. With no working capital, huge debts and an immediate substantial wages bill, James negotiated with the NSW State Government and the secured creditor to reassign the 600 employees to two like-minded training companies which had agreed to fund the wages. As a result, James effectively avoided any business interruption to customers, preserved the training company’s major asset, ensured all employees retained their jobs and returned all monies owing to the secured creditor.

Qualifications and memberships

  • Registered and official liquidator
  • Member, CPA Australia
  • Member, Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) – University of Wollongong
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