After joining our Audit graduate programme in 2010, Edward moved into Restructuring Services. His role has taken him to South Africa for two years, which included a nine month secondment at a bank covering Botswana, Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia, and to outcomes you might not expect.
What is Restructuring Services?
We provide restructuring and turnaround advice to underperforming and financially distressed businesses, their lenders, stakeholders and advisors. There’s a perception that it’s all about insolvencies – the administrations you read about in the news – and that a large part of our work involves making people redundant. But for most corporates we work with, we’re able to preserve jobs and restructure businesses so they are in better financial shape moving forward. Unfortunately, due to their confidential nature, these processes often go unreported.
One of my favourite projects was a fast track M&A sales process to bridge a funding gap. 130 jobs were saved, the shareholder retained a significant equity stake, and there was no compromise of creditors. The company has subsequently gone from strength to strength. Without our support, the business was facing immediate closure.
What did you gain from working abroad?
It pushed me to develop the confidence to elevate myself as a professional, and gave me a different perspective of the world. I was able to really get under the skin of a number of African countries, providing a very different perspective compared with being a tourist.
Living in a developing country brings a mixture of challenges and rewards. The unreliable water and electricity supply and high crime rate made me appreciate what I take for granted in the UK. These downsides were more than offset by greater responsibility in the workplace, the opportunity to travel around one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and the chance to make friends with a diverse range of people, together with building on friendships I made whilst volunteering during the South Africa 2010 World Cup.
Why work for Deloitte?
Over and above the very interesting work, opportunities to travel and excellent career opportunities, I’m proud to work for Deloitte. There’s a focus on delivering quality output, teamwork and making a positive impact on society, which goes beyond our charity fundraising.
Deloitte UK is working hard to level the playing field through initiatives such as “name blind” recruitment, and the IntoUniversity partnership, which encourages young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to realise their potential. Similarly, Deloitte South Africa is a Level 1 Black Economic Empowerment contributor and has committed, as part of its initiatives to set right the imbalance of the past, to achieving a 51% black and 35% female ownership target by 2020.