Cork Gully axed

by John Stokdyk

31 Mar 1999

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PricewaterhouseCoopers is phasing out its Cork Gully insolvency brand as part of the restructuring of its business recovery services unit that has already cost 80 jobs.

Coopers & Lybrand bought the specialist insolvency practice in 1980, but a fall in the number of formal liquidations and the need to present a unified image have rendered the name all but obsolete.

PwC insolvency partner Steve Hill said: 'Over the next few weeks we will be running an internal roadshow to tell all staff that the name is to go. This is not going to be an instant change.'

All new insolvency work will be carried out under the PwC banner, but there are no plans to sell the Cork Gully name.

Insiders agreed that getting rid of the brand could damage the firm because of its links with PwC, but it is also not as attractive a proposition as it was during the early 1980s when it lost its independence.

'If they wanted to sell it, they should have done so ten years ago when it was more valuable,' said one Big Five insolvency source. 'There was a lot of interest in Cork Gully then, but attitudes change.'

He said many insolvency specialists still expected PwC to spin off the name at some point in the future as a specialist practice with a defined remit different to that of the parent firm. Phasing out the name now could be a first step towards that goal, he added.

But others warned that any plans to sell off the name would require a change in the current insolvency climate, which has cut formal recovery work by half since 1992. Informal or turnaround work has risen dramatically over recent years.

The news of the loss of the Cork Gully name comes just a week after Accountancy Age revealed that 80 PwC insolvency practitioners had been told to go, with many experts expecting further cuts to follow.

Analysis, page 6.

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