Recovery spells long-term questions for IPs

Record numbers of people are taking insolvency exams as the demand for
business recovery experts remains sky-high. But what are the budding Tony
Lomas’s (PwC: Lehman Bros) and Neville Kahn’s (Deloitte: Woolworths) of tomorrow
letting themselves in for when things return to normal?

300 people sat the Certificate of Proficiency in Insolvency exam this month,
was confirmed as a ‘record number’ by David Kerr, the chief executive of the
Insolvency Practitioners Association. This represents a 6% increase on last
year, with a pass rate of 73%.

But If the same firms that scrambled to redeploy staff into their insolvency

arms cannot do the reverse when activity tails off, the people that have been
brought in may find it hard to be placed elsewhere.

During the last recession, the insolvency peak lagged behind the recession
trough by over a year, insolvency experts have warned, but if you look at the
current climate, it’s hard to see the argument “against”.

Why would anyone not want to operate in a sector which saw more than 33,000
people file for bankruptcy in the second quarter of 2008 alongside 5,055 company
liquidations and 1,529 other collapses?

The 33,073 individual insolvencies in England and Wales in the second quarter
of 2009 represented an increase of 27.4% on the same period a year ago.

“The rise in individual insolvencies and the continued high level of
corporate insolvencies is the tip of the iceberg of distress being felt by many
UK companies and individuals,” said Liz Bingham, UK head of restructuring at
Ernst & Young, earlier this year.

The sector is booming, but those looking to forge a career in insolvency must
also look to the long-term when the economy picks up and insolvencies slow down.

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