Chris

A highly experienced financial director skilled in corporate recovery, troubleshooting and change management. Following a number of directorships at subsidiaries within Lex Service Group PLC, Chris was appointed financial director and then managing director of a leading supplier of educational equipment, subsequently acquired by Pergamon Press Ltd.

Further career progression led to a main board directorship of the private company with a turnover of £750 million, with a seat on the board of a £200 million quoted subsidiary. For the past 12 years, Chris has acted as non-executive chairman and/or director for various quoted and unquoted companies where his financial expertise in the corporate recovery field is highly valued. He has also carried out full-time troubleshooting roles.

Areas of Expertise

  • Corporate recovery
  • Financial management
  • Troubleshooting
  • Change management
  • Commercial due diligence
  • Cost reduction
  • Business turnaround

Career Highlights

  • Main board director of £750 million turnover private publishing company; a seat on the board of a £200 million quoted subsidiary.
  • Group Business Analyst for UK's leading vehicle distribution company, and financial director of its three key subsidiaries.
  • Long-established corporate recovery consultant with intensive knowledge and experience of business sectors ranging across the technology, manufacturing, publishing and financial services sectors.

Interim Assignments

  • Acting Chief Executive of near-bankrupt ice cream manufacturer that had borrowed heavily to consolidate production into a new factory, but had failed to complete an accurate financial analysis beforehand. Chris ran the company for the bank in a way that kept all options open, and helped the lenders decide on solutions.
  • Appointed acting Chief Executive to a well-known manufacturer of retail and industrial digging equipment to transition a change of leadership in the business when the joint owners fell into dispute during a financial crisis.
  • Retained by a short-run semi-automatic glassware manufacturer, which had not kept pace with changing markets or manufacturing practice, to turn the business round. Consultancy role subsequently led to appointment as Non-Executive Chairman.

This Expert in Action

 

The Challenge

  • UK subsidiary of troubled US baby wipe manufacturing group was losing money.
  • No proper UK banking facilities were in place.
  • Financial viability of the company questioned by Welsh office over application for an inward investment grant.
  • Series of speedy turnaround solutions required.

What He Delivered

Acting as UK Managing Director, Chris turned the company from losses of £1.2 million to profits of £2 million, increased sales from £11 million to £32 million, and improved production fourfold. On behalf of the owner he also took the UK company towards floatation on the London Stock Exchange, achieving an oversubscribed stock position ahead of withdrawal, for US holding company reasons.

How?

  • Organised a capital reconstruction and negotiated proper UK banking facilities.
  • Prepared revised business plans that convinced the Welsh office to release previously blocked investment funds.
  • Commissioned the design and installation of the world's largest baby wipe line (£5 million) - generating a fourfold increase in production; and trebled the product range.
  • Re-invigorated the UK sales programme - major customers included Johnson & Johnson, Boots, and all leading UK supermarket groups; and successfully expanded sales and distribution activity into mainland Europe.
  • Planned succession management by recruiting new Managing Director.