Archive for July, 2014

End of the ‘pre-pack’?

Reported right across the media is the possible death of the pre pack administration which has of course, proved to be very controversial

There is little doubt in my mind that the process has been abused and to the extent that it could be viewed as an exercise in moral hazard, whereby directors trade in full knowledge that they will not be punished for failure

Many businesses will collapse for entirely unforeseeable reasons and I believe that much licence should be given in respect of such circumstances. However others will recklessly gamble knowing that the outcome will be met with a shrug of the shoulders. The problem is that there are many grey areas in between. It can be hard to pin this down

A solution? I am not sure but watch this space. Something to ponder on

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Cant manage ? Wont manage..

bad-manager-1One in eight employees find “absolutely nothing” to admire in their boss (see here)

This does not surprise me. After a number of years working for some generally decent people I was happily driven to self employment by a couple of “bosses” who were genuinely unpleasant and somewhat psychotic personalities. I’ve had the last laugh…

But more seriously, why is so little attention given to man management skills and training? I was fortunate to be managing a team at a particularly young age (22) and did so pretty continuously for next 20 years. Starting early helps but superb courses run by the old Industrial Society set me on the way. To this day, certain completely logical but vital guidelines stay with me.

Bad man management is a disgrace. There is no excuse. Many will never be adept at handling people regardless of the training and that being the case, they should never draw the salary. Others have the ability but misuse through simple ignorance. No one should be appointed unless it is clear they have the ability but at the same time, it is remarkable that the least obvious candidates can often thrive and blossom in the role.

You need to know what to look for. Heres a brief list of my own

– Intelligence. You don’t get many fine managers who are frankly a bit thick

– Self assured. Confidence is important.

– An out going loner. Make sense?  Think it through

The biggest issue of all is that poor man management absolutely drains the life out of the people he or she is responsible for.

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Formula 1? Not in my backyard

I am not going to even post the smallest picture illustrating a “sport” which I (and many many others) find to be tacky, charmless and completing alienating but unfortunately it has reared its ugly noisy head in the great city of London

As we would say in this great city. No way

London does not by any stretch of the imagination need the disruption or the publicity. F1 isnt the olympics. It is a sport reviled by a huge proportion of the population and most pertinently, London is anything but a petrolhead city

Boris Johnson seems to have more of an eye for “me” projects than any plans which are of any genuine use

If there is a campaign against this disgusting proposal, show me where it is and I will join it immediately

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Philip King on Wonga

As ever some excellent commentary by Philip King, chairman of the institute of credit management. Reasoned and good sense

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World Corruption Index

A couple of years ago I linked the World Corruption Index to this blog. It was the most read post during that time, which gives a reasonable indication of the perhaps ghoulish interest of my audience

Here it is again

In truth the results are not dissimilar to before, but if this is new to you it is well worth a look. A few surprises too

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Shame in Spain.

thThe other side of the export coin are stories such as this

To quote

As recently as last week, just before controversial investment research firGotham City Research alleged 90pc of Gowex’s revenues were falsified, and its shares worthless, García Martín was the guest of honour on state radio.

You have to question how a business can successfully overstate its revenue by a multiple of 10 for four accounting years? Where on earth was the scrutiny? To my mind this is even worse than the Parmalat scandal

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Export or die

Credit remains elusive for many SME’s intending or wishing to export. So say the BCC in this article here

Too true. Much lending to SMEs is through invoice financing and the rather slow thinking herd like underwriters in this sector, frequently treat overseas debt as if its a cast iron certainty to be written off

Many restrict exports to less than 20% of the ledger and will not touch certain territories, regardless of the strength of the debtor. Yes I have mentioned this before but it is extraordinary that invoicing to BP in Africa will not be funded by nearly all lenders

Fortunately there are exceptions and I have recently managed a significantly arrangement for a agency sending engineers to many blue chip oil companies in a wide range of arenas. In the commercial world any credit manager would not hesitate offering credit to Total Oil and peers. The lenders think differently

They need to wake up or fire the underwriters. Its a short sighted and brainless “tick box” approach

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