Industry faces battle to find new professionals

THERE are too few turnaround specialists in the world to cope with a surge in the numbers of companies that need restructuring after the credit crisis, an insolvency expert told the Reuters Restructuring Summit.

“There are 408 practitioners in 11 of the United States’ trading partners, five of them have seven between them,” said Nick Hood, senior partner of insolvency specialists Begbies Traynor. He pointed to Saad Group, the Saudi Arabian conglomerate at the centre of a multibillion dollar debt restructuring.

“What on earth is going to happen to Saad in restructuring terms?” he asked. “You can’t do this without the people.” Hood said his firm was adding staff, but it was not easy to find people with the right skills. They had been overwhelmed with emails from “retrenched” managers who thought because they could run a company in boom times they could also restructure a company in hard times.