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Insolvency expert Malcolm Niekirk to speak at Business Magazine conference

By Laurence Mcclenaghan
27 June 2022

Event Description: International economic experts discuss the challenges and opportunities facing business in Southeast England.

Place: Everyman Winchester

Date: July 13


A small compact audience will allow for in depth discussion and frank exchange of ideas and forecasts from an internationally renown panel of experts. Sponsored by Begbies Traynor, the Business Magazine event boasts as its key note speaker, Mark Berrisford-Smith. The HSBC Head of Economics will be joined by Julie Palmer of Begbies Traynor and Tim Rodgers who has decades of experience supporting SMEs to grow and develop.

Guest speakers

Julie Palmer, Regional Managing Partner - Begbies Traynor
Malcolm Niekirk, Head of the insolvency and restructuring team - Frettens
Mark Berrisford-Smith, Head of Economics - HSBC
Tim Rogers, Business owner and Non Executive Director

Malcolm Niekirk of the Insolvency and Restructuring wing at Frettens, he is a solicitor who has been trying to keep insolvency practitioners out of trouble for some three decades. Having joined south coast solicitors Frettens in March 2020 as Partner, Malcolm set up an insolvency team there.

Malcolm said of future proofing businesses: “The most commonly ignored red flag is probably just a lack of good forecasting. Crisis should not come as a surprise but all too often they do.

“Firms and management can circumvent most issues by sitting down and discussing all vulnerabilities.”

"This is the main advice when it comes to future proofing business," advises Malcolm.

“Take a long hard look at your business and areas of vulnerabilities. Listing vulnerabilities is absolutely critical. In particular having a long hard look at credit control

“What are the terms you are doing business on? What is over the horizon, what is likely to happen and make sure you have both a plan and a back-up plan for when those eventualities do happen. The back up plan is in case you don’t deal with the issues successfully at the first attempt.”

Asked how the South Coast economy compared to the national one, Malcolm suggested: “The regional picture and national picture vary in that the South Coast is heavily dependent on the London economy.

“The southern economy is less dependent on manufacturing and more prolific in hospitality and leisure in other parts of the world. This means that those businesses who do get affected by any economic downturn will be those dependent on disposable spending.

“Hospitality will no doubt be first affected by a contracting economy and the shrinking of discretionary spending power.

“Friday and Saturday nights out will be the first thing to go as people economise. These are also the businesses that have found it hard to secure staff. Therefore it is a treble whammy for these business, as they were also the hardest hit by Covid lockdowns."

"Rising inflation, external costs and supplies and the impact that has on internal costs such as demands for higher wages are factors. Supply chain issues are becoming more pronounced, couple all that with the effect of inflation on the spending power people have, means the situation is quite different from anything we have seen in some time.

"It is the mixture of these pressures that is new. It is going to be something we haven’t seen in some time, particularly inflation. This will squeeze business from all sides.

"Many businesses have been finding it difficult for to recruit the right kind of talent for some time.

"The question is how do you hire talent to grow if your cash reserves are contracting? Businesses need as much time as they do cash reserves."

Help buy your business some time and ideas with the advice from our experts at The Everyman Winchester on July 13.

Building Business Resilience is free to attend but places are very limited. Therefore registration is required in order to secure your spot among successful business leaders of tomorrow, do that here.