We got a mention in Accountancy Age in an article about how smaller firms are faring in recession. They spoke to firms in Cambridge, London, and Sussex - good to see London based journalists traveling far and wide for news!
They interviewed PEM managing partner Paul Chapman, who was quoted as saying the corporate finance practice was deployed in marketing and research. That's true - we are. But its a quote in isolation from a longer interview. To read it you'd think that was all we were up to which is certainly not the case.
Things are certainly slower than last year, but we have some interesting assignments at the moment. Despite the economy it is still the right time for some businesses to buy, sell, or make plans and so M&A activity doesn't dry up. Retirement for example can't always be delayed for example and this can lead to management buyout opportunities, or to trade sales. Also for some businesses it is the right time in their business cycle due to what's happening in their market, or their technology road map may dictate it, or simply because they've been approached by a strategic buyer. Of course acquirers are seeking value at the moment.
So we're not diverting the team to do insolvency work, as are so many of our competitors. And the research and marketing is aimed at supporting our current work load, and wining more. The nature of the work is changing, we are seeing clients bidding for businesses in insolvency, and some succession deals are being done with an increased proportion of vendor debt as bank funding is just not available at the levels we saw before.