A career in insolvency – why not?

February 8, 2024

It’s safe to say that no student careers officer has ever pointed young jobhunters towards the insolvency and restructuring sector. We’re a relatively niche profession, generally unknown beyond experienced accountants and lawyers. Most members of the industry ‘end up’ in it, rather than making a proactive choice.

Research from industry association R3 shows:

  • 69% of R3 members said that they had entered the insolvency profession ‘by chance’
  • 13% said it was their chosen career
  • 10% said they entered the profession on the advice of a mentor
  • 48% felt that ‘to some extent’, young people received enough information

That said, although most of us fall into an insolvency career after studying accounting or law, it is still one of the highest regarded routes for finance professionals.

The insolvency world comprises many professionals with an aptitude for accountancy and an ability to understand the complexities of law, but it’s very much a frontline area of finance: client facing, involving business-critical advice, with an empathetic approach required for working with those facing existential challenges in their enterprises.

Creativity and lateral thinking are also essential. While insolvency is essentially law based, with the advice and conduct of professionals and their clients governed by the Insolvency Act 1986, Companies Act 2006 and many other guidelines or statutory procedures, our industry is solutions driven. The insolvency toolkit of legal procedures, ostensibly intended for orderly wind-ups of businesses or the protection of creditors, can also provide breathing space and structures within which effective rescues can take place. Insolvency work is therefore also about exploring every realistic option for securing a sustainable future.

Unsurprisingly, the huge variety of challenges prompting businesses and individuals to seek insolvency advice means that no two days are ever the same for professionals working in our sector. Better still, succeeding in a mission to get a company back on track or an individual to avert bankruptcy is extremely rewarding.

Here at Buchler Phillips, all analysts have the ability and skills to work on their cases from instruction to conclusion, meaning we are exposed to every aspect of the insolvency process. Prospects for career development are supported by opportunities to study for a wide range of insolvency qualifications and courses. I have just passed my CII (ICAEW Certificate in Insolvency) and James Bryan, our manager, is studying towards the JIEB (Joint Insolvency Examination Board). Additional insolvency credentials can make professionals stand out from the crowd and this further development ensures that our team is always well equipped to deal with complex cases of all sizes, in all industry sectors.

Buchler Phillips analysts are encouraged to visit clients on site, at the very least to liaise with employees or to collect books and records, but also to attend strategic discussions. These day-to-day opportunities for external engagement, combined with the several networking events hosted or attended by Buchler Phillips, are important elements of professional growth and, I believe, help to keep us at the top of our game.

If this small window of insight has sparked an interest in finding out a bit more about a career in insolvency and restructuring, please send us a CV, or simply contact us to set up an exploratory chat.

Written by Anoushka Desai, Senior Analyst at Buchler Phillips, a UK based independent boutique firm with an impeccable Mayfair heritage, specialising in corporate recovery, turnaround, restructuring and insolvency.

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