Member News Archives - The IFT

IFT contributes to new turnaround and growth guide for small businesses

The IFT has contributed expertise for a new guide published by Lloyds Bank for Business. Turnaround – Seizing New Opportunities is a free book designed for SMEs to boost stabilisation and growth after two difficult years, and can be accessed here.

Our chapter outlines the key components of a successful turnaround, and provides advice on how to secure proven external expertise through the recovery and growth journey.

IFT accredited members and partners have worked hard to help businesses navigate the immediate financial and operational difficulties arising from the pandemic. IFT independent turnaround directors and corporate partners helped companies save over 200,000 jobs in 2020. However, the proportion of distressed companies seeking turnaround management services remains very low. If just 4.5% more distressed firms sought our members’ support, we estimate that jobs saved could be 10 times higher.

Awards Winners 2021

We were delighted to see so many of you at the IFT Annual Awards 2021 and would like to thank you all for coming to celebrate the very best of business turnaround with us.

The IFT would like to say a huge thank you to Paris Clark-Roden and Ali White for doing such a fantastic job at presenting the evening. We would also like to extend a huge thanks to our event partner CREDEBT Ltd.The Debtor Book Professionals.

Well done to all those shortlisted, and a huge congratulations to last nights winners.

Navigating the Pandemic and Beyond: The Contribution of Turnaround to Business and People

In a normal business cycle, the reasons why businesses need turnaround support are many and varied. Since the beginning of the global pandemic, many businesses have been heavily reliant on government support which has meant that although the number of companies in distress in 2020 continued to rise during the pandemic, insolvencies fell by 27 per cent when compared with 2019.

In this report, Navigating the Pandemic and Beyond: The Contribution of Turnaround to Business and People, we highlight the huge contribution IFT members make and the value they create for society and the economy.

We estimate that in 2020 IFT members and corporate partners saved more than 200,000 jobs and protected £2.9 billion in enterprise value. The report analyses the profound impact which the pandemic has exerted and continues to impose on the economy and businesses, at a time when business recovery is even more important to the economy and people.

Our research, conducted during the Covid-19 disruption, highlights how we expect Covid-19 to drive higher demand for turnaround services for the remainder of 2021 and beyond.

To download the report please click here.

For press information and media enquiries please contact:

Michael Evans



+44 (0)7732 148 511

The future of turnaround: IFT Next regional launches

On 13th October we were delighted to kick off a series of launch  events for IFT Next, our offering for those developing their career at a senior level in turnaround, whether as an adviser, lawyer, banker or investor.

PWC More London hosted a panel session chaired by Ken Scott, IFT Fellow, with senior members across the professions. The panel comprised:

Susan Moor, Director, FRP Transition

Richard Obank, Partner, Brown Rudnick

Felix Connolly, Director – Enact, Endless

Rob Asplin, Senior Adviser, PWC

As well as covering changes in the marketplace over time, the social impact of turnaround, diversity and ESG, the panel shared their career journeys and the key lessons they have learnt on those journeys.

Some key tips

Susan: “keep your networks active, people will always help”.

Felix: “show personality, difference makes you stand out”.

Richard: “work with people you like and trust – in intense situations, you need people you can trust and want to spend time with. And never underestimate the support you get at home

Rob: “use opportunities and take risks to make yourself a more interesting and rounded person – whether that’s working in a different department, in different parts of the market, working abroad and taking up learning opportunities. Network internally and externally widely to find the quality contacts and the people you want in your network and to work with in the future.

How have the skills required in turnaround changed over time?

Susan: “Turnaround is always about leadership, but the skills demanded have changed over time. Empathy is essential – you need to take everyone from top management to colleagues on the shop floor with you. Communication has always been important, but in a social media world and with many more stakeholders, there is even greater demand for excellent communication skills.”

How is the marketplace responding to the ESG and D&I imperatives?

The panel was agreed that both ESG and D&I are having very tangible impacts on the market place.

Felix: “ESG, D&I and CSR are at the forefront of Private Equity‘s mind and are major considerations for LPs on how and where they deploy capital. There are clear financial implications for funds who don’t not have a defined strategy on these matters. At an individual level we can support inclusivity by communicating in a straight forward language recognising that overuse of technical terms to explain simple commercial concepts can be intimidating.”

IFT Next provides a professional network, skills development and market content for those who have decided on a career in turnaround and now want to increase their network, skillset and profile within the marketplace . By engaging with these events you will have access to other professionals working within the turnaround space giving you access to a peers across the range of professions that make up the UK’s turnaround community, as well as top insights into the world of restructuring from IFT members, partners and stakeholders.

Our next regional launch will take place in Leeds Thursday 10th February at 6.00 – 9.00 pm at DLA Piper in Leeds. Please email if you would like to sign up for this or get involved in IFT Next.


Swift – Autumn 2021

In the latest edition of Swift, The IFT’s quarterly magazine, you can read about our upcoming IFT events, including the IFT Awards, the IFT news and articles written by members and corporate partners.

You can also read about the IFT celebrating it’s 20th Anniversary. Kelly Jones – MD, Kingsgate Private Sector said: “As the IFT marks its 20th anniversary, it’s great to see it going from strength to strength. In my four years as a member, the IFT has been an invaluable network for me and I’m proud of the badge of quality it represents in turnaround. It’s great to see the IFT evolving to bring critical business agendas, such as diversity, societal impact and soft skills into increasing focus as it works to serve the needs of its members and corporate partners.”

To view and download the latest edition of Swift click HERE.


The IFT appoints a new Chairman

The IFT is delighted to announce the appointment of Andy Leeser, BSc (Hons) FCMA FIFT as the new Chairman of its Board of Directors.

Andy officially joined the membership organisation as Chairman on 22nd September 2021 after a period of shadowing the board and meeting the executive team.

IFT CEO Milly Camley said: “We are really looking forward to Andy joining us and benefiting from his broad experience and knowledge as a well-recognised CRO. We’re excited to work with him over the coming months and years.”

Andy has over 30 years of experience working as an Advisor, director, and chairman in financially or operationally stressed situations and advising boards in such circumstances. Andy has a consistent track record of success in supporting management teams to deliver both the recovery of businesses and improvements in the positions of stakeholders including UK and overseas Equity Investors, Landlords, Banks, Funds, Trade Creditors, Regulators and the PPF.

Andy Leeser said: “I am delighted to be offered the opportunity to Chair such an excellent organisation. I have been a member of the IFT for quite some years and now, more than ever, will our members be looking for the support and relationships that IFT members can offer. We’re about to enter a very challenging period as Government support comes to an end, but I am looking forward to seeing what is to come and helping to support our members through this time.

Outgoing IFT Chair Steve Swayne added “I believe the IFT has a great future, with strong membership engagement, over budget performance and a vastly improved national profile. I would like to thank members, associates and partners for all their support – it’s been a privilege to serve as Chair to a great organisation.  I will remain an engaged IFT Fellow, and Kingsgate remains committed and active as a corporate partner to the IFT. I would like to extend congratulations to Andy Leeser. I am delighted that the board has appointed someone of Andy’s calibre, a highly qualified Board executive and active IFT Fellow as he takes on position of Chair.”

Milly Camley also recognised the contribution and achievements of the outgoing chairman, Steve Swayne. She said, “I’d like to thank Steve Swayne for his commitment to the IFT over the past three years he has been chairman and the role he has played in developing the organisation.

The Institute for Turnaround (The IFT) is the UK’s leading membership organisation for turnaround experts. Our members and corporate partner organisations help underperforming businesses avoid unnecessary insolvencies. IFT members preserve jobs and livelihoods, uphold local industries, protect economic value and strengthen public service organisations.

Turning a Corner – joint IFT and Lending Standards Board report

 Turning a Corner – joint IFT and LSB report launched.

Coronavirus and the steps taken to combat it has impacted SMEs greatly. Many are now facing financial difficulties and will need the support of their banks and lenders to continue trading. It is therefore imperative that financial services firms understand how to best deliver this support and signpost to third parties when required.

With this in mind, the Institute for Turnaround (IFT) has partnered with the Lending Standards Board (LSB) on a report discussing the important role that turnaround plays in supporting firms in difficulty. By combining our joint experience as the UK’s leading membership organisation for turnaround experts and the primary self-regulatory body for the banking and lending industry, this report provides information and guidance to increase good outcomes in relation to the treatment of SME customers.

The report comprises two parts. The first is authored by the IFT and focuses on explaining what turnaround is and its benefits to both individual firms and the wider economy.

The second section, produced by the LSB, explains the importance of having established governance structures and processes for banks and other lenders in relation to signposting to turnaround.

Why turnaround?

Turnaround is the process of restoring a business’s long-term health and viability. That may involve freeing the firm from the effects of inefficiencies that are hampering its ability to thrive or rescuing it from outright distress. A turnaround professional can offer the insight and advice needed to help business owners identify why the business is struggling and what can be done to rectify it.

Successful turnaround means returning the business back to profitability and a position where it can continue to grow into the future. Without the input of turnaround at the right time, it is possible that a business in difficulty will continue to struggle, potentially until it is too late to put in place any measures to halt its decline. Because of this, it is vital that banks and lenders understand how to signpost to turnaround professionals when a business customer could benefit from their input.

The importance of signposting

Signposting business customers to turnaround specialists can play a crucial role in the support firms offer SMEs in financial difficulties. By signposting customers in the right way, there is a greater likelihood of customers reaching the support they need whilst there is still time to improve the business’s fortunes. There are also risks presented when it comes to signposting. Without proper governance, oversight, and training, it is possible that customers are either not signposted, are signposted inadequately, or are signposted in a way that creates risk for the firm and customer.

By considering the SME customer journey holistically, including the steps from difficulties to turnaround, firms can improve the overall service they offer their customers. Encouraging an environment where struggling businesses are supported and given the best possible chance of success not only benefits the customer but also the wider economy. By utilising the experience of the IFT and the LSB, this report looks at the whole process relating to turnaround in order to improve the end outcomes delivered on the first line.

To read the report please click the link below.

Turning a Corner The IFT and LSB Report



This roadmap shows the critical points ahead for SMEs, so businesses can seek early intervention in the form of help from an accredited turnaround professional. This roadmap has been updated to reflect the announcements made by the Chancellor in the 2021 UK Budget on 3 March 2021, which extended several coronavirus support measures and outlined plans for the UK’s post-pandemic recovery.

Details are still emerging, and information is correct as of 10 March 2021 but subject to change at short notice given further government announcements.

This roadmap was created in association with Playfair Partnerships Ltd. Please contact John Playfair or Simon Playfair of Playfair Partnerships Ltd if you require further assistance.

John Playfair: 07970 619986
Simon Playfair: 07968 198550

You can download the infographic in PDF format HERE