People and Business: Name that firm

Click to follow
The Independent Online
TIME WAS when the accountants who liquidate troubled companies used to be called insolvency practitioners. No longer. The marketing men have taken over, and now the liquidators are dubbed "corporate recovery specialists" or "turnaround experts".

PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has by far the largest insolvency/corporate recovery/call-it-what-you-will department in the UK, has taken the process one step further by creating a pan-European organisation called "Business Recovery Services".

Heading it is Alan Jamieson, who joined Price Waterhouse in 1975 (PW merged with Coopers & Lybrand eight months ago). But the name-inflation hasn't stopped there.

Underneath are three further sub-divisions: "Troubled business advisory services", headed by Anthony Lomas and Ian Powell, who will hold the hands of worried bankers who have lent to duff companies; "Business Regeneration", which will seek to turn companies around, and which is headed by John Soden (ex PW) and Mark Palios (ex Coopers - and who once played professional football with Tranmere Rovers); and last but not least, "Insolvency Services", largely built from the old Corky Gully practice, headed by Chris Hughes.

Mr Jamieson says partners have to pay fines if they refer to which firm other partners came from pre-merger, in order to encourage team spirit. And as for City rumours that Cork Gully, the insolvency practice that the legendary Sir Kenneth Cork built, may spin off from PwC in some form, Mr Jamieson says in his best Borders burr: "We have no plans for Cork Gully to reappear."