Insolvency professionals cash in on crisis

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Accountants with insolvency and business recovery experience are becoming more in demand as the threat of bankruptcy looms over an increasing number of Australian businesses.

Luke Heath, chief executive of Chandler Heath Executive Recruitment, says insolvency and restructuring professionals are definitely on the recruitment radar at the Big Four accounting firms and banks. "It's quite an assertive hiring process," he adds.

Candidates normally need good accounting and financial modelling skills, says Heath. "They'll also be commercially savvy, while there's demand for people who have familiarity with the property sector."

Patrick Everest, a partner at Jon Michel Executive Search, says insolvency teams at banks are swelling their ranks at more junior levels, but they are looking internally for staff before they start recruiting from outside.

And hiring is happening at the niche players, too. Barry Taylor, partner in charge of the business recovery and insolvency division at accounting firm HLB Mann Judd, says his two-person team had grown to 10 since May 2007.

"It's not just us looking for people, either. The big players such as Ferrier Hodgson, McGrathNicol have also been looking for staff," adds Taylor.