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Southport & Mersey Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 17 December 2007

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Financial Directors kept awake for all the wrong reasons

CONCERNS about company cashflow are keeping UK Financial Directors (FDs) awake at night according to recent survey results from Asset Based Lender Venture Structured Finance*. Conducted amongst FDs in small to medium sized organisations, the survey found that 88% of FDs who manage an annual turnover of £100 to £120m admitted to cashflow anxieties. This is in stark contrast to their smaller counterparts (£10 to £50m turnover), where only 43% experience similar anxieties.

The survey findings seem to suggest that the bigger the company turnover, the greater the cashflow concern.  Finding appropriate funding solutions is a major cause for concern with companies being let down by financiers that are failing to deliver on funding promises. 26% of FDs surveyed stated that when trying to secure finance, the actual level of funding received was less than initially agreed.  At a regional level, there are a few surprises with finding capital for growth proving to be an issue causing anxiety amongst the survey respondents. 25% of companies in the North West expressed real concern about finding funding for future growth, a significantly higher proportion in comparison to the lower UK average of 19%.

Neil Topping, Regional Director of Venture Structured Finance comments:- "Government figures demonstrate that the trend of business growth continues throughout the North, so it's not surprising that given the current economic outlook many businesses are concerned about debt availability in the short to medium term.  Structured Lending provides businesses with a flexible source of funding and is designed for situations where a significant funding need is identified, including buy-ins, buy-outs, restructuring, refinancing or turnaround situation."

The time lag between issuing an invoice and receiving payment can cause real cashflow problems. Combined with the risk of late and failed payments, poor cashflow can cripple a fragile business. Asset Based Lending offers a flexible and robust option enabling businesses to secure working capital against invoices and stock, plant & machinery and property as well as future revenue streams. It is a form of finance ideal for significant business opportunities including acquisitions and company growth.

Chris Hawes, Managing Director of Venture Structured Finance, believes that Asset Based Lending can offer Financial Directors healthier and more flexible options to achieve ambitious objectives. He comments:- "Asset Based Lending presents a viable alternative to traditional funding methods. The level of capital provided is based on the value of the business' existing assets and executed business i.e. invoices awaiting payment, exposing the financier and the client to reduced levels of risk."

Venture Structured Finance provides Asset Based Lending facilities of between £3 million and £50 million for businesses with a turnover of up to £200 million.

Current clients include the Nield Group - one of the UK's largest independent wholesalers and distributors of toiletries, health, beauty and household products - and Jenks, the UK's leading sales channel service provider.  

For further information on Venture Structured Finance or Asset Based Lending please visit www.venture-structured.co.uk 

* Conducted via telephone amongst 100 respondents

Want you back, want you back for good…

A new phenomenon is hitting offices across the North West, as employees are returning to their old jobs.  The trend, named boomerang hire, has been exposed in research by car hire firm Enterprise Rent-A-Car and reveals that 24% of workers in the North West have moved onto pastures new, only to find that the grass isn’t actually greener on the other side. As a result they have gone back.

The study goes onto reveal that 32% of employees are considering returning to their old jobs, so don’t be surprised to see an ex-colleague come a-knocking! Although contrary to popular belief, only 3% of the population are truly unhappy at work, deeply regretting leaving their last role.  Unexpectedly, men are much more nostalgic than women when it comes to their ex-employers, with 37%, vs only 17%, considering returning to their old job.  So how do people go about getting their foot back in the door? Well 34% own up to keeping in touch with their old bosses - just in case.

Donna Miller, European HR director for Enterprise Rent-A-Car comments:- “Having observed ‘boomerang hire’ activity for real, with 68 employees returning to Enterprise in the last 5 years, the findings of our study clearly mirror the reality.  Keeping in touch with the best employees after they leave is something done by far too few companies. It’s not a matter of poaching them back, but often employees give something new a go and it just doesn’t work out for one reason or another. Employers should be there with arms wide open, although only if they’re worth it!”

The results of the survey, carried out in association with YouGov, go onto reveal more about the workforce in the North West and their employment habits.  The main reason cited for leaving a job was being offered a better role elsewhere (37%), proving our opportunistic attitude when it comes to work. Pay comes high on the list, with just over a 1/3rd admitting that they have handed in their notice because they weren’t being paid enough. Personalities and company politics also play a part with 19% citing a reason for leaving was because they didn’t like the people and the company.

The good news for employers is that job loyalty seems to be quite high in the North West with 40% of respondents believing that they will only have between 2-5 jobs in their lifetime!

4% still hope they will have a job for life and the modern-day career nomads (6%) believe they will have had more than 16 jobs before they retire – that’s a new job almost once every 3 years!

Let us know if you have left and returned to your old place of work by emailing our news room at news24@southportreporter.com.

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