Alvarez & Marsal grows restructuring wing into Scotland

13 September 2022 3 min. read
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Global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal has moved to meet the expanding need for restructuring advisors in Scotland. The new restructuring practice is expected to grow to 20 practitioners in the coming months.

Small and mid-sized businesses across Scotland face a turbulent winter. With the cost of energy continuing to boom, and price-caps being brought in only applying to domestic use, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) Scotland has warned that small but energy-intensive businesses such as cafes, pubs, clubs and restaurants could see annual energy bills surge from around £20,000 to £120,000 or more – putting many of them at risk of immediate insolvency.

With this, and a host of other pressures, meaning SMEs throughout Scotland at under intense financial distress, demand for restructuring and turnaround consulting is set to boom. Looking to position itself to benefit from this growing market, Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) has opened a new restructuring practice, north of Hadrian’s Wall.

Ben Cairns, Managing Director, Alvarez & Marsal

A&M made its first hire in Scotland two years ago, when it announced the appointment of Donald Campbell to A&M Taxand – and the team has now grown to 18 advisers. The new A&M restructuring line in Scotland will complement the firm’s existing tax team in Glasgow, which it has been building since 2020. Led by Managing Director Ben Cairns, the team will primarily support stakeholders in Scottish corporates and aims to build its own headcount of some 20 practitioners over the coming months.

Head of A&M’s restructuring practice in Scotland, Cairns said, “Businesses across Scotland are under growing pressure as challenges mount. Supply chain disruption, inflation and the rising cost of capital are combining to frustrate business plans, following hot on the heels of the market turmoil of the pandemic. A&M is well-placed to help businesses navigate this new context. As an honest, and independent adviser, we instinctively have a bias towards taking action that drives results.”

Cairns, has been with A&M since 2017, and has more than 20 years of experience advising boards and stakeholders in restructuring situations. Prior to joining A&M, he spent 23 years with EY, where he was Partner, leading teams in the core restructuring practice. According to a release from the firm, he will be joined by new hires in October 2022. Among them, Kevin Lamb has been appointed as a Senior Director and will be based in the Edinburgh office, and Roddy McKellar will join A&M as a Director based in Glasgow.

Mark Firmin, Managing Director and Head of UK Regional Restructuring, commented, “This is the natural next step in A&M’s continued regional expansion. Our U.K. restructuring team has grown significantly in recent months, to meet our clients’ needs and in anticipation of more corporate distress as the economic situation worsens. We will continue to invest in our firm across the country, offering a hands-on approach and independent advice to deliver positive outcomes for local companies and their stakeholders.”

A&M joins a host of other professional services firms moving to Scotland in recent years. UK consultancy Opus Business Advisory Group launched its first Scottish office in Glasgow in 2021, while Quantuma continued its own expansion into Scotland with the appointment of Managing Director, David Bell. And FRP Advisory has been rapidly growing capacity there too.