After some quick intro’s to the team, at 10 am I was sitting next to one of the Directors in a meeting with a client working out how to help them with additional working capital. By the time Day 1 had finished, we had worked out their options and made two recommendations. We had also scoped and produced a Terms of Engagement for another client looking at buying into a business in Northland and I discovered my role in the project was to complete the five-year financial scenario analysis. To finish Day 1, I reviewed 12 months of Board minutes for a large Auckland-based manufacturing client where Bellingham Wallace runs the Advisory Board.
My first board meeting kicked off at 7.30 am on Day 2. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it turns out this is a regular monthly meeting to review all strategic goals and business direction. Far more discussion than just the normal review of financials that I am used to! Just over four hours after we started, the meeting finished having covered manufacturing investment plans for 2023, ideation of an industry 4.0 warehouse automation project, a revised organisation structure/staffing plan to support increased BD and sales growth and strategy/tactics plus establishing a new business to drive input cost savings.
Having caught my breath after Day 2, on Day 3 I participated in a half-day FY24 Strategy refresh session with a high-growth food importing and distribution business that has just come off the back of an incredible FY23. The business’ Leadership Team, one of the Bellingham Wallace Directors, and I worked through a process to define, prioritise and sequence strategic activities for the next 12 months. I then spent a good part of Day 4 documenting the outputs of the session and creating the first draft of the strategy canvas, before finishing my day carefully reviewing an Information Memorandum for a large equity syndication deal that the BW Team will launch with the guys from Armillary Private Capital in May. No rest for the wicked as they say!
Which brings me to Day 5. I drove to work thinking, ” What will turn up next?”. I suppose I should not have been surprised that there was plenty to do and by 9 am I was assessing the feasibility of attracting investment into a land purchase that will give a business long term certainty of tenure.
By lunchtime I was assisting a client’s CFO to review accounting system inputs given unexplainable GP variability in their ERP. To finish the day, I reviewed the trade cycle for an exporting business (taking me back to my roots!) and started thinking about how we could optimise bank funding as sales were growing quickly and the cash-to-cash conversion was a long cycle.
I have joined Bellingham Wallace to grow my career through the variety and challenge the firm and its clients offer. It’s an exciting, fast paced environment that allows me to leverage my existing skill set and business knowledge whilst building new advisory muscles.
I can see that there is plenty more interesting work and learning to come.