advisory services

How we work

We offer advice on both an individual project and ongoing basis as follows:

Project work

After an initial meeting, a proposal will be prepared detailing the scope of the work and the expected cost of the assignment.  Most projects can be broken down into segments.  These can be committed to individually.

Ongoing advice

This allows for ongoing monthly input that can be scaled up or down, depending on your needs.  This is akin to a non-executive director role, but allows active involvement in important projects or things that “need doing”.  The benefits are:

 

  • It is scalable
  • It is more cost effective as we have ongoing knowledge of your business.  This allows smaller projects and tasks to become viable.

Services

 

General Business Advice

In addition to the topics you will find listed under “Advisory Services”, we also offer general business advice.  The advice we provide is based on practical business experience, principally gained in Europe, but also in North America and the Far East.  Experiencing something first hand gives one a much better understanding than just reading about it!  We’ve not just been there, seen it and done it, we’ve also got the right financial, analytical and commercial skills!

Aquisitions & Disposals

Acquisitions

Acquisitions include evaluation, structuring, negotiation, and post-transaction management.  We will assist with:

  • Contract optimisation
  • Due diligence considerations
  • Managing the process and the information flow
  • Purchase price considerations eg Earn-out v Fixed Price etc
  • Post acquisition integration and monitoring the contract’s terms

Whilst the headline price is always important, we take many other factors into account.  For example:

  • Warranty amounts and periods
  • Dealing with the over/under collection of debtors:

These are just a few examples from a myriad of considerations.

Despite the normal post-deal euphoria, the transaction does not come to an end when the deal is done.  The process still needs to be managed to ensure compliance with all the terms agreed.  For instance, considering areas ranging from the ongoing use of trademarks and business names to the triggering of warranty claims is vital.

The signed agreement is only the start of the process.  A cornerstone for the success of an acquisition, for example, is the integration of the new business into the group: implementing internal systems, bringing employees together and keeping customers happy.  There is a lot to do and a lot at stake, particularly when history shows that the majority of acquisitions are not successful.

Disposals

Whilst some of the consideration are the same as for acquisitions, particular attention needs to be paid to disclosures, the management of the virtual data room and warranties (amounts, length and structuring).

Perl Advisory can help in all these areas, depending on your needs.

New Country Business Startups

New country start-ups sometimes seem attractive compared to acquisitions, as no money needs to be paid out upfront.  However, start-ups pose their own problems.

First and foremost you must familiarise yourself with the rules regulating businesses in the new territory.  Secondly, once you’re ready to enter the market, you need to find the right people to manage the business for you.

In many cases, someone within your existing business will be best placed to do this.  There are many different aspects to consider, apart from simply getting the business up and running.  Questions such as obtaining relief for start-up losses, sourcing methods of funding and transfer pricing all need to be looked at.

Here, Perl Advisory can work with you by complementing the help you receive from your existing advisors.

Director Protection

At one time, being a director was a sign of success and carried a nice title.  Although that’s still true, a directorship now carries much greater personal risks.  Firstly the bar has been raised so that a director needs to be versed in all areas of business – ignorance is not an acceptable defence these days!  Litigation against directors in their individual capacity is growing.  Directors can be personally liable for certain actions, which means that their home and other assets are at risk.  We can advise you on straightforward actions you can take to minimise personal liability.  There are other things we can advise you to do to show that you are acting in a responsible manner.

Bank & City Relationships

Bank information flows/relationships

A vital relationship that needs to be managed carefully is your relationship with the banks that lend you money.  The accuracy of your forecasts, the explanation of variances, and the preparation of a commentary on current trading are all important elements in building a good working relationship with your banks.  Perl can help you to build forecasts that have more flexibility and enable you to make allowances for unfavourable trading performance.  We can also help you hone your applications for new loans.

Investor information flows/relationships

Investors are key constituents of your business and you need to keep them informed.  This applies, regardless of whether they are private investors, or you are a listed business with public shareholders.  Here clarity, consistency and predictability are key attributes for increasing the value of the business and facilitating future capital raising.  If you would like an independent review of what you are

If you would like an independent review of what you are intending to present to your investors, this is an area where we can help and advise you.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Lead Indicators – design and implementation

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are important both for management and investors and now have to be published for companies listed on the London markets.  KPIs provide clear indicators of how your business is performing.  They can also form a starting point for Key Risk Indicators.   Profits may be down, whilst productivity is up!  With KPIs, your business managers can be given more precise targets and see the dynamics in their area of responsibility more clearly.

Lead Indicators are also hugely helpful, as they give a good indication as to how the business will be performing in the weeks and months ahead.  This naturally depends on the lead-time between customer/client contact and invoicing.  Lead Indicators can flag-up potential problems and enable you to take early action when you need to.  Investors and banks can also be kept informed as appropriate – if only to provide them with the peace of mind that all is going as planned.

Cash Management

Cash has been called “the fuel in the tank”.  A business managed for cash first, rather than profit, is more likely to be around in the long term. Cash forecasting can be difficult.  There are however straightforward ways of producing regular cash forecasts that can be updated easily.

There are also simple ways of improving cash management. Some are obvious whilst others are not.  Needless to say they all need to be practical and Perl can help you to ensure that they are.

Cost Flexibility

Costs in your business need to be necessary and ideally flexible.  Sometimes it is easier for someone outside the company to identify areas where costs could be flexed, curtailed or eliminated to make your business leaner.  Trimming fat is fine, but if you cut too close to the bone, the negative impact on the business can exceed the original cost saving!

Cost-cuts that involve people are always difficult, especially where you have worked with an individual for a number of years.  That said, there are ways of implementing reductions in payroll costs without taking the redundancy route. In some cases, individuals can be given the ability to benefit from an upturn in business, to compensate for the cuts they accept during tough times.  Even though a lot of the fat has already been cut from many businesses, there are normally still areas that can be trimmed.

The other side of cutting costs is looking at the pricing of services and products.  Reviewing when sales prices or fee rates were last increased and comparing them to those of competitors can also give one improved insight and new ideas.

 

Location

 

Perl Advisory LLC is based in Zurich, but also operates out of London.

 

Mobile

+41 76 529 58 55

Get in touch

Use the form below to send us an email:

11 + 4 =