Tallinn, Estonia, Insol Europe Eastern European Conference, 2011
In this section you can read about the solutions we offer and the sectors we work in:
- Business Plan assessments
- Debt and Equity advisory
- Project Finance advisory
- Strategy and Operational Improvement, Interim Management and Training
- Cross-border investment support and risk reduction
- Restructuring, cash management and distressed investing
- Sectors we work in
We find that many owners and managers have a good understanding of their businesses but may not always capture all relevant information in their business plans. Wyn River reviews business plans and recommends improvements in structure and content to increase the likelihood of the plan achieving its purpose. The business plan might be needed to apply for a bank loan, refinancing, improved internal control or even prior to a sale of the business or Initial Public Offering (IPO). If key risks are not clearly addressed, bankers and other readers will increase the cost of their credit facility and discount their valuations. We can also support the development of Key Performance Indictor business modelling "scorecards" to help senior management to look at critical results and impacts from potential changes to future strategies and operational and financial changes.
Prior to the 2008 financial crisis, banks were happy to lend and grow their own portfolios abroad. Now the continuing stagnation of many domestic and international markets and Basel III capital adequacy requirements has put pressure on several bank groups to retrench back to core markets, where high levels of Non-Performing Loans often restricts funds for new lending.
Wyn River has good relationships with several lenders and also alternative credit providers and angel investors who still have appetite for Emerging Europe, Africa and beyond. While many business owners do not want to dilute their shareholdings, the correct growth or re-financing options may include equity or quasi-equity. Wyn River is connected to the major regional commercial banks, several International Financial Institutions such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). We also have close links to several specialist private equity funds which have funds allocated for new investment opportunities across our region.
If advice on fairness opinions, valuations, funding structures and term sheets is needed, we will bring in one of the niche investment banks we work with who are authorised to provide such advice by the UK Financial Conduct Authority.
Wyn River associates have project management experience of the significant infrastructure challenges faced by state and municipal authorities in both developed and developing markets. A considerable volume of Soviet-era power, district heating plants and municipal utility infrastructure is due for replacement or retrofit. Renewable energy and water treatment plants are new investments which bring new money and new employment and are therefore attractive for local decision makers. Roads, railways, ports and airports are also being built and upgraded often with contributions or loans from International Financial Institutions and other agencies. Wyn River Limited associates know several of the regional International Financial Institution teams.
One specific form of financing which the United Kingdom has championed has been the development of Public Private Partnerships. Many countries across our wide geography are now adopting such mechanisms and Wyn River associates can support project structuring and execution, bringing their experience to bridge any communication and culture gaps that may exist between technical, legal and financing teams. The 2014 World Economic Outlook report has a specific chapter on Infrastructure Investment and the EBRD and other IFIs have issued a joint statement on the importance of infrastructure for growth and quality of service provision. In Africa, power shortages are often a daily reality which impacts manufacturing quality/continuinity as well as life quality. However, we recognise the borrowing and investment prioritisation challenges faced by both sovereign and sub-sovereign entities.
Wyn River's associate network includes former utility executives, corporate financiers and project managers, utility managers and engineers, as well as former public sector officials, financial modellers and PPP specialists. We often work in conjunction with larger advisory and engineering consultancies to contribute our niche specialists to joint project teams.
Wyn River Limited associates address high level strategy and financing issues with clients. For detailed strategy or operational improvement inputs we will recommend either one of our associates with relevant sector experience, or former C-level executives and strategy advisers we know well, to work alongside your in-house teams. Our associates assist our clients to design and implement operational improvements. They also provide peer-to-peer coaching of existing management teams.
To support our change management programmes, we have access to international and regional functional, vocational and board effectiveness training experts. We work with specialist trainers with experience of our region on areas such as private equity, risk and financial management, and corporate governance. We have associates who have developed training programmes for start-up clusters, from initial fund-raising to growth and exit planning. Our vocational training teams operate across Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia with State and regional authorities to deliver accredited training programmes in such sectors as agribusiness, tourism and engineering. The training colleges we work with tailor workforce training programmes for specific companies. We also offer financial management training for senior and middle management to assist scenario planning and decision making.
Wyn River's associates advise management and owners, but usually do not take executive appointments or decisions personally. We are connected to several established international management resourcing groups, who source interim executive and non-executive directors for our clients.
Our Interim Executive Managers act in various capacities such as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Restructuring Officer. The roles can be full time or part time and often compliment existing management teams. Wyn River's local associates identify and recommend strong local advisors or interim managers to work alongside our international specialists, if needed, to optimise the cost/benefit profile of the assignment.
African Development Bank - Tunis regional office, 2016
We connect our clients to potential joint venture partners, international and local finance, directors and other senior staff and advise how to de-mystify and manage market entry risks.
With the current economic and financial difficulties faced by much of Western Europe, there is even more incentive for businesses to seek growth in new markets. Parts of Africa and new EU member states have forecast GDP growth rates of between 2% to 4% according to the United Nations 2017 World Economic Situation and Prospects update. That is lower than in recent years because falling commodity prices and government investments has led to reduced domestic demand and productivity. We are well connected to several foreign embassies in London as well as the several UK Embassies, and related government agencies across Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Africa. We are also well connected to the likes of EBRD, AfDB, EIB and IFC whose minority participation in debt and equity deals for new entrants will ensure good government-level dialogue and reduce some of the inevitable uncertainties and risks associated with moving into new markets.
When cash and time are running out, we support our clients to negotiate bridging finance with their financial stakeholders and to gain time to implement priority improvement steps.
Many of our Wyn River associates have a background in reversing underperformance and giving advice to companies and creditors in times of crisis. We anticipate that the level of default tolerance and rescheduling of loans displayed by banks in the region over the past years may finally come to an end in 2016/2017. We think this will be driven by a mixture of Basel III capital cost risk assessments of non-performing loans and the lack of any imminent improvement in trading conditions. Traditional liquidation solutions of closing insolvent businesses and the forced sale realisation of assets can destroy value for creditors if not managed efficiently. Wyn River works with companies to review the best options to maintain control when faced with illiquidity. Negotiating with debtors and creditors effectively to optimise working capital levels may be enough to avoid insolvency. Balance sheet and cashflow solutions are developed within joint teams of our client’s managers, Wyn River associates and other specialists we work with.
We have good relationships with several of the larger lender groups in our region, and some of their former senior bankers now work with us as associates. Banks often gain confidence in borrowers when they see that underperforming companies have taken the initiative to work with us. We combine London methodology with ideas from local advisers to develop effective solutions at a sensible price. We are working with a selection of banks in our region to advise them on how to resolve their non-performing loans challenges. The European Central Bank Asset Quality Review in 2014 of Eurozone banks has not prompted a major volume of distressed debt trading in our region in 2015/2016, with the exception of Romania. The opportunity to buy and turnaround businesses remains as we move towards 2017. Wyn River works with several alternative credit providers looking to invest in this area. Several countries in South East Europe face NPL levels of 30% or more and are currently undertaking their own regional asset quality reviews.
Wyn River associates do not take formal insolvency appointments but have a deep technical and practical knowledge of local insolvency legislation, process, players and control risk issues. If companies or creditors need advice on exit or out-of-court restructuring options, we have the answers and can recommend our choice of local or off-shore insolvency practitioners if needed. We also work closely with several specialist forensic firms who can investigate alledged frauds and build evidence to support cross-border asset tracing and recovery actions.
We have a deep understanding of how to identify, assess, buy, finance and turnaround distressed businesses and Non Performing Loans (NPLs) that have good underlying viability and upside potential. Commercial banks are increasingly asking for our input to support their decision making on options for NPLs. The resolution of NPLs is a pressing issue for several multilateral and private stakeholders in 2016/2017, because of the handbrake impact it has on new credit capacity and therefore the ability to fund economic growth. This has prompted an IMF Discussion Note on the issue.
The Kemlin, Moscow, Russia, 2011
Wyn River has direct experience of the following sectors or has confirmed relationships with associated sector specialists who work with us closely.
- Food and Agribusiness
- Financial Services
- Mining & Natural Resources
- Real Estate
- Sustainable Energy
- Water, Waste and Municipal Infrastructure
Given the specialist nature of the financial services and real estate market, Wyn River will often connect you to relevant niche sector specialists operating in our region if we do not have the right solution in-house.
Some of our associates and affiliated firms have deep expertise in several industries. For our core sectors, we suggest you review the following people in our "Team and Experience" section.
Food and Agribusiness
Michel van Overbeek, Dutch business development specialist for several global dairy and food brands including Royal Nutricia;
Friedhelm Schultz, German strategy and operations specialist for food processing and franchising;
Gigi Mikabadze, partner in Wyn River's Georgian affiliated firm, AG International Consulting, who is also managing partner of Eco Farms;
Marvin Buddingh', former Corporate Finance adviser and commercial banker, now an independent Dutch private equity and turnaround specialist for the food industry;
Mārtiņš Zutis, current CEO and CFO of Fresh and More, a start up food retailer in Latvia. Mārtiņš also previously acted as Chief Restructuring Officer in the retail sector;
Wayne Evans, British CFO and Chief Restructuring Officer with excellent food sector turnaround experience;
Nigel Davies, with previous Dutch food company restructuring experience and a current mandate to support a large bio organic project in South East Europe;
Bartosz Marczuk, Polish-based restructuring manager of several cross-border manaufacturing businesses, including soft drinks business Kofola S.A.;
Konstantinos Kappos, highly experienced Greek management consultant who previously established an innovative food company in Germany and currently advises food businesses;
Peter Whiting, with former regional marketing and commercial roles for both Cadbury Schweppes and Fosters in Russia and other Eastern European markets;
Maarten Susan, based in Kenya, manages business development for Financial Access, an affiliate firm, in East Africa and leads their Agri-finance and Rural Banking programmes known as finance for agriculture in Kenya and Uganda (www.f4a.co.ke).
Water, Waste and Municipal Infrastructure
Richard Mort, former United Utilities CFO for Sofia Water, Bulgaria and specialist adviser for water and waste projects in both Europe and Central Asia;
Rado Russev, former general manager of Dobrich Water, Bulgaria and former deputy minister of the Ministry of Regional Development in the interim government of Bulgaria, now senior adviser on water and waste with New Europe Corporate Advsory, Wyn River's affiliated firm in Bulgaria;
Gojart Smaja, Wyn River's associate in Albania and former Chief of Cabinet in the Ministry of Urban Development and Tourism of Albania;
David Lyth, former international director for Northumbrian Water - Entec, a highly experienced project director for integrated solid waste in Bulgaria and Lithuania. Spent four years as programme director of Serbia's Municipal Infrastructure Support Programme covering water/waste water and waste management projects. Based in Poland;
Adam Jedrzejewski, Public Private Partnership specialist with a main focus on parking solutions, based in Poland;
Nigel Davies, former financial expert for the establishment of Serbia's Municipal Infrastructure Agency;
Leonidas Tossidis, highly accomplished enterepreneur and consultant whose experience includes Greek waste PPP and water utility valuation projects.
Richart Mort, adviser on many energy from waste projects in the United Kingdom and Central Eastern Europe;
Nigel Davies, adviser/project manager on hydro electric power, lignite plants and new developments in the energy from waste sector;
Kim Christian Köhler, a former investment banker from our affiliated firm, Green Evolution Capital, who specialises in solar and wind across many regions;
Dip. Ing. Hebert Paierl, former CEO of STEWEAG of Austria, a leading hydro power and electricty company;
Gavin Ryan, a former investment banker and emerging markets private equity fund manager, incuding renewable energy asset management across Eastern Europe, the Middle East and African markets.
Please get in touch with us for more specific details on our sector expertise and track record.
Vilnius, Lithuania at the 2013 Eastern Partnership Summit hosted by the EU and the European Investment Bank