Friday 13 November 2015

Crowe-Maxwell returns in non-insolvency role

Atle Crowe-Maxwell - COO at Omniwealth
Photo: SiN Images
ATLE Crowe-Maxwell has taken on the position of chief operating officer (COO) at non-aligned wealth advisor Omniwealth, four months after he left BDO in the middle of a restructuring that saw then East Coast practice chief Grant Brant axed.

Speaking to SiN this week, Crowe-Maxwell, who lost his Father earlier this year and was on extended leave when Brant's position was terminated, said his new role represented a change of direction after two decades in restructuring and insolvency.

"This is about businesses that don't have a strategic plan but are nevertheless run well," he said.

"It's about asking the owners what they want their business to look like; it's devising a plan to take it there and asking the necessary questions, like 'does it have the right funding mix'?

His decision to diversify out of pure insolvency is a recognition that the profession is going through tough times, and that his two decades of experience can be utilised more broadly.

"At BDO we were in a pretty good spot in terms of the relationships and the connections that we had but the work was just not there," he said.

He refused to discuss the rumours that dogged his departure from BDO, preferring to talk about the opportunities that experienced insolvency practitioners can generate for clients, if they get access in time.

"With the experience that I have over a long period of time running a lot of businesses, we are just getting there too late.

"You don't get there early enough to help so you have to go in earlier to talk to the directors, before they think they have a problem, to do a performance improvement rather than an insolvency," he said.

"It used to be that doing an Investigating Accountant's Report would lead to an appointment but now the IAR is the job so there is more going into the IAR."

Crowe-Mawell said he sees his new role as applying the skills and expertise acquired over 20 years in insolvency and corporate recovery to the job of making businesses less likely to need to call in the corporate undertakers.

But he isn't cutting himself off entirely from the insolvency space.

"I will build an insolvency practice down the track for this firm, and I will continue to do work for close referrers," he said, while ruling out anything that sniffs of a conflict.

"That would be just market-driven. If it's a current client who we advise I won't be touching them," he said.

Further reading:

Crowe-Maxwell retires from BDO

SiNful tale to tell?

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