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As is and to be are two terms consultants use to describe what is being done now, and what needs to be done once the job is completed.

Covid-19 has had a profound impact on the global economy. Disruption in economic activity, coupled with high debt levels made borrowers vulnerable to the risks of default and bankruptcy. The key takeaways from the pandemic turmoil can be the following:

1. The crisis only accelerated the fall for companies that were already in trouble

2. Supply chain disruption in business activity led to a rise in defaults and bankruptcies

3. Debt levels, already at an all-time high prior to the pandemic, surged primarily due to low interest rates

4. Uneven global recovery

5. Changes in business models

These prime factors are redefining the culture of organisations and putting additional pressures on businesses when it comes to security, ethics and compliance.

Although the pandemic has negatively impacted many industries, it has also led to the sudden and substantial demand for restructuring and debt advisory services, presenting consulting firms with opportunities.

Corporate clients are seeking the guidance and expertise of consultants to map out future strategies and business scenarios. There is an urgent need among clients for corporate consulting services to present pragmatic and sustainable restructuring structures for their operations, as well as business continuity and building resiliency for future disruptions. Entities with good corporate governance have a critical opportunity now to challenge their past assumptions about risk, re-evaluate their processes and procedures, and optimise their programmes for risk management.

Fursa Consulting, incorporated in 2014 under a license issued by the Department of Economic Development, Government of Dubai, is a leading independent advisory firm focused on providing financial advice on structured debt, equity and mergers and acquisitions to corporates and institutional clients. Our firm fosters long-term relationships with clients as their independent adviser on strategic matters and transactions. The team at Fursa comprises of experienced professionals with strong academic and corporate backgrounds. With extensive knowledge of local and international markets and ready access to key decision makers, our team is well positioned to facilitate and execute transactions.

At Fursa Consulting, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our clients, providing on-ground insight, sharing lessons learned from others and helping them see around corners. Assisting companies across sectors to manage a new set of dynamic risks and seize fast moving opportunities, we are committed to helping our clients fully capitalise on the rebound.

Our experts are assisting corporates in building capabilities to monitor, assess, mitigate and respond to the multifaceted risks and respond to challenges such as the following:

● How does a company know when there is a shift in risk in the organisation?

● How can the companies assess and mitigate the risk of fraud or compliance breaches in the current environment?

● What is the new regulatory environment going to mean from a risk perspective?

● What measures need to be in place to manage the cultural change that will be put in place post-pandemic due to remote work, return-to-office, or business restructuring?

Our Debt Advisory vertical is active again as banks have accelerated their lending to support stalled economic growth. Thus, there is growing demand for new debt by companies for reasons such as forced borrowing by businesses to keep operations running as large parts of the economy slowed or shut down; technology investment to mobilise and support remote access, as well as help several corporates reconfigure workplaces to ensure social distancing in jobs requiring in-person work.

At large, the way forward looks exciting as the business environment looks upbeat, returning to normalcy and reflecting a growth trajectory. While consulting is never a 9-to-5 job, as we are always on and expected to be on the move at all times, it can be exhausting. However, the motivating factor in our role is the significant freedom and flexibility — in terms of when we work, where we work, and what we do. So, we can craft your job to a large degree. Further, in consulting, we need to create your own work structures and be accountable for your impact. We generally embrace long-term perspectives and carefully plan our own path, while remaining flexible enough to challenge our own thinking every once a while. And that’s why we love our job.

— The writer is a senior UAE based Corporate / Risk Management Banker, Co – Founder, CEO & Managing Partner of Fursa Consulting – DED licensed Corporate Advisory Firm engaged in Debt Advisory, PE, M&A & Strategy