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Stories by Andrew Cornell

Diff'rent strokes

In executive psychoanalysis sessions during John Stewart's reign, colleagues were asked to think of animals which best captured the personality of one another.
The reserved, bespectacled deputy chief executive Michael Ullmer was an owl or an eagle. The Bank of New Zealand CEO Cameron Clyne was a polar bear. A big guy with silver-white hair who once played rugby for Victoria against the Springboks as a lock forward, Clyne reckons it was probably his physical appearance that prompted the comparison.

Written by Andrew Cornell26 April 09 22:00

Mergers not just about cost-cutting

This week marks the end of Westpac Banking Corp's exclusivity period for doing the numbers on St George Bank, and should bring forth some more nitty-gritty on synergies.
The presence of ex-Dragons Gail Kelly and Peter Clare means no one expects any shocks. The rough outline of the deal is likely to be no more than tweaked.

Written by Andrew Cornell25 May 08 22:00

The workout guys

There were the management consultants with their button-down collars; then the dotcom doofuses in zany T-shirts; investment bankers in Corneliani suits; hedge fund guys with the tieless City look; private equity buccaneers in roll-neck cashmere. But now it's the corporate doctors who are back in fashion. Even with their slightly too tight shirts and an extra pair of pants with every navy suit: the chief restructuring officers, the asset maintenance teams, the insolvency experts, the turnaround specialists. And, after the doctors, maybe, will come the toe-cutters and the undertakers. Because the cycle has turned.
If the past decade and a half was about wealth creation in all its glory, this year it is starkly about wealth preservation. Belts and braces time. Once again cash flow is king; structures are being simplified and luminaries in the turnaround field are being called in by banks, and even a few nervous companies, to neaten the accounts, shore up some financing and stress test the business model.

Written by Andrew Cornell28 April 08 22:00