WHAT A TIME TO BE A CREDIT PROFESSIONAL!

WHAT A TIME TO BE A CREDIT PROFESSIONAL!

There’s nothing like a financial crisis to increase the profile of a Credit Professional.

Much like the steep learning curve many of us experienced during the 2009 crisis, 2024 will offer new opportunities and experiences for our profession.

Firstly, corporate insolvencies in England and Wales rose to their highest level since 1993 due to a stagnating economy, slowing demand and high production costs.  CVA’s were also up 9% from 2022, the highest since measurements began in 1960.

For those in the International space, the Eurozone economy also stagnated in the final three months of 2023 caused by shrinking German output and stalled French growth that offset a stronger than expected rebound in Spain and Italy, not normally known as “bright spots” for the Eurozone economy.  For the full year, the Eurozone economy only grew by 0.5%.  On top of that, China’s official statistics reported growth of 5.2% in 2023.  Whilst that might look impressive by comparison, given the size of the Chinese economy and historic growth patterns this is pretty woeful performance.   Also, consumer prices have been in deflation for the past 4 months having fallen at their fastest annual rate in 15 years and Chinese businesses are having to offer significant discounts to move excess or aged inventory.  In fact,  automotive prices in the market have fallen at their fastest rate in 22 years.

While interest rates may have peaked and signs of moderating inflation have been reported at the end of 2023, we now run the risk of inflation rearing its ugly head again due to the attacks on vital trade routes in the Red Sea in addition to the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Israel.

None of this is good news for businesses or consumers struggling with higher borrowing, raw material costs, slumping consumer demand and longer lead times.  The impact on Credit Professionals is that our customers’ cash flow will be constricted, collecting debt due will be more difficult, and there will be more requests for extensions, payment plans or even the dreaded debt “haircut”.    Ultimately, we’ll also have to deal with business failures, CVAs, Administration and Insolvencies which pile on added pressures and are  time consuming for the Credit Professional.

However, the silver lining is that you, as a Credit Professional, will gain better understanding and experience of crisis situations and the required mental strength to continue to manage your business’ debtor asset in an effective manner.  These are career defining events that will enable you to better weather future critical situations and will make you a more effective Credit Professional as well as prepare you for the next crisis.

So what’s Next?

Join AICDP for an engaging workshop delving into the latest changes. This promises to be a dynamic session where every opinion matters. The agenda includes:

  • 5 Minute Partner Presentations:
  • Economic Outlook – Key Learnings:
  • Keynote Speakers: Compliance & AML
  • Panel Discussion on “What a Time to be a Credit Professional:

Date: 16th May 2024
Time: 3.30pm – 5.30pm (UK time)
Location: Online – join us from the comfort of your desk

Registration:

Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with peers, gain valuable knowledge, and contribute to shaping the future of credit management. We look forward to seeing you there!

Book your place here:

January Newsletter 2024

January Newsletter 2024

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A View From Across the Pond…

A View From Across the Pond…

A Happy New Year to all AICDP members.  I hope the festive season was as enjoyable as possible and that you’re looking forward to 2024.  For me, I ventured back to the motherland to be with family during the holidays and thought I’d give an impression of the good old U.S. of A.

The first thing that everyone gets wrong about the United States is that it is assumed that we’re all the same regardless of from which part of the U.S. we hail.  I lost count of how many times whilst living in the UK that, when someone hears my accent and realises that I’m not a local boy, they say to me, “oh, I’ve been to America”. I say “great, which part ?”.  Without fail, 95% of Brits respond “Florida”.

Oddly enough,  this is where I spent the holiday season as my father retired to Florida 26 years ago (stereotypically American, I know).  I’m not originally from Florida so visiting this state or any other is as much of a cultural experience as visiting anywhere in Europe.  The only thing that unites Americans is the language (despite the differing accents and wide use of Spanish), the currency and the retail chains.  It’s a bit like how Bill Bryson described the UK in his book, “Notes from a Small Island”;  “ British towns are like a deck of cards that have been shuffled and endlessly redealt;  same cards, different order.”   Things are pretty much the same in the States when it comes to retail & food chains.

Also, in the UK & Europe in 2023 there was an enormous amount of news & discussion on the “cost of living crisis” but in the U.S. I didn’t see or hear any substantive media coverage nor did I see consumers being shy with their wallets.  The main thing people moaned about was the cost of petrol (or “gas” in local vernacular) despite being lower than the prior 2 years.   However, the prices at the supermarket and at restaurants was noticeably higher than my previous visits but that didn’t seem to dampen consumer spending or patronage.

The U.S. economy has proven to be extremely resilient.  In 2023,  more than 2.7m jobs were created and workers saw their hourly pay rise by 4.1 %;  above headline inflation, which was 3.4% in the 12 months to December.   They don’t really have much to complain about when it comes to the economy.

Also as in addition to the UK General Election which is expected to be held this year, there will be a U.S. Presidential election which is forecasted to be the most contentious and maliciously fought in history.   In Europe, it is also widely expected that Ursula von der Leyen will seek a 2nd term as European Commission president so if you suffer from politicophobia you’re in for a rough ride !

On that note, as I was in a mainly Republican state, I was unlucky enough to encounter some ardent Trump supporters.  They’re a proud bunch as demonstrated by their big red “MAGA” hats, t-shirts, bumper stickers and willingness to discuss their love for the man at every turn.  They LOVE to talk about how great the country was under Trump and about how bad the country is under Biden.  However (whatever your political views), overall,  I didn’t see a country in a crisis.  In fact, life seemed to carry on pretty much as it has always been.  Granted, I was in a retirement community in the “Sunshine State” so that most likely had an impact on the overall mood of the populace.

Now, that I’m back to the “real world”, I am looking forward to 2024 as it is set to be a year like no other on both sides of “the pond”.

“When you’re born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat.” – George Carlin

Mike Diette
AICDP CEO

Leadership at the AICDP Business School

Leadership at the AICDP Business School

If you think training and development is expensive, you would be horrified by the sunk, hidden and subsequent costs of not doing it.

In an age when a recent survey suggested 82% of new managers hadn’t received any training in leadership and management skills, and at a time when training budgets are reducing, sometimes to zero, what exactly is the purpose and possibility of development training?

As we enter the Age of the Accidental Manager, training often makes the crucial difference between the success or failure of new managers and leaders. A failed manager is a costly event, never immediately apparent or remedied. A successful manager can result in the absolute joy of seeing a group or department notable for its highly motivated teamworking, reduced staff turnover, increased productivity and clear enjoyment in working with each other.

Many of the problems besetting the world are the result of lack of leadership; inadequate thinking, analysis, planning and organisation; managers thrown into the role with nothing but guesswork and the internet to help them and a global pandemic of people carrying out work for which they are neither prepared nor trained and in which they have no, or little, experience.

The AICDP Business School will help Credit Professionals, and professionals working in other sectors, delivering development and training with a unique focus on technical and behavioural skills, including those relating to Management and Leadership. This plays to its mission to produce Credit Professionals, Managers and Directors, expert in both Credit and in the Behavioural Skills vital in effective, competent people.

We are developing a comprehensive prospectus of modular programmes and short courses. The unifying principle of all our work is that it is designed to be relevant to current business conditions and is experiential, practical and relevant. Participants will learn by doing and will be able to use what they learn immediately to confidently do a better job in a more informed way.

AICDP Business School includes the Credit Directors Acceleration Programme – CDAP, for aspiring Credit Directors, a state-of-the-art professional programme designed to equip the Credit Directors of the near-future with the learning, awareness, skills and outlook required in an Inspirational Leader.

Our annual Summer School offers focus on and exploration of a particular theme, leading edge discussion with Industry Experts and fellow Credit Professionals, exposure to new ideas and opportunities to learn new skills experientially, learning by doing, in a stimulating and supportive environment.

Summer School keynote speakers will be drawn from leading exponents in Credit and Leadership. Summer School 2024 is 22 to 25 July.

A number of activities assist in the development of Managers and Leaders, they include the following:

  • Hearing recognised Leaders speak and reading their writings.
  • Experiential Training such as that offered through the AICDP Business School. An opportunity to learn and practise in a supportive environment – learning by doing.
  • Practising, in the workplace, what you have learnt.
  • Regular review of performance, strengths and weaknesses, failure and success, if possible with a trusted colleague or mentor.

More information will be available on the Business School website and through LinkedIn over the coming months.

In a time of drought for professional development, effective mentoring, practical training and supported learning the AICDP Business School offers refreshing solutions for thirsty people.

Go on, give it a go!

David Cousin
Dean of the AICDP Business School

 

Reflections on 2023

Reflections on 2023

First thing each morning, for 21 months now, I read the Kyiv Independent online. The Ukraine War, its example, implications, final result and ramifications, is one of the most important geo-political events of our lifetime, consequently I follow it closely. Globally, democracy is under threat from unprincipled, illiberal, incoherent, angry, ill-informed, uneducated, short-sighted people living in the past and I would not like to live in a world run by any of them or those they elect.

Elitist? Possibly.

Sensible? Certainly. Worried? Definitely.

This was the year I realised the extent to which we are living in a world run by incompetent leaders, (Leaders in Name Only – LINO). In addition, we are living in a world where increasing amounts of work are carried out, with minimal preparedness, by untrained employees and managers who don’t really know what they’re doing or how to do it. Countries and organisations think they are saving money and time with this approach. It will prove incredibly costly and harmful and will be difficult, expensive and time-consuming to recover from.

Generally, however, I am cruising toward the end of 2023 in a state of optimism and hopefulness: the worse the world gets the more we realise we must do things differently. Awful leaders, who we follow down (and it is always down) the wrong path (and we can all think of many recent examples), eventually result in the universal and overwhelming realisation that we must order our world in more sensible, equitable and better ways.

Sometime around now we are reaching Peak Boomer, a massive transfer of wealth is underway to younger generations. Gen Z, in particular, will not want to repeat the mistakes of the past. They will do new things in new ways, ways which make sense and which work.

For everyone. Wait with bated breath until they get fully involved in imagining and making the future. Finally, for 2024 two things which we know work: Peace and Love!

Nick Kell
Behavioural Dynamics Director AICDP