Recruitment of a Non-Executive Interim Chairman

Assignment

To recruit a non-executive interim Chairman for a company going into liquidation

Challenge: Overcoming a crisis
Service: Executive Interim Management

Enjeu(x) : Overcoming a crisis
Service(s) : Executive Interim Management

Context

An investment fund was facing the liquidation of one of its portfolio investments via an LBO. Following a Board meeting attended by all of the company’s stakeholders, the fund and the independent administrator agreed on the dismissal of the executive Chairman, who was largely responsible for the situation and was difficult to control. Without a Chairman, the general management, made up of two Directors responsible for operations and finance, respectively, could not manage, on their own, operations as well as demands relating to the liquidation, and relations with the fund and banks.

So the Board of Directors decided to put in place a dual governance, bringing in a non-operational Interim Chairman with proven expertise in this type of crisis.

Eurosearch & Associés involvement

Eurosearch & Associés was contacted to choose the most suitable Interim ExecutiveDirector:

  • We identified and proposed a Non-Executive Interim Chairman with experience, seniority, a suitable personality and knowledge of liquidation procedures, investment funds and companies in an LBO
  • We put our solution to the legal administrator and commercial court, and despite them favoring immediate liquidation in principle, both accepted it
  • We separated the role of operational management from the Non-Executive Interim Chairman, who was then able to focus on relations with investors, shareholders and bankers, particularly with the majority stakeholder, the investment fund, and support general management in their relations with the bankruptcy judge, the administrator and the court officer, as well as the lawyers
  • The Interim Chairman played an active role in many meetings and hearings with procedural bodies and the investment fund
  • The Chairman oversaw decisions taken regarding company personnel through regular and specific briefings

Results

By putting in place this dual governance:

  • The company avoided immediate liquidation
  • The company Directors and legal administrator gained the time necessary to draw up and implement an exit plan
  • The company was acquired by an international buyer
  • Two-thirds of the workforce kept their jobs
  • The company recovered a significant portion of its fiscal and employee liabilities