Get to know Allan Cadman

Allan tells us about how he started his career and what it entails.

What made you want to get into this line of work?

Most people sort of fall into this line of work. Few people, I guess sit with their careers officer at school or college thirsting to be an Insolvency Practitioner. With me, having disappointing ‘A’ level results, it was a case of looking to earn a living and the opportunity presented itself, so I went for it.

How long have you been doing it? How long with this company?

This came about in 1982, when I was 18. It is fair to say that I am something of a ‘lifer’, 35 years with the firm and counting. I worked through the ranks to case manager and then in 2006 took the exams resulting in gaining my licence.

How did you get the job? Can you remember your interview?

Back in the day, I don’t mind saying that a family friend alerted me to a vacancy in the firm. I was interviewed by the senior partner. I don’t remember the details of the interview. I got the job and, straight out of school, it was something of a rude awakening to office life.

Give us a two-sentence summary of what your job involves.

Many things have changed in this profession, but the core principles remain the same. To obtain the optimum return for all stakeholders in an insolvency or business recovery scenario, within an increasingly strict statutory and regulatory framework.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done at work this week?

It’s only Tuesday morning, but have taken calls from an individual with bespoke and interesting circumstances, who may require assistance in dealing with his financial situation, and a Company Director with concerns over cash flow.

What do you love about your job?

Most of our work is done against a backdrop of challenging and often acrimonious circumstances, as inevitably the job involves dealing with people who have lost money and more importantly, livelihoods. It gives a high level of satisfaction when jobs are saved as a result of your efforts,

And what do you hate about your job?

Hate is a strong term. There can be hugely frustrating aspects, such as red tape and unnecessary intransigence sometimes hindering cases. Also the perception that we are destructive not constructive. Oh yes and sometimes the commute!

How much can you expect to earn on average?

As a partner in a small to medium outfit, I would not put numbers to this, as it is not an exact science but it is possible to earn a decent living from the profession. Firms range from small one or two man bands up to the big 4. Earnings generally are enhanced with experience and progress.

What qualifications, skills and personal qualities do you need for the job?

The Insolvency and recovery profession is a highly-regulated profession in its own right with its own exam regime. A certain level of experience is needed to take on the exams, hence it is necessary to find employment in the field to begin with. To act as an Insolvency Practitioner you need to pass stringent exams to earn the right to obtain a licence. The profession requires knowledge of accountancy and a grasp of the law and how these interact within insolvencies. It also helps to be able to negotiate, and to be able to deal with organisations across the public and private spectrum. Sometimes you need a thick skin, but you also sometimes need a good ‘bedside manner’ as you may be talking to someone who has lost their job or unable to pay their mortgage etc.

Any advice for those wishing to join the profession?

Anyone coming into the profession now will find out quickly whether they have a particular aptitude for what is a complex and diverse job. It always helps to remember that you are dealing with people, and not necessarily at their best.