To outsiders, the world of turnarounds and restructurings can seem like a vast industry of disparate professionals with numerous specializations spread across the globe. In reality, our world is actually a small, tight-knit community that is closely connected through a network of dedicated and diverse professionals who share a common goal of corporate renewal and preserving and enhancing value for our clients. This small-world concept was in evidence at the 2018 TMA Europe Annual Conference in Amsterdam recently.
Amsterdam was an appropriate venue to bring together turnaround and restructuring professionals from throughout Europe to explore “Issues Facing the Turnaround Profession of the Future.” Amsterdam is a diverse, multicultural community which fosters and promotes a creative and entrepreneurial business climate where innovation and change are embedded within its commercial values. The annual European conference was truly a microcosm of the best that TMA offers to its members across the world: high-quality programming and networking.
I was struck by the distinct parallels between Amsterdam and TMA. Both are strengthened by diversity and the spirit of innovation, which keeps each relevant and impactful in our respective, ever-evolving communities. Indeed, both TMA and Amsterdam attract professionals looking to expand their knowledge and make connections. Just as Amsterdam welcomes people from across the globe, so, too, does TMA welcome members from all geographies, disciplines, and backgrounds. While TMA’s social activities are certainly not as edgy and risqué as Amsterdam’s, they both create opportunities to make connections that ultimately drive business.
Beyond the parallels with Amsterdam, I was also impressed by the similarities between TMA’s European chapters and those in North America, especially the primary focus on driving value to members by creating connections, quality educational programming, and certification.
TMA’s European chapters in particular have focused on cross-border connectivity and knowledge sharing regarding the distinct differences and nuances in insolvency and turnaround legislation in various European countries. Even in the face of Brexit and uncertainty within the European Union, our European chapters and turnaround professionals remain closely aligned in their goals and values.
It is clear that TMA’s international reach plays a vital role in the evolution of the global turnaround and restructuring industry. As more and more cross-border workouts and restructurings occur, the harmonization of effective turnaround tools and concepts is critical, as is the important role that recognized turnaround professional certification holds in these situations. And the trust that is nurtured and developed among professionals who are connected through TMA helps facilitate effective and consensual solutions that support corporate renewal and value creation.
Currently, TMA’s international reach includes 17 chapters outside of North America, with an additional six conditional chapters and chapters in formation. There are approximately 2,700 international TMA members, representing nearly one-third of TMA Global’s overall membership, with a growth rate of 228 percent over the past 10 years. TMA’s international expansion has reflected the evolution of corporate restructuring from insolvency and liquidation to corporate renewal, workout, and earlier stage intervention.
As TMA’s presence internationally expands and solidifies, our influence in contributing to the dialogue on turnaround issues grows as well. TMA’s international chapters are playing a vital role in this evolution by promoting turnaround concepts and the alignment of countries’ legislation to encourage corporate renewal and turnaround alternatives as opposed to liquidation.
As an example, TMA Romania has recently been approached by leading financial institutions in that country to lend its support to the movement to enact legislation that encourages corporate renewal and turnarounds and discourages the quick and familiar route of liquidation. The fact that the Romanian financial community recognizes the value of TMA’s voice on important restructuring issues further illustrates the significance of TMA’s role on the global turnaround and restructuring stage.
As I was reminded in Amsterdam, our TMA colleagues in Europe and across the globe are bound with us in common goals of implementing corporate renewal, sharing turnaround knowledge, certifying qualified professionals, and creating connections among professionals in our industry. Through these efforts, TMA continues to strengthen its position as the authoritative voice on global turnaround issues and the gathering place for turnaround professionals. Indeed, it is a small world after all.