How can we help you?
1. Banking Health Check
How would you respond to the following questions?
- Do we know if we are getting the best possible deal from our bank?
- Have we got a Plan B in place in the event the bank we sense the bank is losing confidence in us?
- Do we think it is reasonable for the bank to hold security including mortgages over property and personal guarantees?
- Do our loan repayments leave sufficient funds to grow the business?
- Do our loan covenants provide sufficient headroom and are they easy to understand and monitor?
- Are we confident we have the most suitable lending products for our needs?
- Do we know if we are getting the best possible deal on our credit funds?
- Would tendering our banking business be waste of time?
- Do we know what the bank really thinks about our business and industry?
- Are we big enough to have more than one bank?
- Are we in the right segment of our bank? (is it better to be a big fish in a small pond or vice versa?)
If you answered more than 5 of these questions with a “No” or a “Don’t know” you should seriously consider contacting us to for a Banking Health Check which will answer these and other questions relevant to your own banking position.
2. Tenders – formal & informal
"Know when to hold up & know when to fold up".
These sage words of advice from Kenny Rogers's song "The Gambler" are equally applicable to business borrowers. When it comes to thinking about whether or not you should tender your banking business you need to know when to hold up and when to fold up. Tendering is a time consuming exercise that in the end might produce no advantage. In fact if you tell your bank you are tendering your business and then fail to attract a better outcome, you may even be worse off.
On the other hand, for many businesses testing the market is a necessary action to ensure you get the best possible deal for your business. So how do you know if a tender is the right approach for you and if so, is a formal or informal tender the best approach?
We can help. We assess your attractiveness as a client and if we believe you are not an attractive proposition, we will say so. This will save you time and energy pursuing an unattainable outcome. But if we think you are not getting the deal you deserve we will discuss how to go about achieving the optimal outcome. Tendering can be conducted on a formal or an informal basis and each approach has its advantages and disadvantages. Much depends on how much you want to stay with or leave you current bank. If you want to remain with your current bank a “shot across the bow” approach can be a quick and effective way of gaining the concessions you are seeking without going to the trouble of a formal tender.
Conducting a formal tender is a more time-consuming but very thorough and transparent way of ensuring the optimal outcome.
Having a banker in your corner makes the whole process of tendering easier and maximises the prospects for a successful outcome.
3. Negotiating with banks
It's all about Communication.
Is your business going well but you feel the bank doesn’t appreciate what you have achieved? Perhaps you’ve been through a difficult period but having addressed the causes the business is now turning around but the bank doesn’t seem willing to acknowledge this. Or you just may be going through a tough period and are not sure how they bank will react.
Most issues with banks can be worked through provided all parties communicate and act in a collaborative manner.
This is where it really helps to have a banker in your corner. We understand banks, how they think and operate. We speak the same language. We know when they are deadly serious and when there may be room for negotiation. Our emotional detachment enables us to see through issues that may otherwise distract the borrower.
See what solar energy company Energy Matters says about how we helped improve their bank’s understanding of this industry resulting in more favourable banking arrangements.
4. Family Business Advice
Advice, counselling & mentoring.
Many Australian family businesses are currently going through significant generational change as baby boomer founders are exiting the businesses they created. In many cases ownership is being passed down to second and even third generations. Some subsequent generations wish to remain in the family business whilst others retain an attachment to the business, perhaps emotional or simply financial, without harbouring any desire to serve in an operational or board capacity.
Whilst the issues are often the same, every family is different and some manage this very well, others not so well. Having been involved with many family businesses over the years, Neil Slonim is ideally placed to provide advice and support to these businesses and the family members who control them. The key is to build and retain open and trusting relationships with all family members.
The roles played vary from formal appointments as a director or advisor to family boards and councils as well as acting as an informal and independent sounding board for family members. In addition, Neil mentors next generation leaders as they assume responsibility for running businesses established by previous generations.
5. Expert Witness
Independent expert who knows banking.
Neil Slonim’s banking and finance knowledge, experience and standing make him an ideal candidate to provide expert evidence and prepare expert witness reports. Sometimes disputes between borrowers and banks get to the point where litigation unfortunately is the last option. In such situations it is often necessary to obtain expert opinion on key aspects of the case. Often this is about issues relating to "banking practice". Lawyers are not bankers which is why it can be invaluable and in some cases imperative to obtain expert opinion from someone who really does know how banks operate and are meant to operate.
A partner of a large law firm wrote “Neil has a rare blend of skills in the banking and finance areas and I would not hesitate in recommending him to any other practitioner seeking expert opinion evidence”. See what MacPherson + Kelly Lawyers had to say about the role we played in support of one of their clients.
6. Speaker, Writer & Commentator
Sharing experiences with others.
Neil Slonim regularly presents to on a range of banking and finance topics. He imparts the learnings from diverse banking experience in a practical and informal way that both challenges and empowers business owners and their advisors. As well as raising learnings from the past, he is also able to paint a picture of the future of banking and finance and how businesses need to adapt to these changes. Being totally independent allows him to call it as he sees it without fear or favour.”
CPA Australia and the Institute of Charted Accountants in Aust. & NZ both use Neil Slonim as part of their conference and ongoing CPD programs.
He appears regularly on Business Essentials and webinars conducted by various business groups and advisors as well as writing for media outlets including BRW, SmartCompany and professional publications. A library of media articles can be found here.