London-based principal Richard Hallett works closely with companies that require restructuring and provides tailored support to their management teams.
What do you do at BOOST&Co?
I work with businesses that we need to turn around to recover our investments. I work closely with each company’s management team to understand the business, and I help them in whatever way I can. This might include financial modelling, cash-flow forecasting or, more recently, helping the team to access government schemes to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It must be vital to build good relationships with these teams.
That’s probably the most important thing. I work with people who are in tense situations, and there are different challenges in each business, so the key is putting yourself in their shoes. I view myself as an extra helping hand, but these teams know their businesses better than I do, so it’s about working collaboratively to make sure we all have the information needed to make good decisions. Inevitably, difficult decisions need to be made, but I believe that strong professional relationships always help.
How did you get into restructuring?
I had decided I wanted to take an accountancy qualification and I was fortunate to join the KPMG restructuring graduate programme. I was interested in the diverse nature of restructuring work and was influenced by a conversation I had at an event hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants while I was at university. Someone who worked in restructuring at one of the Big Four said: “This is what I do day-to-day, and this is what auditors do, and you don’t want to do what they do!”
What appealed to you about working for BOOST&Co?
When you work somewhere like KPMG, you move from one project to the next, often without seeing the end results – but at BOOST&Co, I’ll ultimately see if my efforts have worked. When the opportunity to join the company arose, I enjoyed my conversations with [partners] Lance [Mysyrowicz] and Sonia [Powar], and their vision of how they wanted us to grow.
Which item can you not work without?
The Times newspaper. I like to read it every day to see what’s going on in the world, although I’ve found this harder to do in lockdown [during the coronavirus crisis], with my kids around! I don’t mind if I end up eating lunch at my desk, because I like having some quiet time to read the paper.
How do you spend your leisure time?
I like to watch rugby, cricket and football; I play squash once a week, and I like playing golf when I can. But there’s been less time for sport since I had kids – I spend a lot of time with my three-year-old twin boys. I’m an identical twin myself, so now I know what my parents went through!
Which football team do you support?
My father was a Wolverhampton Wanderers supporter, but I’m an Arsenal fan. Chelsea’s ground is on my doorstep, so I’ve watched Arsenal play there a few times. Robin Van Persie scored a hat-trick in 2011 and we won 5-3 – I was sitting with the home fans, so it was hard to keep quiet!
What’s on your bucket list?
We want to move out of town and buy a house of our own, and I’d like to start going on nice family holidays with the boys; I’m keen to introduce them to skiing. I love to travel, but for me, it’s about going with the right people – you don’t have to see everything, as long as you have fun on the way.
Given £100m to spend or invest, what’s the first thing you would do?
I’d buy two houses: one in the country, one in town. Our country home could be quite big, but they don’t need to be stupidly ostentatious houses on sprawling estates. I’d spend £10m on property and invest the rest, although my wife’s first investment would probably be more help with childcare!