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Bell Pottinger North - Client News
Monday, June 19, 2006

Like the England football team, the majority of smaller-to-medium-sized companies rely too heavily on a single star performer.  This is the finding of new research by corporate insolvency and restructuring specialists Begbies Traynor.

Begbies asked how the heads of 129 SMEs would cope if they lost their ‘star’ performer like Wayne Rooney.  A shocking 53% said it would be ‘devastating’ to their operation.

However, 78% of the SME chiefs actually claimed that they were the ‘Wayne Rooney’ of their own outfit. 

And while 97% agreed that team work is far more important than star talent, only 22% preferred flair and creativity in their company’s culture over solid dependability. 

Interestingly, it seems most SME chiefs have less faith in youth than the England coach. Sven-Göran Eriksson has added 17-year-old Arsenal prospect Theo Walcott to his World Cup squad, and many of us forget that Wayne Rooney is still only 20-years-old. 

But 91% of the polled SME heads said their ideal workforce should be dominated by older, experienced staff rather than raw, young talent.

That said, 56% of the SME chiefs polled by Begbies Traynor admitted they would consider stumping up a Premier League-style wage if it could attract a ‘Wayne Rooney’ to their business.

It’s not all bad news for young people looking for their first job at an SME.  Sixty-nine per cent of SME chiefs think star-talent is made, rather than born, so it’s possible some SMEs have a number of ‘Wayne Rooneys’ that just haven’t made the first team yet.

Peter Sargent, partner of Begbies Traynor, Halifax, commented:

“SMEs bosses can learn a lot from what’s happened to Wayne Rooney and the England team.  It’s never a good idea to be overly dependent on one brilliant star player. Teamwork and effective delegation are normally as, if not more, important to a successful business.

“What worries me most is bosses seem to want to muck in so much at the coal-face of their operations. While an ability to lead from the front is admirable at times of crisis, there is a risk that SME chiefs are too involved in the day-to-day running of the business and are losing sight of the bigger picture and where the business should be going.”


Enquiries, please contact:

Peter Sargent                                           Joanne Fletcher-Wall
Begbies Traynor Group plc                               Bell Pottinger North
01422 348448                                    01625 506 444

Information on Begbies Traynor can be accessed via the Group’s website at

www.begbies-traynor.com <http://www.begbies-traynor.com>

Notes to editors:

About Begbies Traynor Group plc

The Group specializes in business insolvency management and is becoming increasingly active in the area of personal insolvency. It also offers services in corporate rescue and investigation services and has entered the field of corporate finance.

In November 2005, the Group entered the rapidly-expanding volume personal insolvency market via the acquisition of W3 Debt Solutions, a firm specializing in providing advice and practical support to individuals in debt. 

The Group has grown to its current network of 32 nationwide offices ranging from Scotland to the South West of England, with 350 operatives. The Company continues to pursue its strategy of organic development, coupled with the acquisition of specialist knowledge of both individuals and firms, to further increase its market share in its core services.

The Directors believe that the Group is the UK's largest independent insolvency, corporate rescue and recovery specialist with clients ranging from major institutions to individuals with business difficulties.


The Office Network

The Group operates with 60 licensed insolvency appointment takers, some 225 fee earning staff and 65 in support and administration. The Group operates from 32 locations across the UK.

Business Activities

The core business of the Group is the formal administration of insolvencies including receiverships, liquidations, administrations, company voluntary arrangements and business-related personal insolvencies. The Group has extended its activities into a range of consultancy services including corporate rescue, credit management, forensic and investigation services and corporate finance.


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