Group Re-organisations

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Group Re-organisations

Jeremy Evans, Former Head of Commercial & Legal, Northgate Information Solutions, United Kingdom

Imagine a situation where your Group, over a two to three year period, has expanded rapidly through a mixture of acquisitions and organic growth; where, as each acquisition is completed, the acquired business is partially integrated into the Group in terms of management structures and finance/accounting processes and systems; but where the trading entity/entities within the acquired business continue to trade on an 'as is' basis. Consequently, the Group's corporate structure tends to become rather extended and complex. For, you find that you have a Group with multiple trading entities, often competing for the same space and for the same customers; and with a series of dormant holding companies and other non-trading entities that come 'as extras' with the acquired business. To those of you involved in M&A activity, the above will doubtless sound familiar. The question is, how can these complex structures be simplified and how, in effect, do you complete the partially executed integration, some months (possibly even a few years) after the actual acquisition?

Jeremy Evans has spent 25 years working in different sectors: broadcasting and entertainment; telecommunications; and IT services: BBC Worldwide –the commercial arm of the BBC. Part of the Legal team for 12 years, spending his last four years as Head of Contracts supporting all the different commercial activities (programme licensing overseas, book, magazine and video publishing and some of the early multimedia projects). Left in 1995. British Telecommunications – worked in its commercial division in the late 90’s, providing legal and commercial support to its Global Satellite Services business unit working on a number of international projects and was involved in the launch of various web-hosting and other multimedia services. Siemens Business Services – the IT and BPO outsourcing and managed services arm of Siemens plc in the UK. Was Deputy Head and Governance Manager in the Commercial Management and Governance Group. Worked on several major PFI/PPP projects, including the BPO outsourcing of National Savings and Investments and the IT outsourcing of the Welsh Assembly. Also worked on the outsourcing of the back-office functions of one of the major high street banks. Additionally, responsible for the rollout of legal compliance and legal training programmes across SBS and within Siemens plc Northgate Information Solutions - in 2003, joined Northgate as Group Head of Legal and Commercial, with responsibility for the management of legal services across the Company, including “cradle to grave” contract management, legal advice, legal compliance and major corporate projects (M&A, group re-organisation, etc.). Northgate is a FTSE 250 company and a leading IT Solutions and Services provider, with its key markets being (1) HR, payroll & pensions services to both public and private sector clients (including the SME market); (2) applications and services to police forces and other emergency services; and (3) applications and managed and hosted services to central and local government, education market and utilities. Jeremy left Northgate in June 2007 and is now developing his own commercial/legal consultancy business. He is currently working on a number of projects and assignments for Streamserve Limited, an IT company that specialises in providing business communication management tools for corporate bodies and public sector organisations. He is also involved with a number of forthcoming conferences on M&A and legal compliance.

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