People regularly ask me what precisely my job at Risk Management at ABN AMRO involves. It’s not always immediately clear to people what a Financial Restructurer does. Essentially, I work with business clients who are experiencing difficulties. I oversee processes, consult stakeholders and find and implement practical solutions to complex business loans. As you might imagine, my job at Financial Restructuring & Recovery is not nine to five.
That’s where the challenge lies, putting forward a workable proposal despite the pressure
Christiaan Podt Financial Restructurer
Making everything run smoothly
One of the few standard appointments in my planner is the daily start-up every Monday morning. Our team gather to discuss how everyone is feeling and what everyone’s workload is like. Other than that, it’s difficult to predict what my week will be like. I change my schedule to accommodate the urgency of my clients’ needs. Sometimes I just keep working all weekend. Imagine a client wants to send out a press release on Monday: we’ll need to arrange the finances before then. So I often find myself working fifty to sixty hours a week just to make everything run smoothly. The good thing is that I also have broad discretionary powers and responsibilities.
Flexibility to work from home
Writing restructuring proposals is an important part of my job. Some of the documents that land on my desk are hundreds of pages long. If I need to go through something that big, I prefer to work at home, where I can sit and read quietly and add my comments. Happily this flexibility has always been part of the job. Our legal experts help me with this type of work, because it’s important that we present a proposal that’s acceptable to the bank. It’s a huge rush if we succeed. This is always where the challenge lies in my job: putting forward a workable proposal despite the pressure.
Another interesting part of my working week is going to bank meetings, where bank staff and the client discuss financial matters. Sometimes a listed company will give us an update that isn’t public knowledge yet. Interacting with clients at such a high and substantive level gives my work an extra edge. It fills me with positive energy. The interaction with colleagues is another aspect that makes my job worthwhile. You never work on a file by yourself. Because of the large workloads, it’s also important to have a pleasant atmosphere within the department. We’re very lucky in that respect, and our cynical sense of humour allows us to put the amount of work into perspective.