Every few months at Central Finance Management Group we recognise those who have gone above and beyond to deliver incredible work through our Crackin’ Good Job Awards.
Our employees have access to a staff ‘shout out’ wall where they can write a little note of thanks to a colleague anytime and nominate them for an award. Once the wall is looking pretty full, we see which shout outs deserve a closer look. This month we recognise three employees for doing a cracking job this quarter.
Pradha Gurumahan, a Solicitor with our legal firm, Linton Pitt Lawyers joined CFMG in June and has quickly become an invaluable part of the Linton Pitt team.
Navneet Mullee said:
“Pradha is always going out of her way to support her colleagues by putting her hand up to share the workload. She balances competence with friendliness and kindness and we’re so grateful to have her on board.”
Ross Edwards was recently promoted to Acting Head of Collections and has very quickly stepped up to face the new role head on.
Dermot Ormsby said:
“Ross volunteered at short notice to attend a collections conference in Kuala Lumpur where he also had a speaking role on a panel. His performance was stellar and he remained cool, calm and collected showing that he’s up for any challenge.”
Corri-Jade Dalby is a Team Leader in the Collections Team and put in an enormous effort when other management team members and colleagues were out of the office.
Sian Ineson said:
“Corri-Jade did whatever it took to maintain performance and quality while some key players were out of the office. She showed her excellent work ethic by picking up extra tasks and really owning her role.”
Each nomination is judged according to the Central Finance Management Group Family Values. This quarter’s winners demonstrated the following:
- Deliver Client Service Excellence
- Every Role is Powerful -> Own Yours!
- Help Others
The team at Central Finance Management Group has been walking, running, jumping, hopping and skipping this month, and making every step count as part of the 2018 STEPtember campaign.
Employees underwent a Vitality health check in August as a part of the new company Wellness Program, which helped the team to set health goals. When STEPtember came around, an overwhelming number of people put their hands up to commit to the step count, and to raise money and awareness for kids and adults with cerebral palsy.
Finishing the month with more than 7 million steps recorded, CFMG’s seven competing groups have had a great time with the challenge, and have noticed a real difference in the way they view their health.
Outgoing Head of Compliance, Jack Elias was CFMG’s top stepper and said since his goal is to be a centenarian, exercise plays a major role in the way he lives his life.
“I’ve never finished an exercise session and felt worse at the end, so I know how valuable exercise is for mental health as well as physical. Since I don’t like walking much, I’ve been taking high intensity classes at the gym and upping the time I spend on the bike and rowing machines. I can really notice the difference it has made to my endurance and I’ll definitely be keeping it up.”
With STEPtember’s figures showing that the average office worker only moves 3,000 of the recommended 10,000 steps per day, and spends 75% of their time sedentary, the challenge is a great opportunity to form new healthy habits.
Pradha Gurumahan, Solicitor, Linton Pitt Lawyers came in second place and says that STEPtember has changed her outlook on exercise:
“I’ve always been quite an active person but when it gets cold, I can get into hibernation mode. STEPtember has made me get up out of bed and exercising before and after work. It’s a great way to de-stress, gives me loads of energy, and improves my mood and sleep. After seeing how much it has benefited my physical and mental wellbeing, I’ll definitely be continuing beyond the challenge.”
Altogether the teams raised over $1000 for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance and had a really great time exercising and competing for a cause.
Last week our new Head of Collections, Ross Edwards, and his predecessor, Dermot Ormsby, took to the stage at the American Express Spectrum Conference in Kuala Lumpur. The pair explored innovative ways to create contacts, drive efficiencies and increase collection effectiveness using digital mediums, new technology and social media.
Ross participated in a panel discussion that delved into driving performance in collections teams where he shared some of the challenges that exist in this space, and how CFMG works to maintain its high-quality approach at all times. He also explored some of the opportunities for engaging collections teams.
“While we explore the use of new and innovative ways to drive collections it is just as important that we invest in the right people who are skilled in these new age contact avenues. Communication is somewhat moving from the traditional phone method, and now more than ever, written and technical skills are becoming as important when scouting talent,” said Ross.
Dermot talked about the impact of emerging technology as well as our investment in new digital mediums and contact channels. His presentation evolved to bring social media to the forefront in a conversation around acceptance and regulatory challenges. The group discussed what is happening around the globe and how the collections industry is using social media to drive contacts.
Dermot’s presentation showed that millennials are more inclined to get into debt to maintain their lifestyle and appearance knowing that they may not be able to manage their obligations. This generation is also less contactable through traditional methods given their tendency towards communication preferences such as social media, text and email. This presents challenges for collections teams, as well as opportunities to shift traditional collections methods.
Our Head of Compliance, Mr Jack Elias, has been awarded the honour of NSW Young Credit Professional of the Year 2017. The program is the largest and most prestigious Youth Credit Award program in Australia. It recognises the achievements of the new generation of industry leaders, and provides opportunity for support and shared learning from other recognised young talent, as well as experienced Credit Practitioners who are interested in assisting young Credit Professionals to achieve their potential.
We are very proud of Jack’s achievements, both in and outside of the workplace. Inside the office Jack has been instrumental in reviving our business management system so that our overall approach is one of proactivity, operationalised innovation, and always in the true spirit of our family values.
Outside of the workplace Jack has also shown himself to be of exceptional standard. Having trekked in Nepal shortly before the devastating earthquakes in 2015, he and his partner made the decision to act. Together they created the ‘2 Pairs Project’, and employ local Nepalese jewellers to design and make handmade jewellery. 100% of profits from every item sold is donated to rebuild schools and education programs in Nepal.
“2 Pairs Project exists to provide children and communities with opportunities to create a brighter future and stop the cycle of poverty…Our jewellery extends beyond sentimental value and impacts the lives of Nepalese children by equipping them with the most powerful tool on earth: education.”
Well done Jack.
Government to Reduce Bankruptcy Period to One Year
In Australia, the bankruptcy period is currently three years. During this period a bankrupt must comply with numerous requests from the trustee including, but not limited to, providing statements of affairs, seeking the trustee’s consent to travel overseas, and potentially even garnishing wages.
As part of its National Innovation Statement, in the last half of 2015 the Government announced its intention to reduce the bankruptcy period from three years to one. The move has been promoted as a positive step to protect creditors and encourage entrepreneurship across Australia.
The Productivity Commission proposed the idea in its report on Business Set-up, Transfer and Closure, which was sent to the Government in September 2015 and released to the public in December. In its report, the Commission made the following recommendations regarding personal insolvency:
Recommendation 1 – Automatic Discharge after 1 Year
That the Bankruptcy Act 1966 should be amended so that, where no offence has occurred, a bankrupt is automatically discharged after one year. Specifically, this should apply to restrictions relating to overseas travel, holding an office under the Corporations Act 2001, employment within certain professions and access to personal finance.
The trustee, and the courts, should retain the power to extend the time until the bankrupt is discharged for a period of up to eight years if there are concerns regarding the bankrupt’s conduct. Any extensions should be recorded on the National Personal Insolvency Index.
Recommendation 2 – Continuation of Income Contribution Regime
The obligation of bankrupts to make excess income contributions to their trustee should remain for three years. The period of excess income contributions can be extended at the discretion of the trustee to up to eight years. If the period of bankruptcy is extended beyond three years, then excess income contributions should be required until discharge.
Given that these recommendations are still quite new, there will undoubtedly be a number of discussions about whether a decreased bankruptcy period will reduce the ramifications of bankruptcy for debtors and make their decision to go into bankruptcy easier thanks to faster rehabilitation. Concerned parties are also deliberating on whether a shorter bankruptcy period will encourage irresponsible borrowing and spending.
Nevertheless, if these recommendations become law, it appears that they would have minimal impact upon the administration of a bankruptcy file (and creditors).
Creditors — The position of creditors to claim in an estate will remain unchanged. They will be entitled to submit a proof of debt in the estate and, subject to acceptance of their claim, participate in any dividends that the trustee may pay from the estate.
Assets — All divisible assets as at the date of bankruptcy will still be available for realisation by the trustee, with the only impact being on ‘after-acquired’ property (i.e., property that devolves on a bankrupt while they are undischarged such as lottery winnings or inheritances).
Income Contributions — Despite the reduced bankruptcy period, income contributions will still have to be paid (if applicable) for three years (or longer) as is currently the case.
Trustee powers — A trustee’s statutory powers to recover assets and voidable transactions will continue to be available.
Whether the proposed reduced bankruptcy term will meet is stated objective of encouraging more Australians to take more risks, be more innovative, and therefore more ambitious remains to be seen. However from the creditors’ perspective, it appears that they will not be unfairly disadvantaged by the proposals.
The Government has indicated that a proposal paper that includes the above recommendations will be released in the first half of this year, with a view to the introduction and passage of legislation in mid-2017. We will continue to report on developments as they occur, watch this space.