Together with the panel lead, Dr. Rainer Bizenberger from AlixPartners in Munich, seven panelists discussed current issues on Crisis and Pre-Crisis Management.
The panelists in this discussion who participated were Dr. Uwe Goetker, Partner at McDermott Will & Emery in Düsseldorf; Jan Groß, responsible for restructuring at UniCredit Bank; Andreas Jaufer of Robus Capital Management; Daniel Jürgenschellert of Helbing Business Advisors in Düsseldorf; Alexander Reus, Partner at anchor Rechtsanwälte and active in insolvency advice; and Samuel E. Dewey, Counsel at McDermott Will & Emery in Washington.
The panel focused on two industry hotspots: retail and automotive industries. The central question: How can a company prepare for an impending crisis? The panel initially focused on the automotive industry. All divisions and suppliers are affected by the structural change in this industry. “It’s a complete circle,” said Daniel Jürgenschellert. This also applies to tool producers, steel producers and foundries—simply every part of the value chain. This development raises complex questions about financing: Many of those affected in the automotive industry would need more capital in the future, Andreas Jaufer explained. Dr. Goetker underlined this: “Automotive industry does face several issues. We do have an existing business, but the financing is difficult.” A large part of the problems lie in the future, as Dr. Goetker explained: “The business is not affected yet.”
As part of comprehensive restructuring processes, the automotive industry will be confronted with problems. The restructuring of automotive industries, the panelists agreed, will be driven by the Original Equipment Manufacturer. Nevertheless, not all companies on the market will be saved. At the end of the panel, the participants broadened their view and asked how to prepare to overcome some crisis scenarios. Above all, Daniel Jürgenschellert appealed to the companies: “Companies have to expend the risk management”. In German medium-sized companies, CEOs and CFOs have a good knowledge of their customers that should be used.
In many cases however, they do not have in mind how big and flexible their asset base is. According to Alexander Reus, better early warning systems in companies would be particularly useful. Specifically, Plan B scenarios, i.e. alternative plans in the event of a crisis, should be thought through better in order to prevent a possible crisis. Dr. Goetker concluded, “To all business leaders I would say: Winter is coming.”
Dr. Rainer Bizenberger,