Broker Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford (CGSC) has made a number of plans designed to streamline costs and generate operational efficiencies following a downgrade by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s.
Toby Esser, CGSC group chief executive officer, said: “CGSC’s global coverage and the range of our business offering is an enormous strength, but the by-products of our successful organic and acquisitive growth over the last 18 months are some profit reducing inefficiencies that need to be addressed. Our 2013 results brought the less efficient aspects of our operating model into sharp focus, and have been a catalyst for positive change in reviewing how we operate across the group.
“2013 was the first time in CGSC’s history that the business did not grow substantially in profit terms. The challenges facing the group continue to have an effect in 2014, but, as recognised by S&P, our focus on reducing costs, the significant acquisitions of NMB and Epsilon, the launch of start-ups ProPraxis, Latitude, Cooper Gay Dubai and Swett & Crawford Latin America, and the tactical sales strategies we have implemented are all beginning to have a positive impact. As a clear demonstration of this emerging upward trend July 2014 was our largest ever revenue month in CGSC’s history, and an excellent indicator that we are heading in the right direction.
“Despite the acquisitions and launches of some excellent businesses over the last 12 months we need to take some corrective action,” continued Esser. “Our focus is now on creating the best operating model and structure for our group, and continuing to instil a dynamic but efficient culture across our global businesses.”
There are also plans to make a number of senior hires over the coming months.
“Bolstering our existing management team underscores our commitment to implementing efficient processes around day to day business and around driving the new elements of our business forward” he said.
“The CGSC business today is already very different from the business at the end of 2013. Going forward, we will continue to diversify and grow our business, identifying opportunities that will add good incremental value to our bottom line and improve our competitive advantage.”
S&P downgraded CGSC to ‘B-‘ with a stable outlook from ‘B’.
Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford, North America, Toby Esser, Standard & Poor's