Jenna Scott, Partner at Norton Rose Fulbright
TMA Queensland Committee Member
How did you get involved in the TMA?
After spending 10 years working in Melbourne, I moved back home to Brisbane and was keen to reintroduce myself to the market here. Richard Hughes (Deloitte) very kindly invited me to attend the first Queensland TMA NOW dinner where we discussed barriers facing women in our industry and how those barriers might be overcome. At that dinner I met Scott Guthrie (Thomson Geer). Scott was incredibly gracious and agreed to have coffee with me and fill me in on the Brisbane market. During that coffee Scott asked if I might be interested in joining the TMA Committee and I jumped at the opportunity! I’ve been on the Queensland Committee and also the TMA NOW subcommittee ever since.
What are some trends you are seeing at the moment in the turnaround and restructuring industry?
The inflation issue isn’t going anywhere soon with the 2-3 per cent target range not looking to be achieved until late in 2025. With further increases in the cash rate likely there is mounting pressure on mortgage holders and businesses. You can see this playing out in the data with insolvency appointments now tracking above pre-pandemic levels and that goes for all industries across the board. Winding up applications initiated by the ATO are also increasing. Together with supply chain issues and labour force shortages, inflation and rising interest rates have all placed upward pressure on operating costs and in turn put pressure on the profitability of many businesses. For stable businesses and government, this environment has resulted in a heightened risk of their counterparties (such as contractors, dealers, franchisees, partners and suppliers) becoming financially distressed or insolvent. The ramifications of counterparty failure or insolvency can be significant and can adversely impact those businesses as well.
What would someone who only knows you professionally be surprised to learn about you?
I loved playing all kinds of sport growing up, but I started taking Marshall Arts classes from when I was 5 years old because I very seriously wanted to be Xena Warrior Princess! That ambition didn’t quite work out, but the discipline the training taught me was well worth it.
What is the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever been given?
Slow down! What we do is complex, and it takes time to get right. Sometimes the best thing you can do is take a breath and step back from an issue to allow yourself the time to approach it with an open and enquiring mind.