New Head for Clearwater’s Debt advisory and Restructuring Group


Clearwater Corporate Finance has boosted its Debt advisory and Restructuring team with the appointment of Chris Smith as its new head and as a partner in its London office.

Chris moves from HBOS, where he worked for 11 years and led some of the highest profile restructuring cases for the Bank. Chris initially joined the Bank of Scotland as a graduate trainee and later moved into corporate banking, including five years with their private equity arm, Integrated Finance. Most recently he was a member of the Business Support Unit, leading restructures of UK and European private equity-backed companies which were in distress due to high debt levels.

At Clearwater he will use this practical experience to help businesses negotiate alternative or improved terms with their lenders and other stakeholders or to locate new sources of funding, whether to refinance existing debt or for new projects such as mergers, acquisitions or expansion.

Phil Burns, managing partner with Clearwater said: “The difficulty in sourcing funding in the current market has created a growing need for specialist debt advisors. Many over-leveraged businesses are in need of debt restructuring and even very successful companies may find their bankers are becoming twitchy and so have to look for new backers.

“Businesses in these situations need strong advisors and Chris’s knowledge of the banking market and his experience in restructuring and refinancing transactions will make him invaluable to our clients.”

Commenting on his new role, Chris added: “There are many good companies struggling with over leverage whose management have enough on their plate dealing with the current market downturn.

“Part of my role will be to use my experience to advise on dealing with their banks, whilst also looking at alternative solutions to achieve a consensual restructure of the company and ultimately preservation of value for all stakeholders.”