As we pass into the new financial year iNO can update readers in respect of our recent reporting of ructions in the Sydney offices of Cor Cordis.
As of this week it appears the Sussex Street headquarters of the national firm helmed from Melbourne by Cor Cordis managing partner Bruno Secatore has lost four registered liquidators, one trustee in bankruptcy and several experienced staff including an exceptionally well regarded forensic specialist.
The bulk of the defectors announced this week that they had joined Olvera Advisors, the restructuring shop run by Damien Hodgkinson and Kate Barnett.
Leading the departing team up the hill to Barrack Street is Neil Cussen, who joined Cor Cordis after a long and successful career at Deloitte.
It’s believed Cussen was lured to Cor Cordis with a promise from Secatore that he would be given free rein to initiate cultural change.
It didn’t happen and while nobody will say so the mail doing the rounds is that Cor Cordis veteran Ozzem Kassem didn’t see why such an opportunity should be offered to an outsider and as Kassem had voting sway courtesy of his substantial holding of partnership units the free rein Cussen was promised was in fact limited in scope.
Nobody involved has been prepared to respond on the record when asked if such speculations are accurate. Seemingly nobody is prepared to deny, deny deny.
Regardless, Cussen, along with Michael Billingsley, Robyn Karam and Tony Wright are heading to Olvera. That’s three registered liquidators departing the existing ranks of Cor Cordis appointment takers.
Joining them at Olvera is Diana Talevsky, the only registered trustee Cor Cordis had operating from NSW.
Billingsley and Wright came to Cor Cordis with Cussen from Deloitte and the fact they are departing with him suggests whatever problems led to this walk out weren’t restricted to one or two individuals.
Karam and Wright were elevated to partnership in January this year but clearly that has failed to quell whatever discontent has driven this mass defection. And nor is it only the Cussen-linked crew looking elsewhere.
Partner and registered liquidator Andre Lakomy has also parted ways with Cor Cordis, setting up his own shop under the AL Restructuring and poaching manager Amelia Koka for good measure.
Enquiries sent to senior partners Ozzem Kassem and Mark Hutchins were not responded to by iNO’s deadline. Partner Jason Tang also declined to answer when we asked if he too was leaving.
The upshot is that Hodgkinson and Barnett have scored a wealth of senior experience, received an infusion of new blood and exposure to new referral networks. The likelihood of cannibalisation would seem to be minimal.
Add to all that Cussen’s side hustle as a key investor and chairman of the investment committee for Stephen Humphreys’ Clover Risk Funding and the new and enlarged Olvera Advisors can boast a veritable smorgasbord of opportunity for its clients and its owners and staff.
Back at Sussex Street meanwhile it’s a question of staunching this haemorrhage and infusing fresh platelets fast. The alternative looks cadaverous.