One of the brightest young talents of the insolvency world is emerging from within a small family firm in Grimsby.
Arabella Ranby-Gorwood, who is following in her father Charles’ professional footsteps, has been named Rising Star of the Year by the Insolvency Practitioners Association. It comes as she closes in on becoming one of the youngest insolvency practitioners in the country as she studies towards her professional qualifications.
And the 25-year-old had barely cleared the stage at the glamorous London event when she was asked to steer work on encouraging those early in careers, taking the chair of a national committee.
Read more: Seafood jobs safeguarded as CEO eyes brighter future for Grimsby plant
Arabella, a client manager at CRG Insolvency and Financial Recovery, based at Alexandra Dock Business Centre, said: “I was really overwhelmed. There was genuinely no way I thought I was going to get the award.”
Held on the roof of The National Theatre, her parents were there to witness the success. Described by them as a very proactive client manager and integral part of the eight-strong team, she is bringing further specialisms to the firm, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
“I had vowed never to work for my father,” she said, having studied at Royal Agricultural University in Cirencester before joining a FTSE-listed investment management firm on a placement. But illness in the family saw her return to her Middle Rasen home.
“My Dad asked if I wanted to go in for a day or two, and the rest is history,” she recalled.
Two years ago she attained her proficiency in insolvency exam, and is now looking towards her corporate and personal insolvency qualifications.
“I always wanted to help people, and working in insolvency does just that,” she said. “When people realise what you can do to help them, you can see a weight being lifted from their shoulders. It is very stressful, but you develop strong relationships with people, and fellow professionals.”
She has been involved in the sale of Macclesfield Town Football Club’s ground and housing developments where companies have gone under but the build out has continued. She’s also doing a lot of work in the agri-rural sector.
“I take a pragmatic approach to things,” she said. “I tend to think as a profession we have always looked at things with a checklist approach to try and find a solution to a problem. It is having that common sense to find a way around an issue, develop an answer that is not always stock-standard.
“I also prefer everyone working together rather than it becoming the bank versus the client, it is often more complex than that. People getting an early solution is always favourable.
“To me it doesn’t matter if people are in for £100,000 or £5 million, I work just as hard for those involved.”
Finding the right professional partners is key too. “We are quite hands-on, but we are only 30 to 40 per cent of the solution; we have to engage with external agents and we see these as a representation of ourselves. Whether it is a lawyer or an estate agent, it is about picking the right people for each job. We try to use local people, be it here or in an area in which we are working. Every new case is different, we can apply knowledge but I find the challenge of something new exciting."
A prize-winning graduate, and former head girl at Lincoln Minster School, proud dad Charles said: “She has done really well. These things don’t normally come out to the sticks, they tend to stay in the cities. She was up against representatives from the likes of EY and Pinsent Masons, major contenders.
“Arabella was really interested in what we did, and she really enjoyed it. She had developed skills before she graduated that she has taken to the next level and beyond.
“I think it is good for all, The next generation brings a different perspective, and her specialisms will help to expand the business.”
Of the skillset, confidence and public speaking opportunities were described as vital, with public-facing part time jobs also helping with that exposure. “I cannot really put into words how important that is,” she said.
And on breaking that vow of working with her dad, Arabella added: “We have a good dynamic. Being a family firm has given me the opportunity to explore other areas I am really passionate about, including promoting insolvency and getting it out there. There’s no degree, just proficiency, but people don’t seem to be looking for a career in it, they seem to fall into it. I want to get more people in.”
Head office move aids expansion for Fortis as psychotherapist MD becomes a Ted Talks star
New cinema and market hall plan for Grimsby town centre gains planning consent
Melanie Onn steps down from top green job to try to rebuild red wall as she eyes up Grimsby seat
Administrators appointed at 'abruptly closed' Grimsby seafood firm where 80 jobs have been lost
All your Humber business news in one place - bookmark it now