ASIC’s Brown relinquishes liquidator’s ticket

ASIC's Adrian Brown has let his liquidator's registration lapse.ASIC's senior executive leader of insolvency practitioners no longer holds a current liquidator's registration.
Adrian Brown: no longer a liquidator

Adrian Brown: ASIC head of liquidator enforcement has let lapse his liquidator’s registration.

SiN has already reported on the decision by ASIC’s top liquidator cop Adrian Brown to “scale back” his duties to three days a week but there are questions around that that the selectively communicative Brown needs to clarify.

ASIC has been running an advertisement for his replacement on SEEK but what kind of replacement will want a job where his or her predecessor is still around, more often than not in fact? And the ad gives no hint the job is anything but full-time, so what will Brown be doing three days a week?

“ASIC is now looking for a new Senior Executive Leader – Insolvency Practitioners to join the organisation and lead an externally focussed team responsible for ASIC’s work in the area of insolvency law and practice,” the ad from recruitment firm Korn Ferry states.

The ad also explains that the successful applicant will lead an outcome oriented team and that he or she will “represent ASIC domestically and internationally”.

None of that would seem to leave much room for an incumbent working three days a week. And in any case, Brown appears to have let lapse a qualification the advertisement cites as a highly desirable attribute in the successful applicant.

“Ideally, you will hold the following qualifications and experience: Advanced technical knowledge and practical experience in the area of insolvency law and practice; including registered liquidator compliance obligations, in a commercial environment.”

Up until the end of 2016, Brown’s name appeared in the Victorian segment of ASIC’s lists of registered liquidators. In the latest list, dated April 2017, Brown’s name is absent. It would appear Brown no longer possesses one of the qualifications ASIC regards as being important in someone seeking to become its Senior Executive Leader – Insolvency Practitioners.

Perhaps holding the public service role prevented him from undertaking sufficient hours of ongoing education to maintain compliance?

Hopefully the profession will learn more when Brown speaks next week at Traill & Associates’ 2017 Annual Practical Insolvency Conference, where SiN is official Media Partner.

The conference program describes the session Brown is conducting as a “timely opportunity for ASIC to outline its plans for the year ahead and talk about the challenges ASIC will be facing in the insolvency space and how it plans to deal with these challenges.”

Certainly it could also provide an opportunity for Brown to outline his own plans in the context of what the SEEK advertisement demonstrates is a changing of the guard and what, if he is to continue at ASIC, will be his future role.

In terms of the advertisement itself, SiN is hearing that the money on offer – and $200,000 per annum is what we’re hearing – isn’t likely on its own to lure a highly experienced heavy hitter away from a lucrative partnership.

SiN would’ve thought a senior executive leader needs to wield the kind of authority that will make the profession sit up and take notice. But how much clout can you exert when a big chunk of the profession you’re charged with regulating knows they earn three times what you do, and they know that you know that they know?

About the Author

Peter Gosnell
Sydney Insolvency News illuminates the practice of insolvency in Australia's largest city, highlighting the triumphs and failures of Sydney's registered practitioners and the accounting and legal professionals who work with them. SiN is produced by Peter Gosnell, former business editor and senior business reporter at The Daily Telegraph newspaper. During a decade-long career, your correspondent reported on such notable corporate collapses as HIH, One.Tel, Westpoint and Fincorp as well as some of the nation's highest profile bankruptcies and the investigations and prosecutions arising from Australia's most notorious instances of white collar crime.

2 Comments on "ASIC’s Brown relinquishes liquidator’s ticket"

  1. Paul Billingham | 26 April 2017 at 12:24 pm | Reply

    Peter

    You raise an excellent point as regards ASIC’s ability to attract top talent to its ranks.

    I was unaware of the “value” placed on such an important role (as that currently advertised) by ASIC but if it is, as you say, $200k p/a, it is difficult to see why an experienced, ambitious and credible candidate (with their own ticket!) will emerge from the ranks of Australia’s restructuring profession to take on the role.

    With even junior partners in most firms typically commanding a mixed component remuneration of close to double that sum in their first year or two (with the ability to earn far more), even in today’s relatively lean market it is unfortunately hard to see them picking ASIC instead.

    Conversely, while experienced partners in the twilight of their career may be tempted I would love to see a person with the right technical, commercial and experience credentials step up and energetically and constructively take a lead at this time of increasing regulation, globalisation and law reform.

    ASIC will need to shake the tin a little harder I feel to get that person.

  2. I am always concerned by the continuing ability of government to spending large amounts of money with external firms to do work that should be done internally – and then complaint that they have no money in their budget to fund matters.

    Usually a lack of internal experience is cited as a core reason for this occurring – however, if the senior positions were properly paid and came with an obligation to actually do the work (not brief if out) then you would end up with a highly experienced, effective and efficient organisation. This applies to many areas in government, not just ASIC.

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