How an ex-policeman became a towering figure in business recovery

Restructuring and Insolvency

Leonard Curtis bids farewell to a true titan of industry this month as Business Growth Director John White - known across the business world as the man who can help - officially brings his stellar career in the financial recovery sector to a close. 

An ex-policeman from Liverpool, John moved into finance with big 4 firms in 1997 before building an immense portfolio of skills and expertise in roles at Rowlands Accountants and Azets - later joining Leonard Curtis North East division in an advisory capacity.

With a quarter of a centuryes worth of experience behind him, John is signing off in 2022 with the disclaimer that you should always know when ites time to leave a party - but not before imparting some final nuggets of wisdom for those still working in the business finance sector…

The secret to success in business finance and recovery 

One of Johnes key pieces of advice for anyone working in business finance or adjacent sectors is something he picked up during his days in the force: Being good with people. 

Getting results isnt just about communicating with people in an effective way, but actually being interested in people, John explains. 

Taking the time to listen and actually invest yourself in what they have to say and learn their story is essential to finding a way to actually help them. 

After developing a reputation in the industry as someone who was able to provide support and guidance to businesses that needed it, I positioned myself as he man who can help - which is something I truly mean and always vowed to prove.

Ive prided myself on being able to help find a solution to any business finance problem. Of course, sometimes these answers arent always easy - and some require some very tough decisions to be made - but in all my years in this industry Ive never come across an issue that couldnt be resolved in one way or another. 

In capable hands 

As John exits his Leonard Curtis post - he leaves the North East division of the business in the capable hands of Iain Nairn - whom he describes as the very best he has met in the rescue sector. 

Speaking of his colleague, John stated: Iain is an extremely empathetic person - which is a very, very important skill in this line of work. 

Iain is leading the team up there at a very exciting time. From a standing start, the Leonard Curtis presence in the North East has already grown to meet demand. The support from the wider business has been tremendous to see and there is part of me wishes that Id encountered Leonard Curtis earlier in my career the culture is fantastic.

Sliding doors

The end of an era for one, represents the start of a new era for Leonard Curtis in the North East. The company has just brought in one of the best and most sought-after insolvency experts on Teesside in the shape of Jonathan Todd. Iain Nairn commented: This will give Leonard Curtis North East some added capacity to service local SMEs. 

In addition to Jonathan, the company has also recently recruited the award-winning Sarah Gray to the team.

Iain again: We will be sharing more about Sarahes role over the coming weeks and there are more confirmed hires in the pipeline for early 2023.  

John concluded: Im confident the company and the team in the North East will continue to move from strength to strength, looking after business owners when they need it the most.

I cannot express enough gratitude to the team and I will miss the North East business community very much. Ites a special place with wonderful people and deserves the very best of everything.

Back to the drawing board 

Upon leaving Leonard Curtis, John will go back to the drawing board in a more literal sense than most - pursuing a passion for painting and sketching. 

He already has several commissions and will continue to focus on these creative endeavours in the months and years ahead. 

Iain Nairn paid tribute to his departing colleague: We are very sorry to lose John - who has been an enormously influential presence not only here in the North East but across Leonard Curtis nationally. 

He is one of the most towering figures in this industry and he will be a great loss. But the good news is that he has left the company primed for very exciting times. 

We are growing our division here in Gateshead at a good rate and the future is bright thanks to the rock-solid foundations John has helped us build. 


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