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Kevin Hellard, President

Hi everyone. The weather has well and truly turned, and the festive period is just around the corner. Who’d have thought that a year spent largely in lockdown, studying the winning formula for banana bread and creating new and innovative reasons not to use my home gym, would go so quickly.

Turning to the past month, there was a strong show of force from attendees at the maiden virtual IPA Roadshow, in which we primarily explored insolvency matters affecting Scottish practice. It was my pleasure to chair the panel session with our legal experts Frances Coulson, Claire Massie and Lucy McCann. My panel were particularly intrigued to understand why I had driven all the way to Glasgow to chair a virtual conference until they realised that I’d scheduled 18 holes at Troon the next morning, which I wasn’t prepared to do virtually! Having cleared that up, we had an insightful and rewarding discussion, and I look forward to the panel sessions at the coming Roadshows. Amongst our bill of expert speakers, we were joined by Richard Dennis of the Accountant in Bankruptcy, who took us through Scottish legislation and possible future policy. We also heard from Eileen Maclean of Insolvency Support Services, and our own Lyn Green and David Holland.

Thank you very much indeed to all the speakers at this first event – it is of course because of you that we were able to put on such a well-attended afternoon.

I am, as I write this, preparing for the first UK-wide Roadshow taking place on 15th October. I haven’t yet worked out where I will be “virtually” hosting that from, but I look forward to exploring topics including personal insolvency, big bankruptcies and the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act. We then have another UK-wide event on 5th November, which will focus on fraud, Anti-Money Laundering, corporate vulnerability and more. This is followed by the Northern Ireland-emphasis event on 10th November, in which we will look at topics including the new Act, Ethics Code and monitor regime.

I hope that you can join us as we explore in detail the seismic year that we have had, what it means for insolvency, and future matters to watch out for – book your place and find out more about the excellent bill of speakers and sessions at each event here.

I can now also give you a brief preview of our brand-new Personal Insolvency Lecture Series events. Expect a set of events that will get to the nub of key personal insolvency practice subjects and provide an excellent learning opportunity for Insolvency Practitioners and their team members – coming soon!

Turning to events of a different sort, I was delighted to learn that the IPA is a finalist in the excellent Credit Awards.

We are finalists in the category Best Company to Work For. It is a key concern of mine and my fellow Board members to foster a professional, supportive and spirited environment at the IPA. We see this as critical in our role as a robust regulator and in serving our members. I have witnessed first-hand the dedication and concerted efforts shown by our people and the end results that have been achieved. No prizes for recognising that I am perhaps a little biased, but I think that the team are thoroughly deserving. Here’s hoping for some success at the digitally broadcasted awards ceremony on 5th December, hosted by none other than comedian Sean Lock!

I have also got wind of some more fundraising plans for Crisis, our Charity of the Year. A spooky Halloween quiz awaits our team members – but hopefully with nothing as scary as, say, brain teasers from our CPI exam.

Very well done to our events team for organising this event. I look forward to this and to more fundraising for an excellent charity!

And to finish, many of us, if we haven’t already, look set to get busier in our jobs in the near future. I wish you well in your work. Feel free to contact us on [email protected] if you have any experiences from getting busier that you would like to share with us.

Until the next time…

Kevin