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  • 12-Mar-2019 11:31 | Julie Falzon (Administrator)

    According to the latest William Buck merger and acquisition report, the last five years have seen merger and acquisition activity growing in the mid-market.

    While local transactions have grown, there’s also been a flurry of inbound activity for quality Australian businesses; driven by a weaker Australian dollar, a stable investing environment and a strong developed economy.

    Trends show foreign buyers are paying a premium for local mid-market businesses, with foreign investment transactions considerably higher than local ones. This trend was consistent over the last five financial years, with foreign buyers in mid-market deals paying an average of EV/EBITDA multiples of 13.2x compared with about 10.6x paid by local buyers.

    With interest from foreign firms making Australia businesses more lucrative for a sale, there’s still big opportunity for businesses to consider adopting their acquisitive growth strategy to gain a competitive edge.

    When assessing an acquisition target (or buyer), it should increase the value of the business whether directly – in the case of increased earnings – or indirectly in the case of achieving economies of scale.

    However, when pursuing growth for growth’s sake, few businesses succeed. An effective acquisition should be tied to the business’ strategic objectives. Some of the more common characteristics sought when selecting a potential acquisition target are discussed below.

    Financial performance

    Targets may be profitable or unprofitable but, in each case, the acquirer must be confident the acquisition will add value (earnings) post-completion.

    Some acquirers may purposefully seek targets that are in financial distress in order to obtain a bargain, with the belief they have the ability to turn around the target’s performance. It is essential, however, to gain an understanding of the underlying reasons contributing to the poor performance and the subsequent implications. These factors must then be carefully assessed to ensure they do not permanently prohibit the target’s ability to generate profits and growth in the future. However, the latest data shows companies are taking an alternate route to acquisition – preferring to invest in quality companies which are profitable that will shortly shift from revenue valuations to profit valuations.

    Target size

    Determining the size of the acquisition target will depend largely on the experience and resources of the acquiring entity. Our analysis found that mid-market transactions continued to dominate the total of M&A deals, with the largest segment being deals with a value of $10m-250m making up almost 50% of all deals in 2018). Smaller transactions (deals under a value of $10m) made up approximately 45 percent of the volume of all completed transactions. Generally speaking, where experience and resources are limited, smaller targets should be pursued.

    The attractiveness of an acquisition should not solely depend on the size of the potential target. Ensuring the target or buyer reflects the objectives of the acquisition strategy will be of greater importance and, subsequently, factors such as market share or synergies may be more significant than size.

    Management and key staff

    When reviewing a potential acquisition target, it is important to assess the capabilities of management and key staff and look at ways in which their skills can be used to fill gaps in the current business’ capabilities.

    It is vital the management and key staff required to ensure the future success of the business are willing to remain with the company subsequent to the acquisition. Conversely, it is important to look at functions or job roles that may overlap post-acquisition and have a redundancy strategy in place if required.

    Cultural compatibilities

    Differences in corporate culture is one of the major factors contributing to the failure of mergers and acquisitions. As such, cultural issues should be carefully considered prior to entering into any transaction.

    Depending on the level of integration proposed, cultural compatibility may, or may not, be essential to the success of the transaction. Where there is a low level of integration required, the transaction is unlikely to cause any significant culture shock to employees and synergistic cultures may not be essential to the success of the transaction.

    Where there is a high level of integration, culture shock can be a big problem that may eventually lead to key employees feeling unsatisfied and leaving the organisation.

    Achievability of forecasts

    Careful consideration must be paid to any forecasts (financial or otherwise) that may be relied upon in making decisions regarding the transaction, particularly where they are prepared by the target or on behalf of the target.

    Financial forecasts may often be unrealistic and can fail to take into account delays as a result of the transaction going ahead.

    Intellectual property

    Mergers and acquisitions can be useful strategies for obtaining intellectual property, such as trade secrets and patents, complementary to existing assets.

    The significant increase in IT demonstrates harnessing these capabilities.

    It is important sufficient due diligence is carried out to ensure intellectual property is protected, the target holds full title to these assets and they are not subject to any restrictions that may inhibit the intended benefits of the transaction.

    Price and terms

    Where the acquisition target is highly attractive, it can be easy for the acquirer to get carried away in the negotiation process. A transaction should not be completed at any cost to the acquirer. It is important to maintain an objective perspective and ensure a fair price and suitable terms can be agreed upon with the potential target’s owners.

    Each acquisition will have its own individual characteristics and requirements. When selecting a potential acquisition target, it is essential to refer back to the unique objectives sought in the acquisition strategy and pay close attention to the acquisition profile established.

    If you would like any further information on acquisitions, contact your local William Buck advisor.

  • 12-Mar-2019 11:00 | Julie Falzon (Administrator)

    You are appointed as Executor of an Estate. You appreciate the confidence expressed in you, and you are more than happy to help your relative or friend.

    It can’t be that hard, can it?

    What is often not appreciated is the responsibility that comes with being the Executor of an estate and that an Executor can be personally liable if the legal requirements are not performed properly.

    The basic requirements are:

    Executor’s role. An Executor is required to uphold the deceased’s Will and put into effect the deceased’s wishes as expressed in the will. This usually requires the Executor to obtain a Grant of Probate from the Supreme Court. The Grant proves to the rest of the world the Executors power to deal with the deceased’s assets.

    An Executor has a strict duty to properly and effectively administer the deceased’s Estate. An Executor can be personally liable for a breach of that duty. Executors must act impartially and prudently.

    Assets. The Executor needs to disclose full details of the assets of the Estate in his or her application for Probate. This includes assets held jointly. The Executor needs to consider how to deal with all assets including those in other jurisdictions (that is, outside NSW).

    Liabilities. Executors must ensure that all proper liabilities are paid. Liabilities that need to be considered include any possible contingent liabilities, for example, personal guarantees that may have been given by the deceased. Claims against the deceased’s assets must be investigated and if there is doubt about a claim, the Executor must deal with this carefully and prudently. Any taxation issues also need to be dealt with.

    Claims and litigation. It is not uncommon for Estates to be the subject of litigation, especially in these times where there considerable wealth may be in the estate. Litigation can arise regarding disputes as to validity of Wills, and also from people defined as “eligible persons” who can seek to claim a share or an Estate because of their relationship with the deceased. Again, an Executor must deal with any such claims carefully and prudently.

    Distributions. The Executor must ensure the nett assets are distributed in accordance with the deceased’s will. This may involve selling assets to allow cash payments or it may involve transferring assets directly to beneficiaries. There may be taxation issues that arise depending on the way assets are to be transferred.

    Timing. The Executor must not make distributions without taking into account the relevant time limits for possible claims (and there are several relevant time limits). If an Executor distributes incorrectly, an Executor can be personally liable.

    Costs. Testamentary expenses including costs properly incurred by an Executor are payable from the estate assets. Expenses that are not incurred reasonably cannot be claimed. Unless a commission is sought by an Executor (which usually involves a Court process) an Executor cannot claim for his or her time and trouble.

    What to do A prudent Executor will seek appropriate professional advice and part of that advice is to enable the Executor to perform all duties properly and to ensure that as a result the Executor’s own personal position is quarantined from any potential liability.

    More Information

    For further information, please contact the Estate Planning Team at Matthews Folbigg Lawyers on (02) 9635 7966 or email Anna Zdrilic, Principal or Terry Doust, Principal on

    Disclaimer: Information in this newsletter is for general guidance only and is not intended to be legal advice for your specific circumstances. Due to the seriousness of legal matters as well as the uniqueness of your individual situation, professional advice should be sought. For advice, please contact one of our specialist lawyers.

  • 08-Mar-2019 16:04 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Celebrating 10 Years

    The Laugh Out Loud (LOL) Comedy Breakfast is an event that will keep you smiling all day! The concept was initiated by a small number of people over a business lunch and eight years on and they are still laughing! The breakfast has grown into one of Western Sydney’s largest breakfasts, attracting 600 business people and is a must on the corporate event calendar. The event falls within the Comedy Festival each year and has partnered with The Comedy Company who provide several comedians each year to give plenty of laughs over your breakfast. This is fun, unique event which raises much-needed funds for Special Olympics Australia.

    When: Tuesday 30 April 2019, 7:15am - 9:30am

    Where: ANZ Stadium, Millennium Room (Level 4), Edwin Flack Ave, Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127

    Tickets: Corporate Table of 10 - $800 | Individual - $85. Click here to book 

    Dress: Business Attire

    Sponsorship opportunities are still available for this event. Click here to find out more. 

  • 04-Mar-2019 12:48 | Julie Falzon (Administrator)

    By William Buck

    Following on from part one where we discussed the importance of knowing how your brand performs online, this month we look at the magic of integrating your digital tools and the real benefits for your business.

    Providing a seamless online experience will make a difference. Creating an integrated journey between your social channels will be more powerful than using the channels separately. A multi-channel strategy which leverages a variety of platforms is more likely to drive users towards a specific ‘call-to-action’ and collect insights that help you qualify the ROI for different campaigns.

    According to the latest Making Western Sydney Greater results, the top three industries using social media are – Hospitality & Tourism (92%), Professional Services (91%) and Education (89%). For some industries they’re barely active on social media while others are benefiting from digital tools such as LinkedIn’s website demographic to reach their audience. Social media can initially appear more suited to a B2C scenario, or more personal/individual buying situations, however, it’s reported that B2B ecommerce sales are expected to outgrow B2C ecommerce sales by 2020, according to the latest HubSpot marketing statistics.

    The latest report identified manufacturers as one of the industries with the lowest social media usage, sitting at 46%, followed by Transport & Distribution at 33%. This is expected to shift with many B2Bs realising the benefits of digital channels to educate customers, boost brand awareness and enhance relationships. With the average B2B company on 6 social media networks, those that don’t embrace it will find themselves falling behind their social media savvy competitors.

    With mobile social usage on the rise (2.9 billion users worldwide and increasing), you can make use of in-app messaging, geo-targeting and other opportunities to connect with your audience. Today's buyer wants to be able to use different services and various channels to interact with businesses. Social media has affected the customer experience and regardless of which channel they use, they want to be able to access information easily and fast. Online digital tools are playing a key role in communicating with customers with 11 out of 50 of the fastest-growing B2B companies are using a live chat widget to provide responses quickly on their website (Drift).

    Before you start using social media, the most important step is to know which platforms most appeal to your target market and support your digital marketing KPIs and optimise conversions. Focus on two to three channels that will have the strongest impact and that are the best fit for your brand and message. Here’s a snapshot of a few social media platforms:

    • Facebook – Good for targeting baby boomers and generations X and Y. Great channel for reach, engagement and driving traffic to a website.
    • Instagram – Highly visual channel, popular for using ‘influencers’ to promote products and services to drive brand awareness and build relationships. More suited to lifestyle industries such as design, fashion, food or beauty.
    • YouTube – Great for a wide range of industries, video content is becoming a leading channel to advertise and communicate your brand story. Over 85% of businesses now have staff and resources to produce in-house videos with High Tech and Manufacturers publishing the most new videos.
    • LinkedIn – A network hub to access people, jobs, news, industry updates and insights. Mostly used to connect with professionals and share educational content. Primed for B2B, it’s the best channel for targeted campaigns based on industry or job role.
    • Twitter – A broadcast channel designed to communicate real-time updates to a global audience. A great way to engage in conversations about a topic or connect with industry leaders. A common channel for expressing positive and negative views.

    What’s holding businesses back?

    Although business owners understand that digital marketing can provide a range of benefits, many highlighted that they don’t have a defined strategy and are not effectively measuring ROI. Developing a digital strategy, choosing the right technology and platforms and having the expertise to make it work can require skills that sit outside the core competencies of most business owners. Lack of resourcing and in-house capabilities were the main reasons behind businesses feeling that they don’t have a strong social media presence. Large Businesses had a more positive result position on ROI reporting, reporting (45 % compared to 18% for SME Businesses), but given they have access to a broader workforce they may have the staff with the skills to manage these activities.

    Navigating your way through the digital marketing landscape isn’t easy, especially if digital isn’t in your background. With technology advancements and buyer expectations for fast and easy connectivity, most businesses and industries are quickly realising that social media is no longer optional – it’s now an important part of the overall business development strategy.

    When it comes to building a high converting digital marketing strategy, there’s no one-size-fits-all. You need to select the right metrics for your goals and prioritise the platforms that work best for your business and your audience.

    Making Western Sydney Greater is a collaborative project between William Buck, St George, Western Sydney University, and Western Sydney Business Connection. Analysing the experiences of business owners and managers in Western Sydney helps us to identify the important issues and priorities for businesses and drive positive change in the region.

    Access the latest report to find out more about the benefits and obstacles of strong digital marketing strategy, the impact of better connectivity and new transport networks, and the growth and employment outlook for businesses in Western Sydney.

    Quick facts – digital in Australia:

    • Over 21 million internet users, 17 million active social media users and over 19 million mobile users
    • An average of 5 hours and 34 minutes is spent on the internet every day and approximately 1 hour and 39 minutes on social media
    • Based on the average monthly traffic, the top websites are Google, YouTube and Facebook
    • The most active social media platforms are Facebook, YouTube and Instagram

  • 26-Feb-2019 13:02 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    By Michael Page

    Transformational projects in Western Sydney will see continued activities this year, as a new industry report identifies three key hiring themes in construction.

    The Michael Page “Salary Benchmark Report 2019”, revealed a shortage of specialised local talent in client side project management, making it very competitive to obtain good candidates.

    In addition, the report found project managers with 5 to 10 years post-grad experience were the highest in demand.

    Companies are also seeking professionals with business development abilities in addition to technical skillsets, the report said.

    “For PageGroup, there is a new focus on the blue collar sector: with the country at close to full employment in the labour market, the labourer hiring and blue collar end of the market is certainly expected to outstrip supply in 2019,” Michael Page Australia Regional Managing Director Matthew Gribble revealed.

    “From a geographic perspective, terrific growth in Western Sydney has been observed and that will continue.”

    Two major Western Sydney developments – Sydney’s second airport and the much anticipated cage-free zoo – have also made a point of engaging younger generations.

    Western Sydney Airport will bring strong economic transformation to the region, with completion marked for December 2026.

    Western Sydney Airport chief executive Graham Millett announced two major opportunities: giving university students studying or living in Western Sydney the chance to team with leading airport design firms competing for the change to design the airport’s terminal.

    “We want to have the creative minds of our best and brightest young people help inform the design of the terminal, which will be a legacy for their generation, Millett said.

    “The path to Western Sydney Airport’s opening will be full of learning and employment opportunities for the region’s young people.”

    In addition, a partnership between Western Sydney Airport and Liverpool Council will see Year 5 and 6 students in the region be invited to design the airport using the popular digital building game, Minecraft.

    Meanwhile, Sydney Zoo ran an animal-themed colouring competition for kids where the winning designs will be used as wraps for its Suzuki Ignis vehicles.

    While it previously suffered building delays, those driving along the Great Western Highway passing Western Sydney Parklands can clearly see the construction activities and infrastructure at near completion.

    There’s been huge build-up of anticipation for the $45 million zoo, as its world-class design will see animals roaming cage-free, similar to a safari experience, across 16.5-hectares.

    The zoo is scheduled to open mid-2019.

    To find out more about construction roles or what’s happening in construction from a hiring front, contact us.

    For a copy of our Salary Benchmark Report 2019, download it here.

    RELATED: Embracing the Western Sydney dream: What businesses need to know

  • 25-Feb-2019 13:56 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    The Parramatta Eels National Rugby League Club will be launching the Parramatta Eels Foundation in April 2019.

    The Foundation will fund programs and initiatives related to supporting the Club and promoting Rugby League within the local community.

    The Foundation will be raising funds for:

    • Community and Social Programs
    • Woman’s Programs
    • Next Generation Participation
    • High-Performance Programs

    It will give loyal members, fans and supporters a way to directly contribute to the club and play a role in its future success.

    For further information, click here to contact the Club.

  • 22-Feb-2019 09:16 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Some people are born with a naturally high Emotional Intelligence (EQ), and some have a naturally high IQ. While you cannot improve a person’s IQ, fortunately you can learn the skills to improve your EQ.

    Research has shown that Emotional Intelligence is the strongest predictor of performance, explaining 58% of success in all job types. It also has a direct correlation with salary. Those with a HIGH degree of EQ have been shown to earn $40,000 per year more than those with low EQ.

    So how do you improve Emotional Intelligence?

    The Key is Changing Your Mindset

    The first step is that you must want to increase your EQ. You need to have the desire to change the way you behave under pressure, or with difficult people.

    You must believe that, with the right techniques and hard work, you will be able to change.

    Too often as adults we say that we’re ‘hardwired’, that ‘we can’t change’. Science doesn’t support this.

    Neurologists use the term ‘plasticity’ to describe your brain’s ability to change. Research shows that your brain grows new connections as you learn new skills. Increasing the connections between rational and emotional centres of the brain enables improved EQ.

    Emotional Intelligence Skills

    The second part is skillset. According to Dr Travis Burberry, co-author of ‘Emotional Intelligence 2.0’, high EQ requires four key skills:

    1. Self-Awareness:

    Your ability to perceive your emotions

    2. Self-Management:

    Your ability to manage your emotions appropriately, to direct your behaviour positively

    3. Social Awareness:

    Your ability to accurately pick up on the emotions in other people, to understand what’s really going on, to read between the lines

    4. Relationship Management:

    Your ability to use the awareness to of your emotions and of others’ emotions to communicate successfully

    The Challenge of Managing Emotions

    Managing emotions and behaving ‘appropriately’ is challenging for us. When we behave ‘appropriately’ in difficult situations or with difficult people, we work to gain outcomes that are good for ALL stakeholders.

    Unfortunately, for most of us it is much easier to ‘vent’ and excuse our behaviour or blame the other person.

    The internationally successful GREENLINE program that teaches Emotional Intelligence, labels these difficult situations “5% moments”. These are moments where we react with high emotion and afterwards wish we could play them again with better control. They are the moments when we can easily ‘lose our marbles’!

    They are also the moments we get judged on the most. While we may behave appropriately 95% of the time, it is the “5% moments” when the stakes are high that people remember most clearly. How well do you perform in your “5% moments”?

    Understanding the neuroscience, what’s really happening in our brains, means that we can make smarter choices. It allows us to respond rather than merely react to difficult situations. As a result, positive outcomes are gained, trust is enhanced, and relationships grow stronger.

    New WSBC Member Benefit

    We are excited to present a new WSBC membership benefit of a FULLY FUNDED, nationally accredited, 1-day GREENLINE Training Program. Click here to LEARN MORE.

    GREENLINE is the internationally successful conversations training program used by companies such as Pepsi, Rheem and Redkite to drive emotionally intelligent conversations, boost productivity and create a high-performance culture.

    Get a snap shot of the GREENLINE program and discover practical emotional intelligence boosting tools you can start to implement in your business straight away, by attending our upcoming workshop in Parramatta.

    DATE: Thursday 4th April, 2019

    TIME: 7.30am - 9.30am (includes breakfast)

    BOOK: Click here to register

    COST: 2 complimentary tickets for all WSBC members (additional tickets available for $50).

    Non-members $75.

    To learn more about how your business could benefit from GREENLINE, and take advantage of this WSBC member exclusive, please call Ramsina McCully on 1800 085 248 or email

  • 20-Feb-2019 16:19 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Contract an event at The William Inglis Hotel and step out of your next meeting into the adventure of a lifetime. Choose one of the hotel's many function rooms to host your next conference and get yourself in the draw to win an AccorHotels gift card valued at $1,000 each month, or the grand prize of a $10,000 travel card to use throughout Asia Pacific. Earn 5,000 Le Club AccorHotels bonus rewards points with every event booked at The William Inglis Hotel.

    Featuring 23 different function rooms, the hotel can cater up to 1,000 guests cocktail style in The Sales Arena. Enjoy the benefits of state of the art Audio Visual equipment in each function room including TV screens, natural lighting, complimentary high speed Wi-Fi and complimentary open-air car parking.

    Together let’s see where your heart leads you in 2019.

    Click here for further information on conferences and events at The William Inglis Hotel.   

  • 20-Feb-2019 14:35 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    You hear it all the time – storytelling is the best way to market your business.

    Storytelling can help you reach your target market. Storytelling helps your business and brand grow.

    But your business is engineering, accountancy or manufacturing … can storytelling work to grow a business in any industry?

    Absolutely it can.

    From boats to banking

    Storytelling is about making an emotional connection with your audience, telling how a customer benefited from using your product or service and giving your prospects the opportunity to relate to you, your business and your product.

    These things are industry agnostic.

    Let’s look at the evidence

    At Brilliant Digital, we’ve helped businesses in a broad range of industries grow and expand their reach through powerful digital storytelling.

    But there are a few tricks to getting it right. And that’s where our team of expert digital storytellers comes in.

    We’re results driven here at Brilliant Digital – so let’s hear from some of our clients in their own words…

    Show your benefits

    For Craig Hannam at Water Filters Australia, storytelling is unsurpassed in its effectiveness –

    “The blogs are an integral part of how we display our business to the community.

    For existing customers, finding out about our products, their benefits and how to use them, works well... and for a person who doesn’t know anything about us and goes onto our website, there’s a significant amount of information there to assist them too.”

    Put your aims into context

    Through digital storytelling, we have transformed Romar Engineering so it can compete on a global stage. We have defined who they are and what they do – and are sending qualified leads from across the globe. CEO Alan Lipman says,

    “Stories create connection, build trust and memorable brands and ultimately deliver sales.”

    Create web appeal

    When we write content for your website, we get inside your prospects’ heads so we know what will appeal to them.

    And it’s emotionally engaging content that is key for Chris White at First Financial.

    “Our website gives a sense that we are large enough to look after our clients, but not too large to ignore the client relationship – that’s the most important thing that we can do.”

    Keep it simple

    Our storytellers use simple, clear language. There’s little point in using complex technical jargon if your target market can’t understand it.

    We simplify. We demystify.

    Denis Zilic, co-founder of OSA says, “When you’re relying on technical people to write stories, people who aren’t technical can’t read it, it goes over their head and you lose the message.”

    An enviable lifestyle

    The best story will entice your prospect to see themselves in your customer’s shoes – someone who already enjoys your product or service.

    Graham Raspass from Flagstaff Marine is a great example of how wonderful storytelling is at making a dream lifestyle purchase a reality.

    “If you have an array of different stories, people will pick the one that relates most to their circumstance or their dream. If they can see that other people have already experienced that and shared that experience, it enforces their commitment and belief in what they want to do.”

    Time to join the revolution

    Storytelling is the most effective and proven method to make a connection and grow your business.

    It’s a straightforward way to show rather than tell how you solve your customers’ problems.

    Without storytelling, you are a bullet-point product list. Good luck with that.

    But tell a great story, and you can conquer the world.

    Read the full article here.

  • 20-Feb-2019 08:41 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

    Campbelltown is set to get a major new attraction with the Campbelltown Billabong Parklands Project receiving funding as part of the Western Sydney City Deal Liveability Program funding. The $18.75 million state-of-the-art project will see the construction of a water recreation space and water play facilities across a four hectare site located at the Apex Park in Bradbury.

    The Billabong Parklands will include a series of rock pools leading into a 1700sqm lagoon, and will have a wide range of interactive water elements enjoyable for all ages.

    The project will include community consultation to ensure that all residents in Campbelltown have a voice in the final design of the billabong. The project is expected to be completed and open to the general public in 2021.

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