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back to article One year on: What exactly did the 2e2 collapse teach us?

“Sam, I need you in the Heathrow office early tomorrow morning,” read the panicked text from my line manager on a Sunday night. The UK subs of 2e2 Group entered administration a year ago. I had a unique vantage point from where I sat within the crumbling company through the brutal process of administration and seeing the …

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Anonymous Coward

One other lesson for employees is to have a little more faith in your own abilities. I worked in flexible resourcing and was fed a near constant diet of comments from my manager about how tough a business environment it was, how there was no work, clients were slicing margins and how I should be grateful for a job and not ask for a pay rise.

My client took me on as a contractor the day after I was made redundant via a conference call. They paid me the same day rate as they had been paying 2e2, which was a significant payrise even after allowing for the additional costs and the loss of pension and paid holiday etc.

I appreciate that not everyone landed on their feet but most of those colleagues that I have kept in touch with are now better off financially.

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R69

Cowboys...

You have removed the accountability from employees of 2e2 over their own career choices.

I worked for Compel at the time they got taken over by 2e2 - and it was evident at the time - that those in charge of 2e2 were just trying to make a quick buck and move on - which is typical of many businesses choosing the growth by acquisition route.

It was pretty obvious after seeing their presentation that it wasnt a viable long term career option and I found another job.

Re: your comments on funding, funding is all about investor confidence in the board's ability to deliver a return. It just took the city longer than some of us realise what they were dealing with and to pull the plug on it,

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Sorry, didn't see you coming mate

Amen to that. Having your employers go bust on you is like crashing into a car that "came from nowhere".

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Bronze badge

Advice for life..

So to boil down your advice\experience

For Employees, be aware that your firm could fold overnight so prepare.

For Customers, be aware that your supplier could fold overnight so prepare.

For Suppliers, be aware that your customer could fold ovenight so prepare.

For administrators and accountants be prepared to feed on corpses at will.and enjoy

A personally traumatic time for all no doubt but for anyone who has lived throuh the last decade in any industry; particularly smaller companies; the phrase 'no shit sherlock' comes to mind.

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Anonymous Coward

Sam, just name some names. Be brave, those f**kits who arrived from CWW compounded the problems for sure. But you and the senior managers were heavily invested in the cult of Terry.

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Be brave says the AC....

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The answer to 'what was wrong with 2e2’ would depend upon where you sat in 2e2…your point of view would be very different if you sat in the Bus Apps team in 2e2, the sales team, Technology or somewhere in Delivery & Opps.

I've tried very hard to remove emotion from my opinion piece and, as you'll know, the collapse at 2e2 wasn't due to a single individual failing or an act of malice: Everyone from Group Board, UK Exec down to Snr Management had some part to play. UK exec were clearly dysfunctional through '12. Oversight from Group board limited until far too late and they tried running the business without a UK MD. Snr Management put up with an external UK exec who had walked into the business and thought they knew best - many of us could have taken a stand but didn't protest loudly enough. The banks and VCs were at best complacent with their investment. Non-exec directors added little / no oversight. And don't get me started on the approach of FTI once Administration had started.

That decision to stay at 2e2 for 13 years had nothing to do with 'Cult of Terry' - Prime / 2e2 gave me lots of opportunities and a wealth of experience that I'm grateful for. Nearly everyone was aware of the funding structure of 2e2, the 'excitement' at covenant tests, the lack of payment of suppliers at certain points. Some people (IE poster R69 above) decided that 2e2 wasn't for them and moved on. I made the personal judgement that life would be more exciting in 2e2...And I was right, just not in the way I expected.

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So who should take the blame? Terry Burt purchased companies that were operating at a profit, loaded them with debt and then ran them into the ground. He stands out to me, but you have a different opinion, which is that no one and everyone had a responsibility because they were aware of the faulty funding structure.

At the very least tell us who was the external UK exec that walked into the business and thought they knew best?

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