Heather Swanston

Partner, Refinancing & Restructuring, PwC United Kingdom

Heather joined the firm in 1988 and following spells in the audit, tax and transaction services practices has settled in business recovery where she has built up extensive experience of carrying out large corporate strategic and financial business reviews on behalf of creditors and debtors. She also has experience of corporate finance transactions both from an investigative and advisory capacity. Her experience has covered a variety of industries, with an emphasis on construction, property and house-building. She also has experience of the power, retail and FMCG sectors, and has dealt with many multi-lender and cross border situations.

Her most recent experiences have been advising bank groups in respect of (i)a major pan-European food manufacturer listed in the UK; (ii) two branded UK health club chains; and (iii) a major UK power asset. She has also spent time recently with the leveraged finance workout team of Royal Bank of Scotland in London and has previously worked with Korea Exchange Bank in Seoul.

Highlights of Heather's recent experience include:
  • Advising the lender group of a major pan-European food manufacturer listed in the UK. Heather led a team of operational, strategic and financial advisors to assess the medium term viability of the business and assess the options available to the lenders - this included dealing with a significant pension fund deficit.
  • Advising the senior and mezzanine lender groups two branded UK health club chains. Heather led teams of sector and situational advisers in assessing the short term performance of the two chains and their medium term options.
  • Advising the senior lender group of a major UK power asset. Heather led a team of professional advisors including industry and project finance specialists in restructuring the operational performance and financial position of Drax Power Station. She then led a team of professionals in a monitoring role for the lender shareholders until its IPO in December 2005.
  • Advising the senior and mezzanine lender groups of a pan-European safety footwear manufacturing business. Heather led a team of advisors in assessing the short-term financial performance of the group which also included providing recommendations as to improvements in working capital management.
  • Heather spent a year with Royal Bank of Scotland in its Corporate Restructuring Unit where she was principally working on highly leveraged transactions tending to be multi-bank, cross border, cash-crisis situations where the banks have little prospect of recovery through conventional insolvency techniques. Heather was instrumental in negotiating the positions of senior lenders in these situations and in directing the resource of advisors to improve the recovery to the bank.
  • Strategic advisory work for the Government of South Korea in respect of the operational merger and financial restructuring of the aerospace businesses of Samsung, Hyundai and Daewoo. Heather led a team of bankers, corporate finance professionals, accountants and industry consultants on this project, the result of which was to form a new vehicle, appropriately financed, and with the necessary operational assets to improve the performance of the merged entity.
  • Operational advisory work, as part of a year long World Bank technical assistance project, for the newly-formed work-out team of Korea Exchange Bank.This involved specific responsibility for advising (i) the workout team dealing with Hyundai; and (ii) bank employees working on the dis-aggregation of the Daewoo Group. Heather acted as part of a multidisciplinary team advising the bank on the responsibilities and operation of a workout unit, together with project managing the workout unit's dealings with specific large customers. As a direct result of Heather's involvement, the bank's team became conversant in workout management and added significant value to the