I’d like you to hit pause for just a moment.
Given the opportunity, would you rewind the last 6 months to take another shot at navigating the Coronavirus storm? I wonder which decisions you would make differently and which you’d keep the same. I do not believe many business leaders could have imagined the magnitude or ferocity of the ensuing turmoil caused by this pandemic. Reacting quickly was critical, the stakes were high and potential mistakes costly.
I’m writing this to give an insight into Franklin Fitch’s journey over the first half of 2020. To do this fairly, I need to give perspective, so I’ve shared previous years’ results, our expectations at the beginning of 2020 and our actual results from January to June this year.
I am proud to say that since our inception in 2011, we have grown our group Net Fee Income* (NFI) each and every year. Eight years of successful, sustainable, organic growth, mostly gained through a mix of careful strategic planning, rigorous hiring processes, a “people first” growth mindset, and a great deal of hard work.
The chart above illustrates our H1 results for the previous 5 years. Using 2015 as our baseline, the year on year compound H1 growth rates are:
2016: 43% increase
2017: 47% increase
2018: 39% increase
2019: 42% increase
Thus, from 2015 to 2019, I’m pleased to say our H1 results have produced an average compound growth rate of 43%. So, when forecasting our growth expectations for 2020, we didn’t deviate far from the norm (dotted purple line on the chart). Since our forecast in December, it’s been a whirlwind, the game has certainly changed.
The solid purple line on the chart plots our actual H1 2020 results. This year for the first time ever, we have tracked behind the previous years’ H1 results. In fact, by the end of June 2020, we tracked behind our 2019 results by 12% and tracked behind our original H1 forecast by approximately 55%. Whilst the latter number is worryingly large on first view, it is completely understandable when considering the severity and pace at which Coronavirus’ effects were felt across Germany, the UK and the US.
When reflecting on the above I have many thoughts and feelings. My first thought is always with our people and the wider physical and mental impact of this period. We continually search for ways to support and lead our people to excellence inside and outside of work. Guiding the leaders and team members through this has easily been the biggest challenge I’ve ever had to face.
How successful we have been is difficult to know at this point. We believe we’ve made good decisions with the information available, but only time will truly tell.
I’m hoping that my transparency here can give other leaders comfort and confidence when considering their company and team performances. I am sad that we will very likely lose our impeccable record for year on year growth, but I am proud of the efforts of our people, their work rate, focus and resilience enduring this relentless downpour.
I believe we need to pull together in times of hardship, not forget the bigger picture, whilst working daily on the more granular tasks and targets.
According to our recent datasets, the choppy waters are beginning to calm and we are hopeful for a few sunnier days in H2. We are consistently reviewing the course we chart and are diligent in our decisions and movements, hopefully plain sailing is not too far away again.
Fast Forward. Bonus track coming….
I’m sure most of us would like to fast forward this entire year, but unfortunately time is one thing we cannot control. I would be interested to hear your views and opinions on the above. If comfortable, feel free to share your results or simply your feelings. I wish everyone luck over the coming months, it’ll be Christmas before we know it!
*NFI is a term often used in the recruitment sector and can be used as a metric to measure success/ growth. Of course, there are many other important metrics.
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