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Course details

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Early Warning Signals, Problem Loans & Restructuring (BIBF)

Discover the key identifiers of distressed debt
  • This course is run in partnership with the Bahrain Institute of Finance

    To book your place, please contact

    Course overview

    Many lending institutions across the world are still burdened with a high level of actual or potential nonperforming loans or other credit exposures. In these situations, lenders need to maximize their recovery rates and optimize their long term returns, subject to prevailing insolvency laws, the lender’s own capital situation and sometimes to the wider interests of other stakeholders in the firm.

    Specialist knowledge is required to analyse the cause of the borrower’s problems and to design and implement an optimal restructuring solution. This can involve both operational and capital restructurings, including debt for debt swaps, full or partial debt for equity swaps, discounted debt buybacks, equity cures, shareholder loans etc. In some cases, the best outcome may be full or partial asset liquidation. Cashflow forecasting is key to creating an optimal debt restructuring solution and the course covers distressed debt restructuring solutions in Excel. Case studies focus on a range of sectors including property, retail, infrastructure, house building, media and industrial.


    • How to find early warning signs of distress in company accounts
    • The main operational and financial restructuring options and how to assess which should be the most appropriate
    • How to model different rescue and liquidation scenarios for distressed firms in Excel


    The teaching methodology used on this course combines formal theoretical instruction with frequent reference to market data, use of exercises and case studies. Case studies are based on real situations and are designed to help delegates implement new valuation techniques and to learn from empirical experience. Delegates are expected to know how to use Excel at a basic level and should bring a personal computer with them. The course is intended to be practical and interactive, with delegates encouraged to ask questions. The techniques taught to delegates are intended to be of immediate practical use in the workplace.

  • This course is run in partnership with the Bahrain Institute of Finance

    To book your place, please contact

    Day 1


    • Definitions of NPLs and distressed debt
    • Recent trends in default and distress rates

    Causes of distress and common early warning signs

    • Is it a liquidity problem, a leverage problem or a viability problem?
    • Causes of distress
    • Sovereign, macro-economic, cyclicality
    • Industry/market specific challenges and deterioration
    • Firm specific – management, operations, financial
    • Identifying early warning signs  and the underlying symptoms of distress
    • Analytical frameworks – CAMPARI, ICE, PESTEL, SWOT, Porter’s 5 forces
    • Analysing management - Argenti’s ‘A’ Score

    Financial analysis of distressed credits

    • Fundamentals of credit analysis - getting everyone up to speed
    • Income statement, cash flow, balance sheet and notes - analysis and ratios
    • Altman’s ‘Z’ score

    Initial reactions to distressed situations

    • Acting on early warning signs if there is no covenant breach
    • Stock exchange disclosures for listed entities in distress
    • Advantages and disadvantages of calling an event of default
    • Does the company need additional funding?
    • Should the lender(s) give more time and/or lend more money?
    • Rescue vs liquidation, now or later
    • ECB Guidance, March 2017
    • Using CDS to hedge credit exposure


    Day 2

    Standstill agreements 

    • The standstill agreement – typical clauses
    • Who to include in a standstill
    • Company finance availability in standstill
    • Considerations for entering a standstill
    • Steering committees; formal versus informal: rewards, risks and indemnities
    • Use and role of professional advisers

    Exploring the work-out options

    Option 1: Operational restructuring

    • Restructuring objectives
    • Rescuing a business; halting decline and creating stability
    • Management – does the firm need new or additional directors?
    • Strategic analysis and new strategy
    • Reviewing the business and external reports
    • Maximising cashflow generation

    Option 2: New equity

    • Background considerations to capital restructurings
    • Equity injection
    • Shareholder loan
    • Equity cure 

    Option 3: Revised debt terms

    • Amendment of financing terms - extended maturities, deferred amortisation, PIK, PIK toggle, cash sweeps
    • Evaluating the potential returns for revised financing terms - additional security, equity kicker/warrants, convertible loans, ratcheting exit fee, compounded PIK returns

    Option 4: Debt restructuring/write-offs

    • Haircuts - debt for debt swap, discounted debt buyback, debt write-off with full or partial debt for equity swap, lenders sell debt at a discount
    • Assessing debt for equity swaps, executing the transaction and exit strategies
    • Allocating equity to lenders and new investors in a debt for equity swap
    • Types of equity instrument, structuring and valuing
    • Tax, legal and regulatory concerns for debt/equity swaps
    • Other options - engage suppliers in rthe restructuring, cashflow ring-fencing
    • Restructuring and M&A activity
    • Why restructurings do not always work

    Day 3

    Projections and modelling

    • Introduction to comprehensive forecasting model
    • Business plans and projections - forecasting assumptions for the IS, CF and BS
    • What are the key earnings and cashflow drivers for the distressed entity?
    • Tools and key indicators to help with forecasting for distressed firms
    • Sensitoivity analysis – what is required for the firm to turn-around? What could trigger further performance short-falls?
    • Covenants - setting revised, cashflow-based covenants and forecasting headroom
    • Structuring cashflow sweeps/waterfalls
    • Use of liquidation models to assess each stakeholder’s economic interest

    Valuation of the firm and its assets

    • Valuing a business as a going concern - DCF, multiples and forward valuations
    • Valuing a business on a break-up basis - true asset values
    • Where does the value break?
    • Implications for enforcement action and recovery rates of unsecured and subordinated tranches

    Other considerations affecting the work-out

    • Different types of rescues under English Law
    • Pre-packs
    • Dealing with holdouts, cram-downs
    • Hardening periods
    • COMI
    • Issuer group structure
    • Will/can the parent support the OpCo?
    • The impact of guarantees, indemnities and other credit enhancements
    • Special purpose vehicles and bankruptcy remote entities

    Managing distressed and non-performing debt

    • Managing NPLs
    • Administration and internal systems for NPLs
    • Transaction management and cost containment
    • Agreeing forecasts with the borrower
    • Reporting requirements for the borrower
    • Board seats and management influence
    • Setting covenants and covenant testing

  • Our Tailored Learning Offering

    Do you have five or more people interested in attending this course? Do you want to tailor it to meet your company’s exact requirements? If you’d like to do either of these, we can bring this course to your company’s office. You could even save up to 50% on the cost of sending delegates to a public course and dramatically increase your ROI.

    If you want to run this course at a location convenient to you or if you want a completely customised learning solution, we can help.

    We produce learning solutions that are completely unique to your business. We’ll guide you through the whole process, from the initial consultancy to evaluating the success of the full learning experience. Our learning specialists ensure you get the maximum return on your training investment.

  • We have a combined experience of over 60 years providing learning solutions to the world’s major organisations and are privileged to have contributed to their success. We view our clients as partners and focus on understanding the needs of each organisation we work with to tailor learning solutions to specific requirements.

    We are proud of our record of customer satisfaction. Here is why you should choose us to help you achieve your goals and accelerate your career:

    • Quality – our clients consistently rate our performance ‘excellent’ or ‘outstanding’. Our average overall score awarded to us by our clients is nine out of ten.
    • Track record – we have delivered training solutions for 95% of worlds’ top 100 banks and have trained over 250,000 professionals.
    • Knowledge – our 150 strong team of industry specialist trainers are world leading financial leaders and commentators, ensuring our knowledge base is second to none.
    • Reliability – if we promise it, we deliver it. We have delivered over 20,000 events both in person and online, using simultaneous translation to delegates from over 180 countries.
    • Recognition – we are accredited by the British Accreditation Council and the CPD Certification Service. In an independent review by Feefo we scored 96% on service and 95% on product
This course can be run as an In-house or Tailored Learning programme


  • Sarah Martin

    Banks and other financial institutions can lose billions of dollars annually due to their failure to analyse and anticipate risks correctly. That's where my training course comes in.


    Former Executive Director of CSFB and Lehman Brothers, the Course Director has spent seventeen years working as an investment banker in Europe and the US. She has principally worked in the credit markets and has experience of the US and European high grade and high yield markets, the European new issue markets, the Asian convertible bond markets and of corporate restructurings of distressed credits. She specialised in the telecoms sector and was closely involved in the structuring, raising and/or trading of bank and public debt for telecoms companies in many countries, including Europe, South Africa, Asia and Latin America. She also has extensive experience of corporate finance transactions, including mergers, disposals, privatisations, IPOs and capital raisings. Until 2003, she was an Executive Director at Lehman Brothers in Fixed Income Research in London, having also worked for CS First Boston and Kleinwort Benson. She now works on an independent basis advising the legal and private equity professions on credit analysis and company valuation. She has a degree in economics from the London School of Economics and stock exchange qualifications from London and New York.