Holding on to your people is key to surviving downturn, says Howells

2 June 2021


Doing everything possible to hold on to members of staff during the 2007-08 global financial crisis made all the difference once the worst of the financial storm was over, according to Kerry Howells, MD at Tower Leasing.

At the time of the crisis, “we were purely a broker business and did not have our own book, as we do today. There was a lack of liquidity, a lack of funders wanting to lend, and so our business nosedived,” she recalled about those years.

“The pressure to keep the business going and to keep the livelihood of the people you have in the business going was immense, but we came through it.”

Howell said great effort and training had gone into building the team before the crisis, and that management felt that every effort had to be made to retain staff.

“It was all about diversifying the core of the team into other areas of the business, rather than just letting them go. And, when the time was right, they could return to their core role, so we didn’t lose them, we didn’t lose that experience. It wasn’t as if we were starting again when things improved. We could push on,” she said.

Howells, who joined Tower Leasing after completing her tertiary education 25 years ago, made the comments during a 30-minute interview with Lindsay Town, CEO at IAA-Advisory, as part of a series of ‘fireside chats’ with UK leasing executives.