When it comes to entrusting your own clients to a third party for accounting and audit, Northern Star Nominees has found DFK Kidsons in Melbourne an obvious choice.
For Northern Star principal Adrien Wing, it’s not just about a strong relationship built on handshakes, but knowing his own reputation is in safe hands with DFK Kidsons.
Northern Star Nominees is a boutique consulting business primarily focused on corporate finance and company secretarial services for small cap public companies on the stock exchange.
With many being junior mining companies, they can’t afford a full time CFO, company secretary or administration, so Adrien provides those services on a part-time basis.
Often his role is doing financing or reverse takeovers for these small cap companies by reengineering, putting up the financial investments or putting other projects or companies underneath these companies during takeover situations.
Building strong relationships
When raising finance or injecting projects into these companies, often there are demands for a board change and a desire for people they know and trust – which is where Adrien often fits.
‘’When you’re taking on a role of company secretary, you’re also effectively front and centre in their corporate finance activities taking on the CFO role,’’ Adrien said.
This is where it becomes integral for Adrien to work with someone he can trust, because the connections he brings in are a reflection on him.
The relationship between Adrien and DFK Kidsons’ partner Michael Port stems back to 2000 when Michael, then at a different firm, was auditing one of the mining companies Adrien was company secretary and CFO for.
When Michael moved to become partner at DFK Kidsons, he opened himself up to provide services Adrien felt he most needed to support these public companies with accounting services.
‘’The experience, knowledge and breadth of exposure he’s had as an audit partner in his previous practice and then to come and offer accounting services that are very reasonably priced through DFK Kidsons, I couldn’t say no to that,’’ Adrien said.
‘’To go from audit partner to providing accounting services to the public companies, some of which he even audited, was brilliant because he had that experience not just when it came to doing BAS returns and basic accounting functions, but standing there representing the client when it came to audit season was exactly what we needed.
‘’Of all the service providers I work with, no one stands close to the service that Michael provides. He just knows so much about all the companies.’’
Challenges for fast-moving companies
Adrien appreciates Michael’s ability for diversification, flexibility and speed. He works in an environment where these ASX-listed companies are constantly regulated, must deal with corporate governance and have board needs.
‘’These little companies tend to be all or nothing – feast or famine – when it comes to capital raisings, projects, share prices, shareholder needs etc,’’ Adrien said.
One of Michael’s strengths is his ability to be flexible and work in pace with what the boards need.
“Michael is able to click into gear when you have something extraordinary that comes out of left field and is able to deliver it when you need it.
‘’People often discount it, but it’s seriously important to these little companies because you have the ability to raise capital, for instance, but before you can do that you need an expert’s report and off that you need a special set of accounts or something that the accountants need to provide to the ASX and Michael’s always got his foot on the pedal to get those things done.’’
Outcomes that go above and beyond
Michael knows the accounting services well and, due to his background in auditing, knows what the auditors are looking for “even before they’re looking for it”.
For clients like Adrien, it means they’ve never had issues with auditing, accounting, corporate governance, audit committees or risk committees.
Adrien is in touch with DFK Kidsons two to three times a week and meets with Michael every couple of weeks to go through issues and plans for the next quarter.
While the DFK Kidsons team ensure things get done, it’s the quality controls they provide that ensures a superior service.
Michael is also committed to his boards, always attending shareholder meetings and reading up on their developments.
‘’He’s the only third-party consultant that will do that. He’ll always know what’s going on in the companies – when an announcement flicks up on the ASX, he’ll know about it. The next time you see him, he’ll bring up that announcement and raise the key findings from it. It’s quite exceptional.”
DFK Kidsons is based in Melbourne and Cairns.