The impact of COVID-19 has created unique challenges for startups, small and medium-sized companies, and family businesses. Conor Moore, National Channel Leader for KPMG Private Enterprise, discusses the impacts across the entrepreneurial ecosystem, including halted IPO processes, finding alternative financing vehicles, dealing with cash flow pressures, accessing government relief measures, and planning for sudden wealth transitions.
COVID-19 is delivered to us all a tremendously difficult challenge and, I would say for many people, this will be the biggest challenge they've had to overcome both professionally and personally in their entire lifetime. In my role as KPMG's leader of our Private Enterprise practice, I've had hundreds of interactions in recent weeks with many of the key stakeholders within our ecosystem, both our clients and our employees. What has been clear to me throughout those interactions is that we are dealing with a crisis that may have the highest level of uncertainty than we've ever seen before. The uncertainty around vaccines and cures, etc all lead one to a place where it is difficult todetermine how and when you will get past this. However, what I do remain highly confident of is that we will indeed get past it at some point in time.
Just to give you a flavor of the wide variety of issues that I've seen through these various interactions in recent weeks, it runs the whole gamut from startup companies that were planning an IPO process. Some of whom were pretty far down the path of an IPO, and those particular processes and plans have been halted -- those companies are left in a situation where they're determining are there alternative financing vehicles that they need to explore or potentially do they need to figure out ways that their current cash balances will last for a longer period of time than was initially forecast? We have some small to medium-size companies as clients whose main priority is determining which one of the relief measures is most appropriate and most applicable to them, and how do they go about availing themselves on that particular measure?
I've also talked to folks involved with our family business and family office clients, and they're wrestling with the impact that this is all having on generational shifts in wealth (and the timing of those shifts) and how those shifts might actually occur. I've also spent time talking to several venture capitalists about what their plans are for their particular portfolio companies and how do they plan to support those companies over the next 12 to 18 months?
KPMG Private Enterprises is helping with all these issues that I just listed out, and that brings me to to probably my primary observation that I've had in recent weeks -- which is just the reaction of our employees here within KPMG -- that the reaction has been nothing short of phenomenal and I am incredibly proud to be working with these individuals every day to help serve our clients, our communities, and most importantly, our people.