For Jessica Frigeri, insolvency wasn’t her first career choice – or her second – but it’s turned out to be the perfect fit for the Perth-based Supervisor at WA Insolvency Solutions (WAIS), Jirsch Sutherland’s WA division.
“I love investigating – and insolvency is essentially an investigative role. Every new matter we take on has an element of investigations, to find out the history of the company, what the directors did and what the creditors are wanting,” she explains.
Jessica’s first career choice was to be a detective in forensics. After completing Year 12 in Busselton, she enrolled in Forensic and Biomedical Science at Murdoch University, motivated by her love of investigating and problem-solving. However, in her first year, she conducted her own ‘investigation’ into a career in forensics and decided to change course.
“I realised there were very few jobs in forensics. You join the police force then do a PhD in Forensics, and as there are a couple of hundred people in the course, there wouldn’t be many job prospects. So, I moved to Curtin University and started a Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in Accounting with the view to do forensic accounting – the closest career I could have to police forensics!” she says.
The move to insolvency
After she graduated, Jessica’s career plan changed again, from forensic accounting to insolvency. “Peter Brown [WAIS’ Senior Manager], whom I’d met when we both did ARITA’s Advanced Certificate in Insolvency, mentioned an opportunity at WAIS. The role’s potential to expand my practical knowledge and expose me to a variety of matters, including bankruptcy, receiverships, voluntary administrations, got me over to WAIS,” she says.
Now in her third year with WAIS, Jessica says her law electives in her Commerce degree and Advanced Certificate in Insolvency have prepared her well for the work required. “Much of what we do is governed by the Corporations Act. Business legislation is always changing, and my law studies gave me an understanding of how the legal system works, which comes in handy when assessing a company’s situation and when clients go to court,” she says.
Jimmy Trpcevski, WAIS’ Managing Partner, says Jessica is “a valued member of the team”. “She has a great rapport and communicates well with all stakeholders in external administrations and personal insolvency matters, which is so important during what are usually stressful times. Not only that, but Jessica is also always ready to assist with and contribute to the training of staff and sharing her knowledge. Collaboration is one of her key skills,” he says.
Helping pandemic-affected businesses
With WA’s recent reopening, Jessica and her team are ready to help businesses and individuals impacted by the pandemic. “At the moment, the main sectors needing assistance are business services, like truck haulage, hospitality and construction – particularly subcontractors,” she explains.
Having lived in several cities and towns throughout Western Australia, including Margaret River, Bunbury, Busselton, Narrogin and Binningup, she has a solid understanding of the strengths and challenges of each region and assists the WAIS Partners on regional cases.
Now a Mandurah local, her love of a challenge is channelled into competitive darts (she plays B Grade), and trying to keep up with her young son, Austin, who’s learning to walk.