Diminishing profits, tightened lending and the sometimes burdensome demands for governance and transparency continue to be key challenges affecting the financial health of the diamond and jewelry industry in the U.S.
Earlier this month, senior officers from De Beers' global sightholder sales reached out to Friedman LLP to discuss these critical issues. They wanted to learn what we are seeing and hearing as trusted advisors who work closely with both sightholders and non-sightholders in the industry. Harriet Greenberg and I, as co-leaders of Friedman LLP's Diamond and Jewelry Practice, sat down with Paul Rowley, Bernard Bradley, Chris Donegan, Simon O'Brien and Joseph Ro of De Beers to highlight what we believe to be the key issues as well as provide recommendations to help restore the financial community's confidence in the industry.
For many years the diamond and jewelry industry has been treated by the financial community as the “favorite child.” Many borrowing requirements that applied to other industries were not required from the diamond and jewelry industry. As critical as restoring profitability, the industry has to understand and embrace the demands put upon them by their lenders, suppliers and customers. Lenders are looking to diamond and jewelry companies to be more compliant with governance and transparency. Until that happens, the industry will continue to suffer from lack of financing. Embracing these demands will occur sooner if the financial community and De Beers remain steadfast in their requirements, including the requirement to provide audited financial statements.
We, at Friedman LLP, are dedicated to assisting businesses in complying with governance and transparency. As advisors to the industry and accredited auditors of the Responsible Jewellery Council, we are committed to continuing this dialogue and helping to restore financial health to the diamond and jewelry industry.