Collector - February 2016 - 48


LASTWORD

The World of Collections
Amir Erez started Cedar Financial in 1991 with the goal to build an agency focused on international collections.
By Katy Zillmer

A

Amir Erez

COMPANY NAME:
CEDAR FINANCIAL
INCEPTION: 1991
HEADQUARTERS:
CALABASAS, CALIF.
LEADERSHIP:
PRESIDENT AMIR EREZ
PARTNERS:
CEDAR FINANCIAL IS A
SHAREHOLDER IN TCM GROUP
WITH APPROXIMATELY 140
PARTNERS AROUND THE WORLD.

48

mir Erez was in law school in
California when he realized that
becoming a lawyer wasn't the
career path for him.
He worked at a small collection agency
after earning his undergraduate degree
in finance and international business at
California State University, Northridge.
That experience opened his eyes to how
much help small businesses needed to
recoup unpaid debts. He set his sights on
founding a collection agency with a focus on
international collections because of his roots
in Israel and experiences traveling the world.
Erez was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, and lived
there until his early teens, when his family
moved to Montreal. He came to the U.S.
for college, and after leaving law school he
started Cedar Financial in 1991.
As a member of ACA International, Erez
met other professionals in the industry who
specialized in international collections.
He also traveled to Brazil for an industry
conference, and said that experience helped
him better understand collections from a
global perspective.
Cedar Financial, headquartered in
Calabasas, Calif., evolved into a collection
agency with a focus on international collections
in 2006 when it partnered with TCM Group.
While Cedar Financial works accounts for
domestic government and healthcare clients, its
partnership with TCM Group also allows it to
collect on international debts, thanks to TCM
Group's global network of collection agencies.
"The way that we present this differently
to the marketplace is the accounts really are
worked from the local perspective, not the
U.S.," Erez said.
There are differences in technology and
collection laws in all the countries Cedar

Financial has accounts in, making the
partnership with TCM Group incredibly
valuable. Erez said there are fewer
constraints on collections in countries
with developing economies, but there is
still a legal system in place and compliance
is important around the world. Erez said
that the U.S. has stricter laws than many
other countries.
And while technology may not be as
advanced in some areas as it is in developed
nations, it is still a consistent presence in
collections. "Technology has a lot to do with
our industry, [and] technology doesn't have
borders," Erez said.
He added that the best way to assess
and understand collection practices
in each country is to have the correct
partners. Additionally, collectors at Cedar
Financial in the U.S. who do not work on
international accounts are still trained on
some aspects of international collections on
an ongoing basis. This includes information
on currency exchanges, different laws
and cultures of countries where Cedar
Financial's partners are located.
"Our business is modeled on both
importing and exporting cross-border debt
recovery claims," Erez said.
Today, Cedar Financial is focused
on expanding into different collection
verticals and opportunities. As the agency
continues to partner with companies
around the world, it remains focused on its
employees too.
"We really want to invest in the people we
have here because it's a long-term thing for
us," Erez said.
Katy Zillmer is ACA International's
communications specialist.

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Collector - February 2016

Collector - February 2016 - Cover1
Collector - February 2016 - Cover2
Collector - February 2016 - 1
Collector - February 2016 - 2
Collector - February 2016 - 3
Collector - February 2016 - 4
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