Perch Group’s CEO Craig Hinchliffe has been named as Finalist in the ‘Business Leader of the Year – Debt Purchaser’ category of the Credit Strategy Leadership Awards 2023, which recognises outstanding and inclusive leaders from across the credit and financial services sector.
In May 2022, just under four years after forming Perch Group, Craig led a management buy-out (MBO) of the firm, giving the management team a material stake in the business. This transaction has unified them and created common purpose, resulting in significant and accelerated growth across people, product development, client portfolios, customer satisfaction and investment in technology to bolster digital-led services. The Group now manages just under 1m customers with estimated remaining collection (ERC) up c81% in a year (from c£55m to £100m) and annualised collections up from c£18m to approaching £35m.
Craig’s drive for a ‘common sense’ attitude to customer handling has led to the writing off of over £130m of consumer debt in the last year and ensures practical and compassionate resolution of accounts, with a Specialist Support Team for vulnerable customers and self-service options. His award-winning* team of credit, collections, asset management, and litigation specialists, have recently gained an Investors in Customers (IIC) Silver Award for Customer Experience and ISO9001 and ISO27001 certification.
Clients choose Perch because of the problem-solving, partnership approach Craig has instilled, which adds value above and beyond the traditional debt purchase and collections model. Despite having worked in the debt purchase sector for more than a decade, he continuously challenges his team to do things differently, working smarter to become more agile and responsive to both clients and customers. In particular, he prides himself on Perch’s willingness to take on and ability to effectively and efficiently manage highly complex portfolios, especially dealing with Consumer Credit Act (CCA) compliance issues.
Craig has transformed the financial capability of Blackpool-based Perch Group (which incorporates Perch Capital Ltd, FCA-regulated ACI-UK Ltd, SRA-regulated TM Legal Services Ltd and FieldConnect Ltd), raising over £63m to fuel its growth. In 2019, he put in place the first senior debt facility for £25m, then raised a further £25m of growth capital for the MBO in 2022 and is on the cusp of raising a further £50m from a major high street bank.
Craig is also a Non-Executive Director of the Credit Services Association, the UK trade body for the collections and debt purchase sector.
The Leadership Awards ceremony, where winners will be announced, is being held on 16 March 2023 at the Hilton London Bankside as part of the Credit Week Gala Dinner.
*Winners of Credit Services Association Awards ‘Best Team’ 2021/Finalist for Collections & Customer Service Awards ‘Best Vulnerable Customer Support Team’ 2022.