The recognised standard
in credit management
Established in 1939, the Institute of Credit Management is Europe's largest association for the credit management profession

Guest blog by Charles Mayhew FICM, Moreton Smith ‘Brass Bands & Bacon Rolls’

1 August 2013

I was delighted to be asked to be a guest blogger by Philip some months ago, and was wondering what I could write.

How the late payment act is working? Perhaps some interesting stories about collecting debts in the Middle East and so on? So while I was reflecting on a topic, I started remembering all the fascinating people I have met in our Industry, and of course being involved in International collections, many different nationalities.

I was recently made a Fellow of the ICM and a very proud one also. So therefore, having been the recipient of what should be perceived as an Oscar, I am hoping to thank a few people and share some stories of my 20 years in Credit – so far! It’s not over by any means.

It all started in 1994 just after I returned from living and working in Abu Dhabi with my wife and two (then) young children. I was interviewed by a distinguished American Gentleman, Stanley Tulchin of STA Associates who introduced me to the collections industry. His favourite saying was “Volume without yield is an unnecessary expense”. Wise advice from a wise man. Stanley was a great supporter of the American Collectors Association and also the NACM in the USA and insisted that we became heavily involved with the equivalent UK organisation which of course we did. I was lucky enough to travel to Chicago for the NACM conference, the same as the Annual ICM at Gaydon but much larger.

I compared notes on the ICM with Ted Brown, who was spotted in window of the Hotel opposite me in a John Cleese type moment. We couldn’t believe the massive brass band marching through the exhibition halls, the amount of people in attendance, and the lavish stands that many companies had invested in. I also attended the New Orleans NACM conference a few years later, and that was an experience. Then coming back to the UK I remember well the Liverpool and Merseyside conference and Lynne Mills enticing us all to arrive promptly with the lure of Bacon Rolls, which were delicious. It was 1998 before I became an MICM and I actually remember saying to my older brother, himself a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy, that I eventually had letters after my name.

My Mum was also impressed! I joined Richard Moreton and Mark Smith in 2003 and was grateful for my time at STA but the bright lights of London beckoned, and the opportunity to become a shareholder in a growing business. Again my previous colleagues at STA were household names, who I gained invaluable experience from. Colin Thomas and Kevin Terrel, all with great sayings such as “companies owe money but people pay bills” (I don’t think that’s copyrighted though).

Philip King, Brenda Linger, Stuart Hopewell, Larry Coltman were all encouraging me along with Richard Seadon especially to apply for my fellowship.

I am delighted that I did, it has made me even more passionate about the industry we work in, and what it has always allowed me to do is to reflect on how many good people have had an influence on my career so far. Over the years and travelling around to see many credit managers as I do, people are always quick to give an opinion on the ICM. Another saying is you only get out what you put in.

I will continue to support our professional body, and perhaps even more importantly the people who are in our industry. Socialising with them is also a healthy part of it, we call it networking. Have a great summer.

Charles Mayhew FICM

To see other recent blog entries please visit ‘Chief Executive’s Blog’.