Harvey Gross has a long history in the factoring industry, and he wears a lot of hats to this day. He’s President of HSG Services, his consulting firm. He’s Executive Director of three chapters of the International Factoring Association (the Northeast, Southeast and Southern California chapters). And he’s also Executive Director of the New York Institute of Credit.
Given his busy schedule, we were grateful that Harvey sat down with us to kick off the inaugural article in our new “6 Questions” series.
1. How long have you been in factoring, and how did you get into it?
I’ve been in factoring for over 50 years. I got into it because my older brother was in factoring. I was 12 years old and he would take me around with him, and I met a lot of his friends in the industry. I would listen to them talk about credit decisions and how they ran their businesses, and I was just very interested in it.
I started working for a factoring company right out of high school. At the same time, I attended the New York Institute of Credit at night to get my college degree. A became a credit person by 22 and a credit manager by 30. I worked for factoring companies for 36 years, and when I was supposed to retire, I started my consulting business instead, which I’ve had for 20 years. I’m as active today as I’ve ever been.
2. What do you wish was different about factoring?
I wish more people knew about factoring and accepted it. I always felt like I had to reinvent the wheel every time I had to produce, sell, and service factoring products. If you work for a bank, you don’t have to go into great detail to explain what you do. But with factoring, it’s a whole, big story. They don’t teach factoring in school. It can get frustrating to have to repeatedly educate people about it.
3. Professionally, what are you most proud of?
I started as a student at the New York Institute of Credit, then I became a teacher, then a board member, then the Executive Director. The NYIC started out as only serving the Northeast, but while I ran it, we expanded to become an international service provider. It used to be a school and now it’s a not for profit association. When the NYIC celebrated its 100 year anniversary a few years ago, I was honored to receive their Centennial Award.
4. What’s your favorite place in the world to visit?
Atlantic City or Las Vegas. I like to gamble, but I don’t go overboard. It’s more recreational than to make a profit.
5. Tell us about your family.
My wife and I have been married for 51 years. Luckily, we were able to celebrate our 50th anniversary in England before COVID hit. We have two sons; one’s in the financial industry and the other one works with me. We recently took in a couple of rescue kittens, so they’re keeping us busy!
6. What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?
Always speak the truth and do the right thing. If you do that, people will respect you. If we all did that, we’d be in a much better world.
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