What is the next hot market? What industry is growing today? Ask Kes Narbutas and Nils Welin, and the safe money is on recovery, recovery― as in the asset recovery and debt collection industry.
by Michael Strom
This dynamic duo entered the security industry back in 1995, when Kes Narbutas, a property developer at the time, saw the need for customized security solutions in an already growing industry. Through some very skillful managing during the 90s and 00s, the team eventually nurtured Cypress Private Security into a regional security company powerhouse.
“We saw the need for a new type of security―with customized, customer service oriented, politically aware and security–conscious staff,” Narbutas explains about their brainchild.
SACC SF/SV’s Chairman Nils Welin started working for Cypress Private Security in 2001 and became the CEO in 2004, just four years after moving to San Francisco in 2000 and nine years after moving to the U.S. Since he got on board, the company has gone through several major expansions, the average growth rate has steadily hovered around 40 percent, and today Cypress Private Security has grown to be the largest regional security firm in California.
It was a stroke of good fortune then, it seems, to hire the towering Swede, and Welin himself attributes his hiring to all the business contacts he made from being a board member at SACC. “Everyone that I met through the organization was very helpful, getting me on the right track in terms of meeting people, and it is actually through those connections that I got my first job in the U.S.,” Welin ensures.
Moving things to the next step Having become an important player in the business, the team turned to the debt collection industry to utilize their financial, operational and service skills to build a leading company in the collection industry.
“As serial entrepreneurs, as Mr. Narbutas and I are, we are now starting a new company, not directly related to the security industry,” says Nils Welin. Hence, in August of last year, Cypress Asset Recovery or CARS, for short, was created.
Cypress Asset Recovery Services started providing collection services to a limited amount of clients in mid-2009 and is now forging ahead in that industry.
Welin explains that he and Narbutas are in the process of building a sphere of different companies, Cypress Security being one of them, that they will continue building.
Cypress Asset Recovery The idea to start CARS came from a piece of the business in Cypress Private Security: the loss prevention business. When a shoplifter gets caught, the store owner has the legal right to collect a fine of up to 500 dollars to compensate the store, part of the so called civil restitution program. This debt collection process was previously outsourced to a third party but has now been turned into a separate business within Cypress: Cypress Asset Recovery.
Narbutas explains. “The debt collection industry is of a growing interest and has got a growing market, not just within retail.” CARS is therefore also focusing on debt collecting from residential and private communities and within the medical field.
Nils Welin says that the work with CARS has been taking off very well; the company has several new clients and continues to expand.
The debt collecting process “The edge for CARS is that we are utilizing a lot of new technology to really go after the debt in the market in order to make sure that we collect and close on a higher ratio,” says Welin. To minimize barriers for debt payers this is facilitated by payment programs and web based payment options.
The credit making group, or client, is also able to log on to a web portal in order to follow their debt collecting process. If CARS is not successful in collecting, the client will pay nothing. “We are comfortable in doing so because we know our success rate is very good,” says Narbutas.
Nils Welin, Chairman of SACC SF/SV and CEO of Cypress Security The CEO of Cypress Security now proudly looks back at his achievements with the company, while eagerly meeting whatever business challenges the future may hold for him and his company.
On why he and his company stay put in San Francisco, he says the Bay Area is a great place to do business and live in. He likes San Francisco because of its dynamic and international atmosphere, although he thinks the weather could be a bit warmer. “I also enjoy the high quality of life that comes with the restaurants, entertainment and activities available.”
That is as good a reason as any, Mr. Welin, and knowing that Cypress Security will help to ensure our safety while enjoying that high quality of life makes it that much better.
Nils Welin, Chairman of SACC SF/SV and CEO of Cypress Security