• Ben on SFG from URI talk

    I learned what excellence looked like and felt like. I learned – I met great people that I could eventually recruit to work with. I learned how deals got done – absolutely critical part of my development. That led to the bottom picture there which is the best picture I could get of my dog Sherman but that led to the start of Sherman Financial. That’s what I’m going to kind of focus on going forward, what that experience was like.

    Let me tell you about what it looks like today. Then this will be the “wow, how does all this happen and how did you get here?” We’re going to go through that but let me tell you first what we look like today. So I’m not going to spend a lot of time but we have a number of different businesses. We are one of the largest private financial services companies in the country.

    On the far left, we have a bank called Credit One Bank. We have 7 million credit card customers at the bank. We’re the ninth largest issuer of MasterCard and Visa cards. Second is Resurgent Capital Services where we’re one of the nation’s largest buyers of distressed consumer debt. We’re purchased about $200 billion of distressed consumer debt from all kinds of different consumer finance companies. We have a consumer finance business in Mexico where we’re partnered with a Mexican family down there. It’s a pretty neat business. Lastly, we have a bond-rating agency. You guys are probably familiar with like S&P and Moody’s. Ring a bell? It’s a smaller version of an S&P and Moody’s. I’ll talk about that a little bit later.

    On the upper right hand corner is something that’s become very near and dear to me is my/our philanthropic effort in education. We serve under-resourced kids through four different schools today and have about 900 kids that we are responsible for educating, under-resourced kids in South Carolina. So I think it’s easy to look at this and sitting where you’re sitting and going, “Holy crap, I could never do that.” But here’s the thing: This whole thing started in a one-bedroom apartment with a newborn baby and a phone/fax machine and I’m not some genius. So if I can do something like this, there’s no reason that you can’t as well.

    Yes, it is another personal growth tip. It’s hopefully consistent with the message I was just sending. Again, you can sort of write this off as cheesy or whatever but come up with the biggest dream you can think of. Start down that path and see where it takes you. Again, I had no idea where I was going. I knew I wanted to start my own business. I knew I wanted to work with people I liked. I knew I wanted to be challenged. I wanted to enjoy it – those sorts of things. I had a certain skillset that hopefully I could take advantage of but that’s about it.

    And that dream, that thought process, led to the org chart you just saw in the last slide. I would say to each of you, more than anything else, get a picture in your head of where it is you’d like to end up, what it looks like, what that feels like for you. Having that picture in your head is a super powerful thing. I can’t stress it enough. Find that passion.


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