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2012 Credit Management Excellence Award - Finalist & Winner

Congratulations to the 2012 Credit Management Excellence Award (CMEA) winner, Mr. Jeremy Hampshire. The award was presented by Mr. Spencer Lam, the winner of last year's CMEA.

The purpose of the CMEA is to recognize the achievements of an individual in the credit management industry. The winner is chosen based on five criteria and subject to the approval from the Executive Committee of the HKCCMA. The criteria are:

1. Minimum 10 years or above credit management working experience
2. Solid credit and collection knowledge or distinction in the credit management industry
3. Significant contribution to credit management process in the credit management industry, e.g. credit scoring model
4. Enthusiasm in promoting the education of young credit and collection practitioners.
5. Pre-eminence in the practice of credit management

Mr. Jeremy Hampshire is currently the Managing Director of Trade Line, part of Cosmos Services Co., Limited, a specialist trade credit and political risk insurance broker.

Mr. Hampshire has worked in this specialised insurance field for over 20 years and is considered one of the main experts within Asia. Prior to setting up Trade Line, Jeremy was the in-house insurance risk director for Noble Group, a multinational commodity-trading house headquartered in Hong Kong, listed in Singapore. He worked for the British Diplomatic Service in London and Yemen, Middle East, prior to his involvement in the insurance industry. He has an International Business degree from the UK and wrote his final year dissertation in 1982 on “Political Risks and their impact on Corporates”.

He has also contributed to a number of articles and conferences over the years and has been Chairman at conferences on insurance and trade finance issues for Asia.

Below is the text of the speech as given by Mr. Jeremy Hampshire, on accepting this prestigious award.

"Good evening ladies and gentlemen and members of the HKCCMA committee.

After more than 13 years in Hong Kong, and having been a long time member of the HKCCMA, being presented with this award, is truly a special and great occasion for which I thank the committee and members for awarding it to me. I feel truly honoured to even be considered, never mind actually receiving it. Thank you.

I know it is traditional for the award to go to credit mangers etc, so to receive it as a credit insurance broker is a real honour. When I first came to Asia as visitor in 1996 and then to live in 1999, I never considered that I would be still here in 2013, considering Hong Kong as my home now, and standing before Credit Practice Group like yourselves accepting this award for 2013. In fact I would consider back in 1999, the "art" of credit management did not exist in many companies, whether multi-national or just local, so it is a positive sign, that over the past years, credit management, whether as separate department or as part of finance, has grown considerably over the past 10 years in particular. Whereas it was not taken so seriously by many company, it is now an important and more recognised even integral part of any business. Whereas sales is always important of course, the old adage of "sell sell" is matched today by the equally important message "collect collect- quickly!!" this shows that our 'industry' has finally come of age, though as I travel around Asia, I feel there are still many companies who could use more discipline in the credit management area. We should always be pushing this important part of our business.

It reminds me of the saying "A sale is a gift until paid for" - how true in the present economic environment. Not paid means bad debt.

I started my career in insurance 29 years ago (yes- hence grey hair or no hair!!) as a Lloyds broker looking at political risks, then credit risks, working for several brokers before coming to Hong Kong. During this period I have met many risk and credit risk managers globally. One of the best ones, who became a client shortly after, told a story. He was asked how he slept at night. He replied- like a baby. Oh that good he was asked. No he replied-I wake up every 2-3 hours thinking about my possible bad receivables. That was my entrance and he bought trade credit insurance within several months, still a friend after 16 years, and now sleeps a lot better than he did those many years ago. So I would say that insurance is not a substitute to good credit management and does not make a bad contract, good, but it does give the safety net that many companies need, especially in the present economic situation. Also from a personal point of view for credit managers, less bad debts means a higher bonus perhaps!! Or in a worst case scenario- keep the job. Credit management, which I am certainly part of, as a insurance provider, has evolved over the years, and certainly I feel that development of insurance products should match the development of business globally. I think we have done a good job in this area, though they always have some limitations. However as it has been around for over 50 years, supporting global trade, it has not made many mistakes in that time.

I believe that any Association should support its members and training/education is an important part of this. Whether as a refresher or new material, it does not matter, we all should be learning, or re-education, and this where HKCCMA helps. Even exchange of information over a drink helps spread the word of what we all do in our respective work place. Information shared is a benefit to everyone involved, regardless whether all or most of the information is already known. As a broker, I have to complete a certain number of hours of 'training' a year. One way I achieve this is by doing a lecture to the VTC and Insurance Institute annually.

We are all involved in risk management here in one form or another. It is a science, now more widely recognised. Also we are involved in credit management in the widest sense, again it is being more widely recognised, though in my opinion, more has to be done for the subject to be part of more day to day life of a company. As members, I think we all have a responsibility to help this happen, even in the smallest way. That way, the recognisance of our industry is further enhanced locally, regionally and globally, as well as our own personal objectives.

Thank you to the committee again for this award, which will be well remembered by me for a long long time. Also I am not sure, whether I am the first 'foreign' ward winner though it does not matter either way. Please note I am a HK PR holder!!

Thank you for your time and may we all have a Happy New Year, with prosperity, no bad debts and increased Chinese New Year bonus too!"

Created on 2013-02-01 12:58:56 by HKCCMA.

Last Edited on 2013-02-01 12:58:56 by HKCCMA.