Catalin Neagu is a Romanian entrepreneur activating on the Romanian debt collection market that has managed to develop his own business, starting with 4 people, to the point where it was acquired by the most powerful world player in the field.
He started his activity on the debt collection market in July 2002, when he joined the local leader at that time, as Account Manager. He was among the first employees of the company. Subsequently, he worked as a Financial Inspector at the Ministry of Finance, where he gained experience in taking measures to prevent, detect and combat the phenomenon of tax evasion and corruption. During the period he worked in debt collection, for almost four years, he has been in charge of maintaining and developing business relationships with existing customers and negotiating with potential customers. “I have learned many important things and procedures, the company’s structure was a multinational corporation. But as I was working there, I knew I could be able to help more the clients and debtors if there was more flexibility in procedures. Then I realized that a Romanian company could be better and more efficient, so this was the idea of going on my own in a pioneering field at that time”, declared Catalin.
From 4 to 250 employees
At the beginning of 2006, he left his job and established Top Factoring, the first Romanian debt collection company. The company started with a social capital of 200 lei and Catalin sold an apartment and invested in the first year 30,000 euros. At first, there were 4 people in the company, he and 3 employees, and in one year the Top Factoring came to have 60 employees, a turnover of about 100,000 euros, and the owner attracted an investment fund to develop the business. He could do this because he already had contracts with the top clients in the market (telecom, utilities, banks) and a solid team.
In the past 10 years, Catalin Neagu has been working on establishing the company’s general strategy of development, identifying business opportunities and team development, with the company now reaching 250 employees. One of the goals he has set up was to create a highly motivated, performant team to grow with the company. “In a business sector where the workforce is extremely volatile, I wanted to build a stable and well-trained middle and top management; I think the results so far say that I have partially succeeded, as I have colleagues who joined the team 9-10 years ago and they grew spectacular”, Catalin Neagu mentions.
In 10 years, under the management of Catalin, Top Factoring solved more than 2 million cases, which accounts for more than 10% of the country’s population. Top Factoring manages and recovers debits for the largest local banks, telecoms or utility providers.
“In ten years we have managed a portfolio of over 5 million debts and we have recovered over 170 million euros for our customers. We have achieved these results with the help of a well-trained team, through proper dialogue with debtors, to whom we have provided personalized solutions for the repayment of debts, and by the correct approach to collecting. At the same time, we have constantly invested in the development of the company, we have attracted an investment fund, RC II Capital, that supported our growth and now we are also focusing on the acquisition of large portfolios” said Cătălin Neagu.
Also, Top Factoring was one of the first companies in Romania to join the Code of Conduct of the industry and the first company that was registered at ANPC.
In 2017, Top Factoring was bought by Intrum Justitia, now the largest player in the credit management market. The transaction value is about 25 million euros. Cătălin Neagu was in the negociation team, along with the members of the investment fund, closing the transaction. Today he holds the position of General Manager for a 4 years mandate from Intrum Justitia in order to lead the company in top local ones.