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Debt recovery specialist is finalist entreprenuer

Debt recovery specialist named finalist in Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Debt recovery specialist Christine Hyett has been named a finalist in the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is now in the running for New Zealand’s only globally recognised business award.

The achievement comes nine years after Christine started her debt recovery company, Credit Consultants, from humble beginnings as a home based business.

Since then the company has grown into a leading debt recovery operation that collects outstanding accounts across all industry sectors including government, finance and banking, insurance, manufacturing and retail.

The company employs more than 70 staff across four sites in Wellington city, Lower Hutt, Palmerston North and Auckland.

There are now six companies within the Credit Consultants Group which has diversified from debt recovery into credit management, legal services, technology, training and recruitment.

Human Factor Recruitment was launched in 2003 to recruit personnel in credit, banking, finance and accounting sectors while further expansion in the last year has seen the launch of Calling Solutions - a 96 seat contact centre in Hutt City.

Christine believes her entrepreneurial spirit has developed over time.

“Starting something from scratch and backing your own ideas can be very challenging – especially when you’re risking it all to do it.

“But right from day one I was determined to make the business a success – and much of today’s success comes from the systems and procedures I put in place in the beginning,” she says.

Credit Consultants’ philosophy is to ‘work smarter not harder’ so Christine chose to invest heavily in developing technology systems that would help the business run more efficiently, right from the beginning.

“An example of this is in the area of debt recovery where our clients can access our database 24/7 to view and update debts on a central database. The ability for clients to load debts electronically direct into our database has provided flexibility and control for them.

“This has increased our ability to handle debts from 100 per day in 1997 to 100,000 plus debts on a daily basis.

“This has all been made possible by a team which shares a common goal and the passion and desire to grow the business,” says Christine.

Credit Consultants is now a family business, with daughters Rachael and Kate both working alongside their mother.

Christine and fellow Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalists now move on to face a panel of five independent judges, including Michael Hill of Michael Hill Jeweller; David Johnson of Trends Publishing International; journalist and commentator Deborah Hill Cone; Peter Maire, founder of Navman; and last year’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, George Fistonich of Villa Maria Estate.

The next stage of the judging process will result in the announcement of the category winners on 6 September with the overall winner announced at a gala dinner on 11 October.


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