When his career in the ARM industry comes to an end, Jim Peacock already has his next job picked out, and it’s a doozy. Until then, however, he has no plans to slow down and coast on a career that has lasted more than three decades and led him to become CEO of one of the most respected collection agencies in the industry. Read on to learn more about Jim, why you may never see him in a crowd, and what you can get him for Christmas if you’re looking to make a good impression.
Name: Jim Peacock
Company: Delta Outsource Group, Inc.
Length of time at current company: 8 years
Length of time in industry: 30+ years
How did you get your start in the industry?
Like most, if not everyone in collections, it was completely by accident. Seriously, who grows up and says “I want to be a bill collector”? Shortly after college, I moved from Indiana to Rhode Island and took a “temporary” job with GE Capital. That “temporary” job began in 1985 and is still going.
What is your career highlight so far?
There have been so many great highlights over the years, I am not sure where I would start. I suppose the most rewarding highlight though is seeing the impact that Delta Outsource Group Inc. makes on the world. Whether it is a collector providing for their family or philanthropic work giving back to the community, it is a rewarding and awesome responsibility (even if a little stressful at times).
Which industry professional do you admire most?
I have so much respect for so many in this industry but if I had to narrow it down to one, I would have to say Martin Jacobsen. Marty has been retired for a number of years now, but having worked for him for more than 15 years before his retirement, there is not a more genuine, more personable, and more honest individual that I have ever met.
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
Ha, ha. Not a damn thing! I am quite sure that my wife and many (read all) of my friends would agree.
When or how are you most productive?
I travel a lot especially by car. I actually find driving to be relaxing for the most part and gives me an opportunity to think without distraction. I have a tendency to call my business partners or managers when I have an idea I want to try or a possible solution for a particular problem. It could be any time of the day or evening and sometimes, even over the weekend. It drives them crazy!
What do you like most about this industry?
Finally, an easy question! I love the challenge of this business and the friendly competition. This is very much a “what have you done for me lately” industry and you have to prove yourself every day, every month and every year. Collections is like a game of chess. Our success is based on the strategies we employ and managing our resources to win. I relish the wins, but know I will have to do it again next month. No resting on our laurels. On the other hand, if I have down month, I know it is temporary if I make better decisions, execute cleanly, and want it more.
What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
Regulatory consistency and clarity. Tell us what the rules are and do not keep changing them!
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
It has been so long, I have no idea. Professional hammock tester? Actually, I think that may be my future occupation.
Describe a typical work day.
I have the greatest job in the world because I do not have a typical work day. I travel quite a bit visiting clients and prospective clients. When I am tired of the road, I have plenty to do at the office.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I don’t feel guilty at all but I love a good bourbon or scotch and a cigar.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
It is ok to make mistakes! Learn from them but keep moving forward.
What are you currently reading?
“The Last Mile” by David Baldacci
What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
I don’t like people! (just kidding, sort of). I don’t like crowds and I think the larger a group gets, the inherently dumber it gets. I like working with people one on one or in small groups to get problems solved. I like working in the background and prefer people with substance over splash. Oh, and I have an awesome collection of pre- and post-prohibition breweriana advertising.
Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Jackie Mucha, Rick Perr, Peter Ghiselli