Secretary General Spotlight - Mr Peter Mulroy | FCI
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Secretary General Spotlight - Mr Peter Mulroy
Secretary General Spotlight - Mr Peter Mulroy
23 February 2022

In this edition of our spotlight series, we asked our Secretary General, Mr Peter Mulroy, to answer a few questions to get to know him a little better.

What got you started in the industry:

I attended Rutgers University in the US, a college founded by the dutch reformed church in 1766 which included two years studying in Europe.  Upon graduation, I was introduced to this international bank when I was head of the foreign language society when I was introduced to my future employer, a global bank based headquartered in London.   I was initially stationed in London and later Abu Dhabi, working in their trade finance division in various capacities, which initiated my career in international banking.  After 15 years in various positions and earning my MBA from Thunderbird, I took a position in the factoring industry in 1988, with the oldest bank-run factoring company in the world, which began its operations in 1932.  The factoring unit would later be acquired by CIT, which in itself is the oldest factoring company in the world, having its roots dating back to 1814.  I am grateful to have been aided and guided by many team members, executives and mentors over these years which helped prepare me for this industry position in FCI.  I have always been inspired to meet people from around the world, learn history and their respective cultures, bring people together, and of course, do business across borders. 

What has been the biggest highlight of your career:

Definitely being offered the position as FCI Secretary General in 2012.  It has been such an honour to oversee the largest global trade association dedicated to the interests of the factoring, supply chain and receivables finance (RF) industry globally.  Having spent my career in trade and receivables finance, the opportunity to assist members, stakeholders and governments to develop RF has been quite fulfilling, as it has played such an important role in local economies especially supporting SMEs.  Also the influence FCI plays working with development banks, regulators, central banks and legislatures and seeing this influence translated into actual factoring business has been extremely rewarding.  And meeting executives and staff of our members around the globe, whether in person or of late virtually due to the pandemic is also extremely gratifying, as you come to appreciate the local influences and nuances and realize the vast differences in how RF is practised country by country, region by region. 

What are some of the trends/challenges facing the RF Industry?

We experienced one of the worst years in the RF industry ever recorded in 2020 due to the pandemic, witnessing a drop of nearly 7% in 2020.  However, 2021 marked an unprecedented year of growth.  Although FCI will not report on 2021 industry results until April, based on what I am hearing, it will not surprise me if FCI reports a double-digit increase in global factoring volume in 2021, in part influenced by the significant growth in global GDP.  This is the good news and even with the continued interruptions imposed by the pandemic, I anticipate that this growth will continue unabated for some time to come.  Cross border factoring increased over 15% in 2021, and we anticipate this growth will continue into 2022.  However, there are four major trends/challenges that could impact growth in both directions including 1) Risk: no one really knows the impact of the withdrawal of the stimulus support provided by governments globally and with this boom/bust cycle we have experienced so far due to the pandemic I believe we can expect to see an increase in fraudulent activity around the globe as a result 2) Credit Insurance:  the RF industry is extremely tied to the overall health and growth of the credit insurance market.  The good news is claims are at historic lows.  But again, as economies become more self-reliant and begin to repay this massive government stimulus, either directly or via increased taxation, what will be the effect on the business?  3) Increase in Regulations:  The Greensill bankruptcy had an unprecedented impact, raising the veil on unsavoury practices within the industry, and some regulatory bodies responded in kind.  We are already seeing some questions relating to fraud and the issue of conditionality of credit insurance policies raised by the European Commission, and the UK Prudential Risk Authority, even before this crisis raised similar concerns about credit insurance and risks posed to the industry.  The new Definition of Default (NDOD) in the EU has had some unintended consequences, requiring banks and bank subsidiaries to report on questionable “defaulted” exposures in factoring transactions, which in some cases were due to issues stemming from the commercial particularities of factoring and not due to actual risk of default based on non-payment by the client’s debtors.  4) Digitization/E-Commerce/Blockchain:  we are seeing a significant sea-change in the application of technology impacting our industry.  It is altering the way many members do business, and I can compare it to the first digital age at the turn of the century, which had a tremendous impact on automation and increased efficiencies in the factoring space.  This period in this pandemic age is no different but has so many other applications and potential influences for good in our industry.  Quite an exciting moment in time!

Do you have any hobbies?

I am an avid reader, a student of history, but enjoy political discourse and culture as well.  In terms of external activities, I am a passionate tennis player and enjoy watching sports (tennis, basketball, American football, and currently the Olympics), riding my bike (it is a Dutch past-time), and travelling.

What is your dream holiday?

One that incorporates a lot of sun, mountain and sea, adding physical activity like skiing, swimming, or hiking, but also culture and history, visiting museums and attending concerts/theatre. 

We want to thank Peter for letting us get to know him a little more. Next week we interview our Regional Director for the Americas for the final of this series, so stay tuned!

Discover more

  • Listen to the 'Overview of the World Factoring Industry and FCI' by Peter at the upcoming CEE & SEE focussed conference in Budapest on 9-10 March by clicking here.
  • Meet Peter at FCI's 54th Annual Meeting in Washington DC on 19-23 June by clicking here.
  • Read Peter's article from the 2021 FCI Annual Review here, which highlights the major achievements in 2020 but also the challenges and opportunities facing FCI and the industry today in the next years to come.