Georgakopoulos (Intrum): The main challenges for the European debt management industry

The provision of efficient management services and the experience of /ofeletis are the main challenges for the European debt management industry, with the crucial factor in their successful response, stressed George Georgakopoulos, Global Head of Servicing of Intrum and CEO of Intrum in Greece, speaking on fireside chat held in the context of NPL Europe 2024, organized by Smith Novak in London. We are obliged to provide high-level technology-based services, with emphasis on two areas: the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to manage requirements (digital collections), and the “share” in customer activity already from the stage of invoices and payments, he noted. “The companies that give us the management of their requirements, point out that they first choose us for our professionalism and knowledge of their industry. These are banks, telecommunications, insurance companies, medium-sized enterprises of all kinds, etc. Moreover, investment in technology is crucial and enhances efficiency and added value, with new, innovative solutions. In this context we have acquired two companies, in Great Britain Ophelos, which makes digital collections, and eCollect in Germany, working with the customer from the stage of issuing electronic invoices,” said Mr. Georgakopoulos. He noted that the Intrum Group has revenues of over 1.3 billion euros from management services in Europe, twice as much as DoValue and six times the third in the Prelios ranking. The head of Servicing in the Intrum Group estimated that investment activity in the debt management market in Europe would recover at European level, as shown by transactions in preparation. New transactions and investments in debt portfolios of all categories and sizes are expected throughout Europe and in many sectors, not only banking, but also utilities, e-commerce, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) services, noted Mr Georgakopoulos and estimated that transactions that will increase from the second and third quarters will not reach the level of 2021-2022 in sizes but will be notable. Interesting transactions in both previous quarters are the smaller “smart” transactions that identify and “unlock” opportunities in the market, with smart structure and funding, he noted. Georgakopoulos noted that market mobility originates in Southern Europe from the banking sector and in the rest of Europe from other sectors and predicted that there would be changes in the structure of the market pan-European as a result of new regulations, such as the NPLs Market Directive and the regulatory framework for the protection of personal data, which have strict requirements, which can be covered by larger services that have know-how for all the “roadway” and all types of requirements and can raise funds. In this context, there are potential mergers or absorptions, such as, for example, the recently absorption by Intrum of an important platform in Great Britain with investment and management activity and other important real estate platform in Spain. Medium-sized players in the sector in Europe will probably be taken out of the market and there are prospects for large European companies and also for niche companies using technology and know-how in specific sectors and assets. SOURCE: RES-BE