International Credit Perspective--A Series of Interviews with Some of the World's Leading Practitioners
Educator and International Expert
Eugene Perry is the author of Practical Export Trade Finance, published by Dow Jones-Irwin. I asked Mr. Perry, a member of the FCIB Board of Directors, what inspired him to write this somewhat formidable text. "It wasn't what, but who," he quickly replied. "While I was working for Pennzoil Company in Houston, I was also involved in assisting FCIB to develop some International Credit Programs in the Southwest. In 1978, while attending and speaking at an International Credit Executives Conference in San Antonio, I met Dr. Alan Cook of Baylor University From that time on, I found myself lecturing his students at the Graduate School of International Finance. Dr. Cook thought it was important that they understood not only the theoretical side of export credit and finance, but the practical aspects, as well. Because there was no text at that time addressing the practical issues of export trade finance, he strongly encouraged me to convert my classroom presentations into a formal text. He believed there would be tr emendous long-term benefits to having such a text available to the industry. It took me more than four years to complete the book, working nights and weekends."
For those not familiar with Perry's text, this 700-page handbook, written specifically for credit managers, analysts, finance professionals, foreign credit professionals and international bankers, is a basic guide for achieving productive and profitable export credit sales, while implementing plans and strategies for achieving international profit, cash flow and market share. It is considered one of a kind.
With more than 25 years of domestic and international credit operations experience, Perry is currently the Division Credit Manager of Crouse-Hinds Division of Cooper Industries, located in Syracuse, New York. Cooper Industries, based in Houston, is a worldwide manufacturer of electrical products, tools and hardware. Its division, Cooper Crouse-Hinds is a worldwide manufacturer of more than 20,000 different electrical products meeting light- and heavy-industrial applications with fittings, enclosures, motor controls, industrial lighting, plugs, receptacles and intrinsically safe equipment for hazardous environments. Together with their European partner, CEAG, they support customers on every continent.
As Division Credit Manager, Perry noted that he is responsible for "compliance with our Global Credit & Collection Policy & Procedure; monitoring our global exposures; advising and guiding our foreign business operations on credit and collection and accounts receivable issues; overseeing a U.S. domestic shared services department for credit and collections, claims administration and accounts receivable, export trade financing, involving four businesses; and global bid/performance bond administration." Before his relocation to Syracuse two years ago, Perry served as the Special Markets Credit Manager for the former Cooper Automotive Division headquartered in the St. Louis area.
Prior to joining Cooper, Perry was the Manager of Credit for the Pennzoil Company. His career actually began in 1973, however, when GAF hired him fresh out of college as an International Credit Analyst. "At that time I was given the choice to work in either domestic or international credit, and I thought the latter would be more interesting and challenging. In retrospect, it was an excellent decision." Armed with a degree in political science and a strong business administration background, Perry climbed the corporate ladder to become GAF's International Credit Manager.
From 1980 to 1981, Perry was assigned to Europe and worked out of Colnbrook, England. "It was the opportunity of a lifetime," he reflected. "I acted as a quasi European Credit Manager for GAF's European operations, ensuring that the right staff was in the right place and trained appropriately, confirming that credit policies and procedures were correct and in place, and so on. …