October 1, 2022, marked the 50th anniversary of The Cross Country Group and our flagship company, Agero (founded as Cross Country Motor Club). This is a special milestone on what has been an extraordinary journey. For Sid, in particular, this has been the journey of a lifetime, both personally and professionally. Each of us has great pride and gratitude for all that has been accomplished. But just as exciting, this is a milestone that is deservedly to be shared and celebrated by so many of our associates, new and longstanding and at all levels of the organization, for whom the company and its success have also been a source of personal and professional satisfaction. This company may have been founded by Sid, but it was built by everyone involved.
As some of you may know, the predecessor to what is now Cinch was also founded roughly 50 years ago (though it has been part of CCG for only 25 years or so). If reaching the 50-year milestone for one company is remarkable, having two companies achieve that longevity is truly extraordinary. Moreover, each of these companies (along with 15-year-old Financial Recovery Technologies) share great traditions of market innovation and leadership, helping to create and define new products and markets in their respective industries. In the case of Agero, it has been the creation of the private label roadside assistance business, which upended the traditional motor club industry and now covers over 120 million motorists across the country. For Cinch, it was taking a product that had historically only been sold through real estate brokers and bringing it to consumers through new distribution channels ranging from utilities and mortgage companies to retailers and insurers. And, with respect to FRT, it was joining world-class technology with a talented team of service-oriented professionals to serve major institutional investors and custodians that has now made it a small but increasingly important part of the global financial system.
Many people have asked us what has made Cross Country and its companies special. A few things stand out:
Working hard for clients
We have been blessed with some of the most well-known and respected companies in the world as clients, and we have never taken those relationships for granted. From our earliest clients, such as JM Family (with whom we worked on a handshake basis for several decades) to new clients we sign up each month, we work hard on their behalf and try to do better for them each day. And we are eager to listen, willing to own up to mistakes, and always try to build on our relationship. As a result, we have many, many client relationships that span decades.
Genuinely caring about customers
One thing that is consistent across the CCG companies is a relentless focus on serving end customers, whether they are ours or our client partners. With tens of millions of interactions annually, mistakes sometimes happen; people are human. However, the companies have purpose-built cultures of going the “extra mile” to help a customer in need. The customer satisfaction ratings and net promoter scores are astonishing for the complex situations we handle on behalf of customers and bear witness to this vital success factor.
Truly appreciating associates
Sid often says “people make businesses. They don’t simply grow by themselves.” It has been awe-inspiring to see the range of talent that would join our various companies, how hard they would work to reach our goals, how much they would grow and what they would collectively be able to achieve. We have an exceptionally diverse workforce in which everyone finds a way to contribute, and many newcomers often marvel at the spirit of collaboration and relative lack of politics. While working remotely has obviously created some challenges, our culture of genuine respect, camaraderie and common purpose is an extraordinary asset, as well as our ability to have some fun in the process. We try to emphasize the “human” in HR. We have had over 1,000 associates that have worked for one of the companies for more than 10 years and over 150 associates that have worked for longer than 20 years. And at the same time, we have continually brought in new talent that has made us better and brought us to new heights, adding a constant sense of renewal and energy.
Believing in the future
Two of Sid’s other mantras have been “what’s good for the company is good for everyone” and “the best is yet to come.” More than slogans, these beliefs have led to us continuing to invest in the future – new technologies, new talent, new ideas. And, this orientation has helped us withstand the test of time, especially in challenging economic periods. We are a 50-year-old growth company, and we hope everyone in each of the companies can feel it. While we celebrate our legacy, we are focused on what lies ahead.
As we embark on our 50th year, we hope you will take a moment to reflect on the achievement, whether you have been here more than 30 years or fewer than 30 days. The Cross Country Group is a place where one can work hard on hard work that matters, achieve more than you thought you might, develop great relationships, and have fun while you work. It is not perfect by any stretch, nor are any of us, and it is all the better because we recognize it and just try harder.
We appreciate all those individuals past and present that have helped us along the way to achieve this milestone,