Billionaire Bill Bartmann to Speak at Baylor April 20

April 14, 1998

by Alan Hunt

William R. Bartmann, head of Tulsa-based Commercial Financial Services Inc., the nation's largest buyer and collector of credit-card debt, will speak at Baylor University's Hankamer School of Business on Monday, April 20.

His 3:30 p.m. talk, which is free and open to the public, will be presented on the fifth floor of the Cashion Academic Building, adjoining the business school. The program is sponsored by the Graduate Business Association at Hankamer.

Bartmann, who employs nearly 2,500 people, was once the CEO of an Oklahoma pipe service company that failed in 1985 following the collapse of the OPEC oil cartel.

His subsequent experiences with collection agents, demanding money his family didn't have, shaped the way the collectors at his company operate today.

An article on Bartmann published last year in Inc. magazine states that at Commercial Financial Services' floor of operations, "...the most striking thing, here inside the beating heart of the most efficient collection machine in history, is that the collectors are, well, nice."

The article states that a leading investment bank affixed a $3-billion valuation to the privately-held Commercial Financial Services, "of which Bartmann owns 80 percent." The article adds, "That would give Bartmann a net worth of roughly $2.4 billion."

Commercial Financial Services Inc. has been named in Inc. magazine's list of the fastest-growing private companies in 1995, 1996 and 1997. Bartmann and his company have received numerous awards, including the Ernst and Young/NASDAQ's Entrepreneur of the Year award in the financial services category.

Bartmann holds a B.A. degree from Loras College, Iowa, and a juris doctorate from Drake University School of Law.

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