Portfolio Recovery Associates: Seeking Competitive Advantage in the Debt Collection Industry

Portfolio Recovery Associates: Seeking Competitive Advantage in the Debt Collection Industry

  • Case
  • Teaching Notes
Abstract

This case explores the founding and growth of debt collection firm Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRA). PRA’s success in the debt collection industry is rooted in its advanced capabilities in data analytics. Offering insight into the evolution and structure of the debt collection industry, as well as how PRA has grown through diversification into new product and geographic markets, the case introduces students to a segment of the financial services sector that typically garners little attention: debt collection. While the debt collection industry is often associated with threatening bill collectors, this case illustrates the critical role collection agencies play in the functioning of the financial services industry. The case also provides instructors with substantive material for discussing the role of resources and capabilities, particularly data analytics, in generating competitive advantage for firms.

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