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Last Update: Sunday February 16, 2020

Key Idea: Embrace A Multi-generational Workplace

There is no age discrimination at Medallion Financial.  CEO Alvin Murstein is just one of the team who might be considered retirement material at a big company.

Key Question:

A: 

Be open to the young and the older worker.  While big business seems to learn toward younger people, we find that many small businesses have workers from 18 to 80.

Q: What kind of sensitivity do you need to maintain toward the various generations and how does it affect how you operate your business?

A: Smart business owners recognize and appreciate the differences in each generation and how those differences affect an individual's outlook and behavior. If you don't feel you have an appreciation for the differences among the generations, there are lots of readable industrial psychology books available that will provide you with empowering knowledge. Compare your age with the median age of your customers and your employees. If you calculate a difference of 20 years or more, chances are you don't think they way they do. And you need to understand how they think if you want to motivate them to buy (the customer) or to perform (the employee).

Think about it

Do you know enough about the various generations highly represented among your employees and customers to maintain a heightened sense of awareness to the differences? If not, what are you going to do about it?

Clip from: Medallion Financial

New York City:  Meet Andy Murstein.   He is the grandson of the founder of a taxi business.   Andy has transformed that business to be a bank for immigrants, minorities, and women.

Andy's grandfather began as an immigrant taxi driver.  By the time Andy's dad joined the firm, they had a fleet.  They then began financing the acquisition of taxi medallions for new immigrants.  They became a Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) and now, after an IPO and subsequent rounds, Andy is buying up finance companies.  Within just three generations, this family business will have become a billion dollar business!

Medallion Financial has become a large SBIC quickly because they were already  making loans to immigrants and minorities to buy their taxi's medallion.  Andy is doing exactly what his grandfather suggested: "Stick to your niche and you'll get rich."


National Association

You can find an SBIC near you.   Listings are within the website of the Small Business Investor Alliance.

Medallion Financial Corp.

Andy Murstein, CEO

437 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022
212-328-2100

Visit our web site: http://medallionfinancial.com/

Office: 212-328-2100

Business Classification:
Financial Services

Year Founded: 1937

Embrace A Multi-generational Workplace

HATTIE: Do you think there's a big difference between your grandfather's management style, thoughts, philosophy and your father?

ANDY: Yes, I think there's a big difference from each generation.

HATTIE: Okay. Tell me about it.

ANDY: My grandfather was a very stern man, was very disciplined, was in the office 5:30 every morning, very energetic and tough with people. I think he thought that business had to be handled exactly as it was, as business, and really helped grow the business. And I think that's what you need when you're starting a business, is that discipline to be committed to it and to really not be afraid to make decisions or let people go if they're not doing their job for you.

My father then really took it to the next level in that he knew the business from working for my grandfather and took it to the next step by really getting involved in other areas, financing and other lines of business. And his approach I think, was a little bit different than my grandfather's. He was not as really disciplined, but more open to new ideas. I think my grandfather in his discipline -- and when you start a business you're very narrowly focused and you kind of concentrate on one particular thing and you don't try to do anything else. The next generation really comes along and starts expanding those horizons. And my father knew that financing was a good step.

My father could really delegate to other people, but my grandfather would want to do everything himself, change a tire on a cab, drive it, manage it. My father, I think, learned the ability to really dictate to people what to do and really disciplined them rather than so much himself, and really expanded it from a 10 person operation to a 20 person operation. I think every generation obviously has different goals as far as how far they want to succeed. I'm probably not going to be happy unless in seven years we're a $1 billion company. I think we're really on our way now and I don't think 100 million, although it's very impressive, is very satisfactory to me personally.

We should be one of the largest lenders in New York City. If we continue doing what we're doing and really grow the business. And I think we have an excellent staff that we've added on throughout the years. And with their help we should be able to get to that amount in about seven years or so. You really should be thinking big, but you also have to be practical. You can't imagine yourself going from zero to a billion dollars. You need a foundation to get there. My father gave me that opportunity with that foundation of a $100 million dollar company. So $1 billion is not out of the ordinary for us, I think. Without his help I would never be thinking about that, but with the foundation he's built, I think it's a very possible goal to reach.

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