2019 Inductee, Republic Factors/Accord Financial Corp.
Bob Sandler is currently a business and financial consultant and serves on the board of directors for Accord Financial Corp. He is a former executive vice president and member of the board of directors of HSBC Business Credit (USA) Inc., an affiliate of HSBC bank USA, involved in credit, management, new business and marketing. Bob was one of the founders of Republic Factors, an affiliate of Republic National Bank, then HSBC Business Credit. He retired from there in 2000. He was officer and director with Business Factors from 1954-1963. He also worked for L.F. Dommerich (Chemical Bank) from 1964-1968; and William Iselin (CIT) from 1970-1977.
He is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, and attended the graduate school of business at Columbia University.
He is a past president of the University of Pennsylvania Alumni Association of Westchester and Rockland Counties. Bob is a former member of board of trustees of the New York Institute of Credit. He is also the author of various articles on factoring and commercial finance.
Bob is a past chairman of the board of SFNet (formerly Commercial Finance Association). He was a 1st lieutenant in the United States Air Force and has been honored with many awards including: The 1986 National Humanitarian Award by the National Denver Hospital; 1991 recipient of Human Relations Award by the American Jewish Committee; 1998 alumni Award of Merit by the University of Pennsylvania; 2000 Trustees Award by the New York Institute of Credit; and the 2000 Top Hat Award by the 475 Club.
Bob is also a fundraiser for National Multiple Sclerosis Society and an Ambassador for the Westchester Arts Council and on the board of directors of Purchase College affiliates.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I wanted to be an actor, even while attending the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, I served in the Air Force, got married, and when discharged, I really needed a job. My dad was in our industry. He was a principal of a small factoring company, Business Factors Corp. “Well,” he said, “we will put an F in front of the actor...” and the rest is history. I became a factor. It’s been a great run. I am one lucky guy!
What advice would you give to someone just started out in the industry?
Find out the background and history of the asset-based finance industry, and where it fits in the economy. What role are you filling? Find a mentor, ask questions from the smartest person you know. Most likely they’ll be pleased to help. If you work with passion, you will be rewarded. I also suggest young professionals find classes at SFNet that will add value. Make friends of your colleagues. Be honest, hardworking and patient. Remember that very little happens quickly. Challenge yourself to grow and learn. And don’t be afraid to fail. Often more is experienced from failure than success. Don’t forget to smile, laugh, and enjoy what you do.
What are some of the most memorable moments from your career?
The wonderful friends made in the industry and the important credit clubs that offered both business and social engagements with networking. Becoming one of the founders of Republic Factors was exciting and rewarding... from nothing we created and built one of the finest factors in the U.S. and, although the bank was sold to HSBC, the factor’s core, now at CIT, remains strong.
And, of course, my role as president and chairman at SFNet (formerly CFA) brought great personal rewards and satisfaction. I treasure the opportunity and friends in the industry. I am so blessed and fortunate to be part of it.
How did being involved with SFNet affect your career?
My involvement with the association provided exposure that I could never have expected. This ever-changing industry continues to grow and expand. The privilege of leading it at a time of change was one of my career highlights and it has continued to keep me involved in this dynamic, exciting business. Of course, my beautiful, supportive family was the centerpiece of all I did and continue to do.