Raising expectations Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2010
Finalist
Financial Services

Bob and Dan Wolfberg come from a long line of entrepreneurs in their industry. Both their grandfather and their father started their own financial services firms, so the brothers followed in the family footsteps with PLS Financial Services Inc. in 1997.

The co-presidents adopted their father’s creed: “You have to lead from the front to be the best.” And they set out to out-innovate and outservice their competitors. In the field of check-cashing services dominated by cost-cutters and indifferent customer service, that wasn’t too difficult. The Wolfbergs built a brand that stood for courteous customer service and professionalism.

By staying true to that core and foreseeing changing consumer needs, they have remained ahead of the curve while expanding their business. They ventured into lending, filling a market gap by providing small, short-term loans for millions of consumers with little or no relationship with traditional financial institutions like banks. They also expanded into tax preparation and vehicle registration services.

Along the way, they’ve kept the customer out in front by helping them transition to changing needs — specifically, helping them bridge the digital gap from cash to e-commerce by adding e-payment and direct deposit capabilities.

That innovation has made PLS one of the fastest-growing and most profitable companies in its sector. By the turn of the millennium, the firm was growing at an annual rate exceeding 25 percent. The company now manages more than 250 financial service centers in nine states.

How to reach: PLS Financial Services Inc., (312) 491-7300 or www.plsfinancial.com