“I’ve been given a piece of clay and it’s my job to mold it into something that’s sustainable, prevalent, and lucrative,” says Anthony Jones, head of global disputes and escalated collections at MoneyGram International. The piece of clay he’s referencing, in this case, is his team.
MoneyGram’s global disputes and escalated collections team was formed in December 2020 out of necessity. “Before the team was formed, disputes were handled in a variety of ways by a variety of individuals within MoneyGram’s legal organization,” Jones explains. “The executive leadership team saw a need to bring these matters under one umbrella to form a specialized team that would specifically handle the task of managing disputes and escalated collections. They asked me if I was up for the challenge, and I jumped at the opportunity.”
Today, Jones leads a team of six specialists—two in Minneapolis and four in Rome. Together, they manage litigation disputes and escalated collections matters across the more than two hundred countries MoneyGram operates in.
As part of overseeing his team, Jones manages MoneyGram’s global credit recovery and collection
s litigation docket as well as its domestic and international commercial plaintiff and bankruptcy litigation. He reports to the deputy general counsel.
Despite the challenges of tackling both a newly created position and team, Jones says his six years at MoneyGram, along with his twenty-five years of litigation management experience, has allowed him to step up to the plate—and succeed.
Jones was originally recruited to MoneyGram by Deputy General Counsel Cory Feinberg in 2015. He has served as senior legal specialist, legal affairs manager, global litigation manager, and global disputes and legal operations manager before landing his current role.
Prior to MoneyGram, Jones honed his litigation management expertise at various noteworthy financial institutions, including QBE North America, the Doctors Company, and State Farm Insurance.
Since joining MoneyGram, Jones has worked with legal leadership and the executive team on initiatives to fully optimize the legal department—for example, streamlining operations by cross-functionally aligning global in-house counsel. Taking it a step further, they modernized the department by creating individual leadership positions with separate teams, all of which report to Feinberg. They are also implementing a new CRM system utilizing tools that provide better reporting and analytics.
Now, Jones says, the legal department, under its current leadership, is as synced and as organized as it’s been since he joined MoneyGram.
Jones has also worked to streamline operations for his direct reports. “One of the first things I did when taking over the team was to create a conduit email box protocol that introduced a more efficient way to receive and handle legal service requests,” he says.
By doing so, Jones explains that it better enables his team to take a “one voice approach”—that is, a clear and cohesive voice that eliminates any room for confusion between both internal and external business partners.
As part of his management style, Jones coaches by taking a back-seat approach, which challenges his team to take a lead role in each case. “By focusing on a coaching style that involves me staying in the background on newly assigned cases, I’m able to provide my team with the necessary training to handle future cases,” he says. “It also provides them with credibility and an opportunity to know that they’re being seen as knowledgeable, competent, and valued members of the team.”
While his team is less than a year old, Jones is proud of the progress they’ve made thus far. “We’ve defined exactly what our team does, what our goals are, and the protocols and practices to follow in order to get the job done,” he says. “We’re moving in a positive direction.”
Outside of the legal department, a recent MoneyGram accomplishment Jones is quite proud of is his contribution to the success of MoneyGram Online (MGO). MGO is a mobile app that allows users to send currency transfers on the go, check exchange rates, estimate fees, and pay bills. Jones says that over the past three years, they’ve seen rapid growth and adoption of MGO. Even through the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, MGO experienced triple digit growth in the digital space.
“This represents a shift in how we obtain customers,” he explains. “We’ve been able to build and grow a new business without sacrificing our walk-in business in the process.” Jones played a pivotal role on the cost management component of this process.
Beyond MoneyGram’s customer initiatives, Jones is especially proud of its diverse culture. He was even asked to participate in the company’s first-ever Black History Month panel: an effort led by the company’s HR and D&I departments to highlight its diverse workforce.
“I shared my personal experiences with diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as my advice on how to handle inequity and unfairness in the workplace,” Jones says. “The panel was so successful that they’ve implemented additional plans for various other segments of our employee population.”
Looking ahead, Jones is ready for any challenge MoneyGram throws his way. He finds confidence in his ability to adapt to the task at hand and is excited to continue molding his team into something that’s sustainable and lucrative.
Editor’s Note, 10/1/21: A few weeks after publication, Anthony Jones passed away. We are honored to have been able to share his leadership story and insights before he passed.