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It has the largest network of small lenders and alternative finance institutions in the world. You may recognize its subsidiaries; Money Mart, PayDay UK, or The Money Shop. Dollar Financial Group, also known as DFC Global Corp, is the company behind many of the financial brand names offering products such as payday loans, pawnbroking, gold buying, money transfer, check cashing and other alternative financial services.

Many of these establishments, such as Money Mart, cater mainly towards people on the lower end of the income scale, providing services to people without the means or the credit to access conventional financial services.

While Dollar Financial Group has moved well beyond its original goal, the company was founded in 1979 by Jeffrey Weiss to provide financial services to low income customers. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Weiss saw an enormous market of unbanked and under-banked people, who nonetheless needed access to financial instruments to live their lives.

He founded the company as Monetary Management Corporation of California. Due to a lack of major competitors, the company quickly established itself as the leading alternative financial solutions company. By 1990, Bear Stearns - where Weiss had been a managing director - had started showing interest in buying the company.

Following the buyout in 1990, Weiss was made Chairman of the Board and DFG began its international expansion in earnest. It was also at this time that Monetary Management Corporation changed its name to Dollar Financial Group. In 1996, the company expanded into Canada, where it would go on to dominate the market and buy the Cash Store in 2015.

By 1999, DFG expanded into the UK. The following year, DFG opened its 500th company-operated store. Five years later, DFG went public in its first Initial Public Offering.  By 2009, DFG solidified its position in the UK market by acquiring Express Finance UK.

DFG made its first foray into Scandinavia in 2010 by acquiring Sefina. This acquisition was followed by acquisitions of DFC Global Corp. and Risicum of Finland and Sweden respectively in 2011. The company expanded elsewhere in Europe with the acquisition of Spanish financial services company Supereffectivo in 2012. The following year, DFG acquired Express Credit. 2014 was a pivotal year in the company’s history.

This was when Loan Star Funds, its current owner, acquired the company and Bob Stefanowski joined as its CEO. In 2015, the company started offering online lending services. Today, Dollar Financial Group has over 6,000 employees in 1,300 retail locations around the world. Its corporate headquarters is located in Berwyn, Pennsylvania.