Quorum International: History, Review and Facts

Today, I’m going to provide an independent review of Quorum International, a one-time MLM powerhouse.

If you were to type Quorum International into your search engine right now, you would discover a company that manufactures ceiling fans and lighting. It is not a multilevel marketing company. So, why am I reviewing Quorum International on this website?

At one time there was a different company with the same name that used a multilevel marketing business format. It was a consumer electronics company started in Phoenix, Arizona by Raymond Hung and Marty Matthews.

History Of Quorum International

In 1991, a man by the name of Raymond Hung, who was a part owner of Applied International Holdings in Hong Kong, along with RJP, teamed up with Marty Matthews to found the company. Using a multilevel marketing distribution model, the company offered various products in home electronics, security, health, skin care and weight management.

With the diverse product line and lucrative compensation plan, the company grew quickly. By 1994, the company did business in 16 countries with over $300,000,000 in annual sales. Some well known MLM personalities were jumping on the Quorum International bandwagon.

But in 1995, sales of Quorum International products seemed to drop substantially. There are many theories as to why this happened, but no actual facts. And then Quorum was faced with a lawsuit.

It seems that two brothers who started Chemworld Products that distributed Quorum International products decided to sue Quorum when one of the brothers was banded from Quorum for a violation of ethical rules. Quorum claimed he was cross-promoting another MLM.

The brother won in court and Quorum was ordered to pay $1,700,000. Quorum International filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and the tide turned further to where they ended up filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. And, Quorum International was finished in 1998.

quorum international review

Quorum International Review

When we look back at this company’s history, we see an excellent idea that could have worked if handled differently…in my opinion. They had such a wide variety of products, but their best-selling items were their alarm systems. But, without hard-core patents, their ideas were easily copied and cheaper versions began to flood discount stores.

It also seems that the company did not have a “cut in stone” rules to follow. Some distributors would be punished for things other distributors were doing. While no facts are evident, many claim that Raymond Hung pulled a perfect scam. There are claims that he has opened companies, made a lot of money from investors and then filed bankruptcy while he has the funds in offshore accounts or in China.

Even though Applied International seemed to be a major part of the Quorum International system, they seemed to not be affected by the bankruptcy.

The company’s leadership team claimed distributors could gain financial independence by just doing 3 things:

  1. Sell $100 worth of products per month

  2. Sponsor 5 distributors in 3 to 6 months

  3. Train the distributors to duplicate these tasks

Did that system work? It seems not.

But, overall if MLM distributors did follow the basic ideas Quorum presented, I do believe that they would have made significant progress in their business. Many did do quite well with Quorum International when it was alive.

Company Facts

Here are a few quick facts about the company that I found online.

  • The founder of Nerium and The People’s Network, Jeff Olson did quite well with the company.

  • Eric Worre, who is a master MLMer, did great at Quorum International.

  • When the bankruptcy was completed, there were nearly 1,500,000 Quorum International distributors worldwide.

  • Quorum also had a long distance plan in cooperation with MCI.

  • Quorum also had mail order catalogs.

  • There were many odd moves in the Quorum structure: Incorporated as Quorum Ventures Inc on June 5th, 1991; a partnership was formed June 21st, 1991 called Quorum International Ltd; the partnership dissolved on July 12th, 1996; on July 19th, 1996, Quorum Ventures Inc. changed its name to Quorum International Ltd.

  • One of the founders of the company, Marty Matthews later became President of Travel Dynamics, Inc.

  • This quote from a political article about Raymond Hung can make you think: Hung is also reported to have set up dozens of shell “front companies” offshore. These companies allegedly sell cheap Chinese products imported by Hung who declares bankruptcy, citing Chinese taxes on the imports. Hung, of course, splits the “taxes” with the Chinese government and returns to America to purchase hard assets such as real estate.

quorum international quotes

Final Thoughts

With the right management team behind an idea such as Quorum International, I believe this company could have become (and remained) an industry giant. The system they used worked, but the company didn’t.

What are your thoughts? We would love to hear from anyone who was involved either as a distributor or a customer with the company. Tell us about your experience, please.  You can leave any comments or questions in the comment section below. Thank you.

References

  1. Gore’s China scandal
  2. Quorum seeking Chapter 11 safety
  3. Ethics of Quorum bankruptcy questioned
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Sincerely,
chuck holmes





Chuck Holmes
Email: chuck@onlinemlmcommunity.com
Phone: (352) 503-4816 EST (my home office/no texts)

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27 thoughts on “Quorum International: History, Review and Facts”

  1. Danny Overstreet

    I was a Quorum distributor for a brief period toward the end of their existence. Their products were inventive and solid. Of course, the PALS (personal alarms) were the best sellers but I also liked the home security systems. We demoed the unit by placing it in a freezer (top of refrigerator), closing the door and then opening the front door or a window, which would set the alarm off. Given the dangerous times we’re in now, I just ordered two personal alarms very similar to the PALS and immediately thought of Quorum Intl. If someone wanted to start a new network marketing company today, there are many personal defense items that would be very popular.

  2. From a facebook post I wrote:

    ___

    When I was young and almost stumbled into a pyramid system

    So, when I finished my education as a hotel manager, I had a myriad reasons not to work in that job ever again, so, 18 years of age, I sifted through the jobs pages in the eary 90’s and ticked off the things I could imagine myself to do. And married with a lot of ambition and a lack of experience (especially in life), but gifted (kinda) with a firm amount of common sense, I wrote and called various prospective new employees.

    One of them invited me to a Marriott hotel lobby, expected me to don the respective attire (no problem for me back then, because I just came out of a job where you are mandated to have everyting, down from the waiter’s uniform, over to a 250 dollar Suite and even a very expensive Smoking for the special events back in the hotel, that I had to manage as part of my education). I donned the suite and went to the hotel. A good looking guy, just a couple of years older than me, in his early twenties, greeted me as if I would be the next big thing in his professional life. I was sceptical from the beginning, but after he talked like a machine gun fires bullets, I agreed to come to an event later the week to meet the stars of the company (American ones). One thing was strange: He talked about his dad, and that he has a house that was “built within a mountain” – Germany has lots of mountains and cliffs, but I asked myself why the son of a guy, who could afford having a house built in a mountain, asking for people through the jobs pages of the local newspapers. Anyway, he told me it was about an alarm system, that was working so well, that he even heard it from the other side of the house (some “dog” tripped it up ringing), even though the massive mountain would dampening any type of sound. It was THAT good of a product. Strange. At least he didn’t try to sell me this amazing alarm system – yet.

    At the event, that was held in a congress room of the, I believe, Hyatt, a lot of people where there. To my right was a guy my age, and he talked to another guy about “business” and that he would go “off like a rocket”, and to my left there was a girl a bit older than me who talked to a guy, how excited she was to be here. Everyone was just totally stoked to be there – except me. I was missing something. Excitement and the greed to make money, I guess. Well, then the American star guests arrived, and made a big show. You know, that everyone in the room would be soon millionaires. Everyone was crazy about the guys on the stage, and one sentence stuck with me that this big American superstar of a salesman was telling the crowd about; at least in part: “… and you know what: You will be susccessful!” – everyone was screaming now so loud, that I put my hands on my ears and eyed the exit. But that was not it. One thing stood out: One of the Ameicans told the crowd about an amazing alarm system, that we could bought off of him, and it worked so well, that it could even be heard from the other side of his house, that was built into a mountain (his wife triggered the alarm). Sounds strikingly familiar, right? The dude who tried to recruite me didn’t even bother to change the story all too much at our first meeting.

    After the event people were divided up into five per seat-isle in the adjacent lounge and one “company associate” was trying to talk us into the pyramid scheme. I did not know what a pyramid scheme is back then, but it sounded fishy. There was a supervisor who walked from isle to isle, checking if everything was alright, and I was one of the problem guys, who asked too many questions about the whole shebang. And the company associate looked back at the supervisor, and instead of keeping up with walking from isle to isle, he skipped three of them and came straight to ours. He asked me what the problem was, and I said I wasn’t convinced about the whole thing. And he tried one of his ‘sure-to-convince-everyone’ lines and said “This is the zero hour! You have to do it now, or you will miss it!”. I instantly understood what he was trying there with me – appealing to my greed that wasn’t there, but he could not know this – I stood up (towered over him; he was a small guy with a big mouth) and said: “Well, tough shit – then I will miss the whole thing entirely – poor me – and for THIS crap I came out here tonight for fuck’s sake!” and left.

    Well, that was it – my first try to get a job. A pyramid scheme initiated from America. The company, that displayed a world map in which it claimed it would rule the entire world in three years, was named “Quorum” – dunno if it still exists, but if it does: Stay away from it. They definitely try to dupe you.

    ___

  3. I was with Quorum in 90-92, it is a blur though because I was 22 and my 4th (32nd year now) year of selling cars. I did very well selling the vehicle theft deterrent that was the clip that was inserted into a slot to allow the ignition to work and without it wouldn’t start. At the time GMC Jimmy’s and Chevy Blazers were a hot theft item and I made more money on the sale and install than I did with Quorum. I also liked the home alarm that worked on the pressure of air in the home, but didn’t sell many of those.

  4. A friend of mine gave me a big box of Quorum stuff that I’ve never gotten around to playing with. My favorite was the system that let you put a pager-like device on several kids and it would alert if any of them wandered out of range, with a siren on the home and remote units. Radio Shack used to a sell a vehicular unit that was similar, with a pager-like unit carried by the vehicle owner that would go off if the alarm was triggered at the vehicle. Too bad the company didn’t make it.

    1. Bill,

      I haven’t heard of that pager type device; however, in this day in age I think it would be great, especially with all of the missing kids and human trafficking. Many kids today have phones, even very young kids. I can’t say that I agree with it, but that isn’t for me to say for any other family but my own. A pager like device could be a great alternative. That makes me stop and think of what could be out there today and do a little research on it. It’s to bad that Quorum doesn’t exist anymore if they were making great products.

      Kara

    2. Yes, that sounds like a really good product idea for someone living in the city or a suburban area, especially someone with young kids. I’m not sure how well it would sell in today’s world, since everyone has a cell phone.

  5. Doing a long overdue basement clean-out I found materials from my brief foray with Quorum. I am confused by the timeline of their “fall” ( filing for bankruptcy etc.) as according to my materials I actually became involved with them in 1997!

    I remember NO mention of problems within the company and there was a good group of “success” stories operating in our cohort. things were active and ongoing. How could that be???
    I did love their portable body alarms- it was a great seller with women joggers.

    1. I tend to agree with you. IMO, the best products were the safety alarms and the aluminum extendable door stops. I gave one of the latter to a friend when her ex-boyfriend kept trying to break in to her apartment.

    2. Laurie,

      Thanks for the comment. When a company goes bankrupt, it can still be in business, so it would not surprise me if Quorum International was still operating in 1997.

      Chuck

  6. I was a Gold distributor and I believe heading quickly to Diamond. My network was mainly in Italy, France, and Spain. Innovative, unique consumer electronics made Quorum far more appealing than any other previous MLM. That’s why its growth was record breaking. The problem was that consumer electronics were not consumables. Quorum tried to compensate for that with the introduction of both a line of cosmetics and a nutritional products one, among other launchings, but it just didn’t work. The distribution base wasn’t consumables-oriented, they were mainly male, part of them disappointed with the likes of Amway, Nu Skin or Herbalife. They just didn’t like consumables. When no new, appealing innovative products filled the pipeline, the growth stopped. Very few distributors were actually selling anything, let alone consuming themselves. That’s what killed it. I also agree about questionable ethic from some of the top distributors. And it’s true, a portion of Hung’s island – whether or not it actually existed – was promised to all future Diamonds. Easy comes, easy goes.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story with Quorum International, Miguel. I really appreciate it. Here’s to your continued success and happiness in life and in business.

  7. Great article. I was recruited with the idea that a 3D was going to make me rich. You didn’t mention how Raymond Hung offered top Distributors a piece of “Quorum Island”, yes an Island that Hung owned.

    1. I always stay away from companies that claim to make you rich! They can’t see into the future and they don’t know how each and every distributor/team member will work the business or do very little.

      It’s always best to look at the combination of products, compensation plan, and their reputation as well as what other distributors are saying. The company that I am with now has an income disclosure, I think it’s good to have.

  8. Amazingly, two of my good friends made their fortune with Quorum. They now lead a very privileged lifestyle and somehow, STILL receive residual income. Not sure how that works if the company is no longer around. Any idea how that could be?

    JO
    Ottawa Ontario Canada

    1. My only guess is that they took what they learned in that company and then joined another network marketing company and became very successful. Or, they took their money and invested it wisely.

  9. The problem with this company is that I always have to find new customers for alarms is not something that a customer will buy repeatedly.

    1. Guy,

      I think that is the case with any company except maybe fast food. If you make a great product people will keep coming back even if it’s 10 years from now. They are building trust, with trust and great products comes referrals and repeat customers. Having many products to choose from also plays a part. If I like their alarms, then I would get their garage door opener, or security cameras, etc.

      Kara

    2. Yes, I could see that as a major challenge. When it comes to network marketing and residual income, you definitely want consumable products, such as skin care, make up or nutritional products.

      On the other hand, big ticket items are great for the direct sales business model, where you can earn generous commissions for selling items that are more expensive than a consumable product.

  10. I often wondered what happened to Quorum International. My mother was a independent distributor, but I purchased a few products from her. I thought the products were wonderful. I loved the personal alarm that you wore like a pager.

    I’m sorry this company isn’t around anymore. I guess the founder wanted a “get rich quick scheme ” and it worked. Good for him, bad for us. That’s the world we live in. I find it hard to invest in things like this because I know they won’t be around the next day. Thank you so much for writing this article. It was very helpful. I will share it with my mother, because she too was wondering what happened to Quorum.

    1. It’s amazing to hear all of the wonderful product testimonials. It sounds like Quorum International had their act together in that department, but really messed up with the money.

      How long was your mother an independent rep with Quorum? I would love to hear more of her story. Perhaps she can visit our website and leave a comment?

      Thanks.

      Chuck

  11. I was a Quorum distributor and quickly made it to the Gold level. The main problems I experienced with this company was the integrity of most of the people in my upline. Some of these people continue to run their scams today.

    Bottom line in any MLM Company is, the product must sell itself and the more time and money you have to invest, the higher you move up. Fact is it takes money to make money. I did have a lot of fun though and met some great people.

    1. Peace be unto you, Michael.

      I was a distributor and met Mr. Hung and his wife on several occasions. The problem was the upline. They had little ethics, no morals, and no integrity. I’m talking about well known people, some even had their own television program.

      We were not supposed to take out newspaper or television ads as it would be a disadvantage for those unable to do so and infringe on their selling arena. My upline took out a full page ad.

      When I called him on it as being against company policy his response, “This is business. We gotta do what we gotta.” When I told my immediate upline how unscrupulous this was and that I was going to report him to the company, due to the person’s high profile on TV, I was asked to let it slide. I was at the Las Vegas convention and witnessed a diamond level couple acting totally immoral with other distributors at the swimming pool. WTH? I loved the products!

    2. Michael,

      Sorry to hear about your shady uplines. What types of shady things were they doing?

      While you were a rep, what was your favorite Quorum product? How did you build your business: face to face, home parties, ads, or something else?

      How long were you with the company and do you still do MLM today?

      Chuck

  12. steve portelance

    Hi Greg,
    Enjoyed reading your segment on Quorum. In your research did you come across the name of the company (Chinese I assume) who manufactured the alarm products for Quorum?

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