Channel | Highlights

P&A Leadership Summit – Recap of a Successful Show

Highlights from the 2014 event

By: Jennifer Nebrich

The fourth annual P&A Leadership Summit proved to be a tremendous success. F&I administrators and managers from across the country came together to connect, network and address the most important issues in the industry at the Paris Las Vegas on September 8-9th. The advisory board, led by David Trinder, CEO, F&I Administration Solutions, succeeded in creating a show rich with in-depth exploration of the most relevant topics facing the industry. Networking opportunities abounded as attendees took advantage of meeting with partners and others in the industry. The insights of the speakers and presenters could not have been more on target, as they shared a wealth of information and offered advice for improving business processes across the board.

Early arrivers were welcomed Sunday evening with cocktails at the meet-and-greet cocktail hour. On Monday, the show kicked off with a luncheon presentation featuring Craig Tessimond, director, Houlihan Lokey. As a seasoned investment banker, Tessimond discussed many aspects of private equity firms – what they look for in a company and why they particularly favor F&I. He looked at numerous factors that drive valuations and how to prepare to sell to a private equity group.

A panel session focusing on reinsurance followed. This panel of experts examined tax regulatory changes over the last ten years, pros and cons of various domiciles, and shared their predictions for the future of reinsurance. Thomas Elliot, executive vice president, StoneEagle, moderated the panel comprised of Gerald Farlow, president, Gerald B. Farlow & Associates; David Kaseff, chief operating officer, MarksNelson; and Charles Wanner, senior vice president, GPW and Associates, Inc..

George Krnich, vice president of claims and risk management, American Auto Guardian, Inc., moderated a panel session on the challenges and opportunities in claims processing. Panelist Jeff Robinson, operations manager, Alpha Warranty Services; Mark Rau, vice president of operations, American Financial & Automotive Services; Frank Pfister, national claims manager, AUL; Kevin Peltzer, senior account executive, Meridian Auto Parts, all shared their experiences and best practices for managing and measuring effectiveness and efficiency of call centers, the adjudication process, parts sourcing, and how to streamline the claims process. This fast paced panel provided valuable tips and ideas applicable to the entire claims process.

In the next session Kelvin Walker and Tim Roncevich of SSAE 16 Professionals discussed how businesses can become better, faster and stronger through the proper use of internal controls. Roncevich and Walker walked the audience through the SSAE 16 audit process and focused on the types of processes that they look for from administrators when completing their audits. They also elaborated on how various controls can guard against and expose fraud, and how controls can be used as a means to set a business apart from its competitors.

The Monday evening keynote address was given by Steve Braskamp, director, Capital One. This session had everyone talking. Braskamp offered many unique statistics illustrating the impact of today’s digital culture on F&I, and looked at the effect of both the returning subprime market and of increasing loan terms. Braskamp examined the rapidly evolving dynamic of ecommerce and its influence on the way people now shop for cars. Attendees departed armed with increased awareness and strategies to better compete in today’s digital age.

Former CFPB’s point man, Rick Hackett, now a partner with Hudson & Cook, discussed disparate impact, flats, the NADA Fair Credit Program, and much more. He forecasted the future direction of the CFPB – a bureau that started out with 12 people, but is now comprised of some 1,700 individuals ­– and its potential role in the industry in coming years.

Tim Meenan, managing shareholder, Meenan Regulatory and Legislative Attorneys, followed with a detailed narrative of recent federal and state regulatory laws that have impacted F&I. Having lobbied for many Senate and House bills affecting the industry, Meenan shared his experiences and provided direction on the necessity of making compliance an integral part of daily business operations.

A panel of actuaries led by Kristen Gruber, president, Dealers Assurance company, discussed everything from the impact of new technology on service contracts, to profitability, earning curves, cancel rates and the effect of lifetime warranties. The panel included: George Belokas, actuary, GPW and Associates, Inc.; Lee Bowron, vice president, Kerper and Bowron, LLC; and Michael Covert, principal, Perr&Knight.

Lance LaCoe, president, Century Automotive, delivered an engaging account of his experience conducting business overseas, and the sometimes startlingly reality that comes with international expansion. From strange dinner entrees to communication dilemmas, LaCoe shared how to identify and avoid common pitfalls and the steps necessary to develop a plan for successful international business expansion.

Finally, Brent Allen, president, StoneEagle; John Jacobs, director of business development, eOriginal, Inc.; Kumar Kathinokkula, COO, F&I Administration Solutions, Inc.; Brian Krasavage, director of product management, ADP Dealer Services; and Ronda Lewis, national director of sales, Dealertrack; shared best practices for paperless processes and the incorporation of eSignatures in F&I. This panel, led by Dan Lievrouw, vice president of operations & I.T., American Guardian Warranty Services, Inc., discussed the advantages and challenges of paperless transactions – from security and legal issues to how banks and the DMV can hinder progress. Each panelist shared unique insights into what the industry needs to do to keep up with the growing consumer demand for paperless transactions – and why automotive is playing catch up with the progress in other industries.

The P&A Leadership Summit speakers represented a wide range of expertise from many unique perspectives. Something of relevance was provided to every attendee and was done in an interesting and engaging manner. Whether you were able to attend or missed the show this year, stay tuned – more on each of the sessions’ topics will be covered in upcoming issues. And the show for next year is already on the books! Plan on being there next year for the fifth annual P&A Leadership Summit, September 9-10, 2015.

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2019 Advisory Board

David Trinder 
StoneEagle F&I
Advisory Board Chair

Lee Bowron
Kerper and Bowron

Dave Duncan
Safe-Guard Products International

Ron Greer
Provider Exchange Network

Kristen Gruber 
Dealers Assurance Company

Lori Hallissey 
Portfolio

Arden Hetland
American Financial & Automotive Services

Daniel Jones
EckBond

Daniel Lievrouw
American Guardian Warranty Services

Kelly Price
NAE/NWAN

Mitch Rand
C&K Auto Parts

Michael Reth
Axiom Product Administration

Michael Tuno 
World Class Dealer Services

Tony Wanderon
National Auto Care