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Maximus Bringing Rum to Agent Summit

Maximus Bringing Rum to Agent SummitLAS VEGAS — Maximus Auto Group (MAG) will once again host a high-end tasting at Agent Summit. This year MAG will feature rare and imported rums, organizers announced. The four-day event will begin on Sunday, May 20, 2018, at the Venetian & Palazzo Resort Hotel Casinos in Las Vegas, and the rum tasting booth will be in a prominent position during the receptions scheduled for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday evenings.

“During my travels through the Florida Keys and the Caribbean, I’ve come across some amazing rums,” MAG owner Dean Harrison said. “We’ll offer four of my favorites in a blind tasting, which should be a very unique experience and a chance to relax after a long day of meetings and instruction.”

Agents are invited to participate in the rum tasting at no charge and are encouraged to schedule a tasting time. Each participant will test their palette, matching tasting note cards to each rum. At the end of their tasting, agents will be given an entry for a drawing to be held at the Tuesday evening reception. The winner will receive a bottle of a rare imported rum from Dean’s private stock.

To double their chances of winning the bottle of rare rum, agents can schedule a tasting time here.

“The bourbon tasting was a big hit at last year’s show, and we thank Dean and the Maximus team for bringing back something cool again for a second round,” said David Gesualdo, show chair and publisher of Agent Entrepreneur and F&I and Showroom magazines.

Registration for Agent Summit 2018 is now open at the event’s website. To discuss sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, contact David Gesualdo at 727-947-4027 or via email hidden; JavaScript is required.

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On a Roll: Warranty Solutions to Sponsor Agent Summit Cigar-Rolling Station

On a Roll: Warranty Solutions to Sponsor Agent Summit Cigar-Rolling StationLAS VEGAS — Organizers of the upcoming Agent Summit announced that Warranty Solutions has once again agreed to sponsor a cigar-rolling station at the event, which will be held May 20–23, 2018, at the Venetian & Palazzo Resort Hotel Casinos in Las Vegas.

“Warranty Solutions is proud to be a premier sponsor and participate in the annual Agent Summit,” said Adam Pope, president of Warranty Solutions. “Stop by Booth No.212, talk to our sales and product experts, and enjoy a hand-rolled cigar.”

The cigar-rolling station will be set up in the Warranty Solutions booth No. 212 during the evening receptions scheduled for Monday, May 21, and Tuesday, May 22. Aficionados and the uninitiated alike are welcome to chat with a professional, experienced torcedor and enjoy or take home a hand-rolled Corona or Churchill cigar.

“The cigar-rolling station has become an Agent Summit mainstay, and we appreciate Warranty Solutions for sponsoring it for two years running,” said David Gesualdo, show chair and publisher of Agent Entrepreneur and F&I and Showroom magazines. “If you have never enjoyed the unique experience of a hand-rolled cigar, this is your chance to do so among friends.”

More information about Agent Summit 2018, including a preliminary agenda, is available at the event’s website. Click here to register today. To discuss sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, contact David Gesualdo at 727-947-4027 or via email hidden; JavaScript is required.

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Premium Giveaways Await Agent Summit Attendees

LAS VEGAS — Agent attendees of the eighth annual Agent Summit will have the chance to take home one of a number of prizes totaling $15,000 in value, organizers announced. The four-day event, which includes a comprehensive educational slate, compliance certification, the Reinsurance Symposium, keynote speeches, and a multitude of networking opportunities, kicks off on Sunday, May 20, 2018, at the Venetian & Palazzo Resort Hotel Casinos in Las Vegas.

Upon check-in, each agent attendee will be given a card on which to collect stamps from 15 selected booths. Attendees who return their completed cards to the Agent Entrepreneur table outside the exhibit hall by 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, will be entered in a drawing to be held at that evening’s reception in the exhibit hall. You must be present to win.

The list of prizes includes:

  • Woman’s Rolex wristwatch
  • Bottle of Remy Martin Louis XIII Cognac
  • Tumi brief
  • Custom-tailored suit
  • Custom-tailored sport coat
  • Free show pass, limo transfer and hotel at next year’s Agent Summit.

“We see the giveaways as a way to drive exhibit-hall engagement and add value for some lucky agents,” said David Gesualdo, show chair and publisher of Agent Entrepreneur and F&I and Showroom magazines. “The drawing is always a highlight of the schedule and the odds of winning are better than most.”

More information about Agent Summit 2018, including a preliminary agenda, is available at the event’s website. Click here to register today. To discuss sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, contact David Gesualdo at 727-947-4027 or via email hidden; JavaScript is required.

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AutoGravity Partners With Westbon

IRVINE, Calif. — Fintech provider AutoGravity announced a partnership with Westbon, a lending platform for international students in the United States. Through this unique partnership, Westbon financing options are now accessible to international students who use AutoGravity to finance their vehicle in the U.S.

“Car buyers are looking for a faster and simpler car financing process,” said Serge Vartanov, AutoGravity co-founder and chief evangelist officer. “As the first online platform to cater exclusively to the financing needs of international students, Westbon will benefit from AutoGravity’s appeal to digital-savvy customers seeking an exceptional car-buying experience.”

With an innovative underwriting approach that takes an applicant’s information in both their home country and the U.S. into consideration, Westbon is able to provide international students with unprecedented access to convenient and affordable financing options.

“Westbon is unique in the vehicle lending ecosystem,” said Yifeng Ouyang, co-founder and COO of Westbon. “We make the loan application process easier for international students with higher levels of approval and better interest rates. Working with AutoGravity will help us reach a greater number of international students across the U.S.”

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Wells Fargo Reviewing F&I Products as Regulatory Pressure Builds

SAN FRANCISCO — Wells Fargo is reviewing all F&I products customers opt to include in vehicle finance contracts the bank purchases from dealers to “improve processes for our consumer and dealer customers and to remain competitive in the market,” bank officials said in a statement.

The statement was issued to F&I and Showroom in response to questions about an April 8 article in The Wall Street Journal. Citing people familiar with the matter, the article claimed the bank has expanded its internal review of GAP refunds to other F&I protections like vehicle service contracts and tire protection to “get ahead of heightened regulatory interest in the area.”

The bank’s statement, however, notes that the review “is part of our well-publicized efforts to continually improve and build a better auto lending business.”

“Wells Fargo does not sell auto aftermarket products — they are sold by dealers to their customers during the purchase of a vehicle,” read the statement, in part. “Wells Fargo buys loans from dealers that are inclusive of the financing of the vehicle and the optional aftermarket products.”

The issue regarding the bank’s handling of GAP refunds arose just after the bank announced last August that it would begin issuing refunds to more than half a million customers affected by issues related to sales of collateral protection insurance. In a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the bank estimated that it will pay approximately $145 million in cash remediation and $37 million in account adjustments under its plan.

According to media reports, the GAP refund issue was raised in the course of an external inquiry ordered by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. In a statement issued to The New York Times just after the story broke, however, a Wells Fargo spokesperson said the company “discovered issues related to a lack over oversight and controls” during an internal review.

“We are reviewing our practices and actively working with our dealers and have already begun making improvements to the GAP refund process,” the statement read, in part. “If we find customer impacts, we will make customers whole.”

In an August 2017 regulatory filing, the bank noted that “certain issues related to the unused portion of guaranteed asset protection waiver or insurance agreements … which may result in refunds to customers in certain states.” Nine states require insurance providers to return unused insurance funds to customers: Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Oregon, and South Carolina.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Wells Fargo formed an internal working group in the second half of 2017 to review aftermarket products more broadly in response to consumer complaints and regulatory interest. The group’s activities, which the bank began sharing with the OCC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau earlier this year, included surveying a group of customers to see if they were aware of aftermarket products on their auto loans and to gauge their satisfaction with the products, as well as reviewing dealer relationships to see which ones have the most complaints regarding products.

In recent months, according to The Wall Street Journal, Wells Fargo executives have discussed whether “a certain level of aftermarket services or other financial guidelines would trigger additional review of a loan,” but no action has been taken, according to the report.

Aftermarket products account for $2 billion, or 5%, of the bank’s $55 billion in outstanding auto loan balances. Interest earned on these loans totals between $100 million and $150 million a year, according to The Wall Street Journal’s report.

Additionally, around 70% of Wells Fargo’s auto loans included aftermarket products, people familiar with the bank’s auto portfolio told The Wall Street Journal. They added that the cost of these products can exceed $1,000 and sometimes approach 15% of the vehicle’s value.

In a November regulatory filing, Wells Fargo said allegations related to both CPI sales, which the bank has discontinued, and GAP refunds are the subject of two shareholder derivative lawsuits in California state court. The filing also revealed that “a former team member has alleged retaliation for raising concerns regarding automobile lending practices.”

“These and other issues related to the origination, servicing and/or collection of consumer automobile loans, including related insurance products, have also subjected the company to formal or informal inquiries, investigations or examinations from federal and state government agencies,” the filing notes.

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AUL Corp. Completes SOC 2 Certification

NAPA, Calif. — For the second year in a row, vehicle service contract administrator AUL Corp. has completed all the requirements for Systems and Organizations Control (SOC) 2 Type II Audit for calendar year 2018.

Completed by independent accounting auditor Armanino, the certification confirms AUL’s processes and systems are in accordance with the selected Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ trust services principles and criteria.

“The continuation of our commitment to security is paramount and core to who we are,” said AUL President and CEO Jimmy Atkinson. “We believe that by following best practices and current regulatory guidance, we make AUL a stronger, more effective partner for our nationwide network of agents, dealers, lenders, and contract holders.”

With privacy and security of data becoming increasingly important, SOC 2 compliance demonstrates to consumers and partners that AUL has industry leading controls in its data systems, technologies, and processes. Further, SOC 2 compliance requires that these controls be effective over a period of time rather than at a point in time.

Armanino is the largest California-based CPA and consulting firm and one of the Top 10 fastest-growing large accounting firms in the nation. Specifically targeting service firms with a focus on security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy, the SOC 2 Audit best meets the demands of the vehicle service contract industry.

“Achieving SOC 2 compliance for the second year in a row is a major achievement for any service provider and demonstrates AUL’s continuing commitment to a strong internal control environment,” said Liam Collins of Armanino. “Obtaining a SOC 2 report is a major differentiator for AUL as they look to continue growing their business.”

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