Tag Archive | "AUL Corp."

AUL Corp. Awarded System and Organization Controls (SOC) 2 Type II for Second Year in a Row


NAPA, Calif. – For the second year in a row, AUL Corp. (AUL), the nation’s leading vehicle service contracts (VSC) administrator, has completed all of the requirements for a Systems and Organizations Control (SOC) 2 Type II Audit for calendar year 2018, announced Jimmy Atkinson, AUL’s president and CEO. This extensive report provides independent validation that AUL’s internal controls 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 Jimmy Atkinson, AUL’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “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.

One of the leading independent accounting auditors, Armanino, completed the SOC 2 Audit verifying that AUL’s processes and systems meet all the requirements for security, availability and confidentiality. Armanino is the largest California-based CPA and consulting firm and one of the top ten 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. Obtaining a SOC 2 report is a major differentiator for AUL as they look to continue growing their business,” said Liam Collins of Armanino.

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AUL Surpasses Two Million Contracts Issued


NAPA, Calif. — AUL Corp. surpassed 2 million contracts issued, the vehicle service contract provider announced last week. Officials said the milestone makes the firm one of the top independent VSC providers in the nation.

Founded in 1990 by industry icon Luis Nieves, AUL achieved the milestone just seven years after it touched the million-policy mark in 2011. Officials said that means the firm reached two million policies issued in about a third of the time.

“We are thrilled for the accomplishment, but we are even more thankful for our amazing family of independent agents and dealers,” said Jimmy Atkinson, AUL Corp.’s president and CEO. “Without [their] help, this achievement would not be possible.”

Atkinson said one of the drivers is consumers, who are keeping their vehicles longer than ever before. Vehicles are also more complex and technologically advanced, increasing the need for added protection. “When you combine the increasing need for VSC’s with AUL’s comprehensive policies and industry-leading customer support staff, you have a business that is primed for growth,” Atkinson said.

The firm recently promoted Henry Paoli to national sales manager and brought in a fourth regional sales executive in response to the company’s strong sales.

“We have always strived to be a leader in customer service and to provide the best suite of policies in the industry. And the only way to deliver upon those high standards is to bring in the best people in the business,” said Jason Garner, AUL’s senior vice president of sales and business development. “With 2017 having been the best performing year in AUL’s history, we look forward to serving our next million customers with our never-ending dedication to hard work and integrity.”

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AUL Corp celebrates 16th Presidents Club Event in Cuba


“It was very exciting to be in Cuba and engage with the Cuban people,” said Chief Operating Officer Jimmy Atkinson. “We toured several areas before ending in Havana, and the people couldn’t have been friendlier. In many ways, it was like stepping back in time. It was an honor to be able to host our Presidents Club agents and share the experience with them.”

“Going to Cuba was a determined dream come true for all of our Presidents Club members. It was the most valuable gift to date, the most joyful interlude that we could have wished to make come true for them and their spouses. Moreover, our appreciation for our loyal and treasured agent partners is inestimable. Cuba was our humble attempt to express that,” said Luis Nieves, founder and CEO of AUL Corp.

About AUL Presidents Club — The AUL Presidents Club trip is an annual event that AUL hosts for its top performing agencies. Over the last sixteen years, the event has been held in tropical locations, such as Grand Cayman and Turks & Caicos, along with many other exclusive destinations. The 2017 Presidents Club location will be announced in February 2017 at the National Agency Meeting in Napa, California.

About AUL Corp — AUL Corp is a vehicle service contract company founded in Napa, California, in 1990 by Luis Nieves, President and CEO. AUL has 117 employees in its downtown Napa offices and hundreds of agents across the country selling its products. AUL Corp founded the national used car service contract industry in 1990 with its still famous Any Year, Any Mileage® vehicle service contract. AUL continues leading its industry and is the only provider of its type authorized to conduct business in all 50 States. AUL enjoys a long relationship with its underwriters, who hold an A.M. Best rating of “A” or excellent. AUL Corp also enjoys the longest-term relationships in the industry with its agent and dealer clients as verified by independent third-party research. AUL’s mission is to be the premier service contract administrator in America by any quantifiable measurement of business activity.

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An Interview with Jimmy Atkinson


At Agent Summit in May, Jimmy Atkinson continued a long career in public speaking when he joined “Building a Team Theme for Prosperity,” a panel discussion led by Tom O’Neil of O’Neil Financial Services Agency. Upon returning to his adopted hometown of Napa, Calif., the COO of AUL Corp. met with AE to reflect on his work in retail and as a trainer, product provider, marathon runner and long-suffering Braves fan.

AE: Jimmy, it was great seeing you at Agent Summit, and I enjoyed your panel. Great energy, great content, and O’Neil did a nice job as the moderator.

Atkinson: Tom did a terrific job. He was probably the most engaged moderator I’ve worked with. We drilled down on the questions on multiple calls and had a final prep session before we went onstage. Everybody on the panel had a good time.

AE: Do you enjoy public speaking?

Atkinson: I do. I spent about five years just doing training and another three or four years just doing F&I development. I started with MS Diversified, which was later acquired by Assurant Solutions, and then worked with Joe Verde for four years. I started my own training company in 2001. I found I had a real passion for teaching and sharing information. By the way, when I started at Joe Verde Group, the first person to take me under his wing was Dave Anderson.

AE: The same Dave Anderson who spoke at Agent Summit?

Atkinson: The same. And I gained a lot of confidence through that experience. It’s always great to see Dave and listen to his powerful message.

AE: What was your first job in the auto industry?

Atkinson: I started selling cars in March of 1983. Pugmire Lincoln Mercury, in my hometown of Atlanta, had an ad running in the newspaper. I actually replied to the ad at their Chevrolet store down the street. The sales manager at the Chevy store said, “You’ll never make it in the car business,” so I walked down to the Lincoln store.

AE: If only he knew.

Atkinson: Well, I was a bit more shy and introverted at the time. And it was only a 10-minute interview. But I caught on and moved into F&I after 18 months. Then I was promoted to sales manager and then general sales manager. I spent seven years at three dealerships. From there I went to work for MS Diversified as a regional manager and training director — the same work that agents do, but as a direct employee.

About four years into it, I got involved in F&I training. When I started my own company, I figured I would be a trainer and have a few products. In 2002, I received a call from my old boss at MS Diversified. They had been acquired by what was then Assurant and he asked me to rejoin him there.

AE: When did you make the move to AUL?

Atkinson: That was in July of 2010. Luis Nieves, the founder, was a client and friend through Assurant. He called me and said, “I would like to visit with you. I have an idea.” We met and he said he needed someone to come in and be his No. 2.

AE: And that was a big move, leaving Atlanta for the Wine Country.

Atkinson: It was. We had moved around a bit before that, but I was born, grew up and spent most of my life in Atlanta.

AE: I learned most of what I know about Atlanta from “A Man in Full” by Tom Wolfe.

Atkinson: I just read that a few months ago! The way he paints Atlanta is probably pretty accurate. It’s a great city, but you get the sense it’s always trying to prove itself. It is home to a ton of Fortune 500 companies, so it’s always growing and expanding, and that brings a lot of challenges. But I love it because it’s home, and of course I still love the Braves, Falcons, Hawks and Bulldogs. You can’t learn to appreciate the meaning of loyalty and heartache until you follow teams that have lost so many championships.

AE: Actually, I’m from Buffalo, so …

Atkinson: Oh, that’s right.

AE: Let’s move on! We had a nice visit in Napa a few years back. What is it like to live there?

Atkinson: It’s very different. There are things I miss about living in the South, but California is a beautiful state. And people don’t realize this about Napa, but it’s like a small farming town, only with hotels and restaurants and tourism. When I think about living in Atlanta, I picture myself either being at the airport or fighting all the traffic, so the relaxed atmosphere is welcome.

AE: Still, it must have been difficult to leave.

Atkinson: It’s never an easy decision. It was made easier because we have two sons who were grown and moving to Los Angeles at the same time. That’s only a one-hour flight. We moved a couple times when the boys were growing up, and that was probably tougher on them than I’d like to admit. Thankfully, I have the greatest wife and mom in the world, and the boys are now wonderful young men.

AE: What do you do to stay in shape?

Atkinson: I ride a Pinarello road bike sometimes, and I’m terrible at golf, but mostly I run. I’ve been doing it for about 18 years. I have run four marathons and a bunch of half-marathons, including two with my younger son. It relieves stress and gives me solitude when I need it.

AE: Running in Napa must be a lot more comfortable than running in Atlanta.

Atkinson: If you’re training for a fall marathon, you’re running up to 18 miles in the summer. So, yes, climate-wise, it is better in Napa. But both cities have a lot of hills.

AE: How much do you love working with agents?

Atkinson: I do love agents. It’s kind of wild. They’re such a different breed. Not unlike car dealers. They are the masters of entrepreneurship and truly brilliant in their fields. They have that amazing ability to adapt to change and grow their businesses. It’s a neat group of people.

AE: Are you looking for more agents? How does that process work?

Atkinson: Jason Garner, our general sales manager, heads up agent acquisitions. He has a team of business development managers. We’re pretty selective. But if we have an area where we’re underperforming and want to grow, and if we don’t have an agent there, we will look for someone. But we have a very stable agent force. We still have the first agent we signed and the first dealer we signed.

AE: That’s impressive.

Atkinson: It’s all driven by Luis, who founded the company and created this wonderful culture. He is probably the most humble, generous and appreciative person I’ve met. He would give you the shirt off his back. He always believes in doing what’s right, and that’s the real secret.

AE: So what drives you now? What gets you up in the morning?

Atkinson: Well, first, there’s always a million things to do. Second, it’s exciting. You asked about agents. That’s one of the most exciting parts of the job. They bring unique opportunities and problems to solve. One of the things we strive to be is a company that agents can turn to for a new approach and we think we do a lot of it really well. At the same time, you have to find a way to create new value. It’s a tremendous business, and it’s growing. There is nothing I would rather be doing.

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Atkinson to Pull Double Duty at PALS 2016


LAS VEGAS — Organizers of the annual P&A Leadership Summit have announced that Jimmy Atkinson, COO of AUL Corp., will serve as a panel moderator and closing keynote speaker at the 2016 event, which will be held Aug. 30–31 at Paris Las Vegas.

Atkinson’s panel, “Threats Facing the F&I Industry,” will begin at 2:05 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30. He will be joined by National Automotive Experts’ David Neuenschwander, David Pryor of Safe-Guard Products International, Mike Saint of Assurant Risk Management, and National Auto Care’s Tony Wanderon.

“TPAs today are facing multiple threats, from moving our products into a dealer’s digital marketplace to adapting and adjusting to rapidly changing technology in the vehicles we cover,” Atkinson said. “How to make the leap in a profitable way is a big challenge, and I’m excited to lead a panel of some of the most successful folks in our industry to address these issues.”

At 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, Atkinson will deliver “The Pre-Owned Correction and F&I’s Big Opportunity,” the closing keynote address for P&A Leadership Summit as well as the co-located Industry Summit. He is expected to discuss the imminent correction that will inject large numbers of high-mileage vehicles into the used-car market and how, with proper planning, product providers, agents and dealers can take full advantage.

“With decades of experience and a track record of success, Jimmy is precisely the type of executive and leader our event was designed to showcase and serve,” said David Gesualdo, show chair and publisher of P&A magazine. “We have nothing but the highest of expectations for both sessions.”

To register for the 2016 P&A Leadership Summit, click here. To inquire about sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, contact David Gesualdo via email hidden; JavaScript is required or at 727-947-4027.

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ADT Names 2016 Dealers’ Choice Award Winners


TORRANCE, Calif. — The publishers of Auto Dealer Today announced the winners of the 12th annual Dealers’ Choice Awards. The awards are based on a comprehensive survey that allowed dealers and dealership personnel to recognize their favorite vendors, suppliers and finance companies in 34 categories.

Voters must write in the name of each provider and score them in a number of areas related to performance, customer service, and the likelihood the voter would recommend each company to another dealer.

“This year’s winners include Dealers’ Choice Awards regulars as well as a number of new companies that have emerged as major players in a variety of categories,” said David Gesualdo, publisher of Auto Dealer Today and F&I and Showroom magazines. “But they all have one thing in common: They have earned the loyalty and praise of dealers, and they deserve our congratulations.”

The 2016 Dealer’s Choice Awards winners are:

New-Vehicle Lead

Used-Vehicle Lead

  • Diamond: Autotrader
  • Platinum: Cars.com
  • Gold: CarsDirect

Special Finance Lead

  • Diamond: CarsDirect
  • Platinum: DealerLink
  • Gold: Auto Credit Express

Digital Marketing

  • Diamond: Digital Air Strike
  • Platinum: ELEAD1ONE
  • Gold: eBizAutos

Website Provider

  • Diamond: eBizAutos
  • Platinum: VinSolutions
  • Gold: Dealer.com

Chat Provider

  • Diamond: ActivEngage
  • Platinum: Client~ConneXion
  • Gold: Contact At Once!

Mobile Media

  • Diamond: Dealer.com
  • Platinum: eBizAutos
  • Gold: Dealer Synergy

Social Media Management

  • Diamond: Ally
  • Platinum: Naked Lime
  • Gold: DealerClickz

Reputation Management

  • Diamond: Dominion Dealer Solutions
  • Platinum: CDK Global
  • Gold (tie): DealerRefresh
  • Gold (tie): DMEautomotive

Direct Mail

  • Diamond: ProMax Unlimited
  • Platinum: Action Integrated
  • Gold: Strategic Marketing

Virtual BDC

  • Diamond: ELEAD1ONE
  • Platinum: DealerStrong

Online Inventory Listing Management

  • Diamond: Dominion Dealer Solutions
  • Platinum: eBizAutos
  • Gold: Auction123

Inventory Management

  • Diamond: Dealertrack
  • Platinum: vAuto
  • Gold: FirstLook Systems

Hiring and Recruitment

  • Diamond: GSFSGroup
  • Platinum: Hireology

Sales Training

  • Diamond: Ziegler SuperSystems
  • Platinum: Ally
  • Gold: Joe Verde Group

Internet Training

  • Diamond: Dealer.com
  • Platinum: Dealer Synergy
  • Gold: Ally

Compliance Training

  • Diamond: American Financial & Automotive Services (AFAS)
  • Platinum: United Development Systems Inc. (UDS)
  • Gold: Mosaic Compliance Services

F&I Training

  • Diamond: United Development Systems Inc. (UDS)
  • Platinum: American Financial & Automotive Services (AFAS)
  • Gold: Reahard & Associates

Special Finance Training

  • Diamond: DealerStrong
  • Platinum: NCM Associates
  • Gold: Ally

Fixed Ops Training

  • Diamond: DealerPro Service Solutions
  • Platinum: CDK Global
  • Gold: The Cardone Group

F&I Products

  • Diamond: IAS
  • Platinum: RoadVantage
  • Gold: National Auto Care

Service Contract

  • Diamond: CNA National
  • Platinum: Protective Asset Protection
  • Gold: AUL Corp.

Service Contract Reinsurance

  • Diamond: Portfolio
  • Platinum: GSFSGroup
  • Gold: CNA National

F&I Desking Software

  • Diamond: ProMax Unlimited
  • Platinum: Reynolds and Reynolds
  • Gold: Dealertrack

F&I Technology

  • Diamond: F&I Express
  • Platinum: MaximTrak
  • Gold: StoneEagle

CRM 

  • Diamond: ProMax Unlimited
  • Platinum: ELEAD1ONE
  • Gold: Reynolds and Reynolds

DMS 

  • Diamond: Dealertrack
  • Platinum: Reynolds and Reynolds
  • Gold: Auto/Mate

Data Mining

  • Diamond: ELEAD1ONE
  • Platinum: Dominion Dealer Solutions
  • Gold: AutoAlert

Online Auction for Purchasing Inventory

  • Diamond: Manheim
  • Platinum: SmartAuction
  • Gold: ADESA

Traditional Auction

  • Diamond: Manheim
  • Platinum: ADESA

Prime Captive Finance Company

  • Diamond: GM Financial
  • Platinum: Honda Financial Services
  • Gold: Toyota Financial Services

Prime Non-Captive Finance Company

  • Diamond: Ally
  • Platinum: Chase
  • Gold: Wells Fargo

Subprime Finance Company

  • Diamond: Wells Fargo
  • Platinum: Regional Acceptance
  • Gold: Capital One

Biweekly Payments

  • Diamond: U.S. Equity Advantage
  • Platinum: SMART Payment Plan
  • Gold: Economic Advantages Corp. (EAC)

More detail about this year’s awards will appear in a Special Awards Section in the July issue of Auto Dealer Today. The winners will be honored in a special ceremony in August at Industry Summit in Las Vegas.

For sponsorship opportunities, contact David Gesualdo via email hidden; JavaScript is required or at (727) 947-4027.

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