Tag Archive | "EFG Companies"

‘Processes and Controls’ Panel Members Named

AUSTIN — Organizers of Texas Compliance Summit have announced that “Where the Rubber Meets the Road,” a panel discussion led by Brian Crisorio of United Development Systems (UDS), will include experts from the dealership, technology and products space. It will be the third panel of the event, which will be held Nov. 16–17, 2015, at the Hilton Austin Airport Hotel.

“Brian has assembled a panel representing three important facets of regulatory compliance,” said David Gesualdo, show chair and publisher of Auto Dealer Today and F&I and Showroom. “I can’t wait to hear what they have to say.”

Crisorio, who serves as UDS’s vice president of marketing, will be joined by Alessandro Meloni, a finance manager at Transwest Buick GMC Isuzu in Henderson, Colo.; Karen Klees, credit compliance specialist for EFG Companies; and Brian Reed, president and CEO of F&I Express.

“I’m excited to have Al reporting from the front lines and Brian and Karen adding their perspective from the technology and product sides,” Crisorio said. “Our multipronged attack on compliance issues will prove invaluable to the audience.”
The panel is part of the “Easy-to-Implement Processes and Controls” part of the agenda and will begin at 4:35 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

More information about Texas Compliance Summit, including registration, can be found at the event’s website. Attendees who register on or before Oct. 26 will enjoy a $100 discount. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, contact Eric Gesualdo via email or at 727-612-8826.

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EFG Companies’ Karen Klees to Speak at Texas Compliance Summit

DALLAS — EFG Companies, the innovator behind the award-winning Hyundai Assurance program, is pleased to announce that certified credit compliance specialist Karen Klees will speak on a panel entitled, “Where the Rubber Meets the Road” at the Texas Compliant Summit, Tuesday, November 17. In addition to her compliance leadership at EFG, Klees serves as the reinsurance instructor at Northwood University and was recently a featured speaker at the National Association of Minority Auto Dealers Association (NAMAD) national convention. She is AFIP Certified and was one of the first 100 professionals to be certified by the National Automotive Finance Association as a Certified Consumer Credit Compliance Specialist.

“Rules and regulations are changing at a rapid pace, and few guidelines exist from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB),” said Klees. “Issues ranging from advertising to pricing to paperwork can raise numerous questions – and trouble spots. We will provide guidance that automotive dealers, general managers, compliance officers, and sales and F&I professionals can use to ensure compliance. EFG Companies is pleased to serve as a Premier Sponsor for this important event.”

What: Texas Compliance Summit for Sustainable Front End Operations, Easy-to-Implement Processes and Controls session, “Where the Rubber Meets the Road” panel

When: Tuesday, November, 17

Where: Hilton Austin Airport Hotel, Austin, TX

Who: Automotive dealer principals, general managers, compliance officers, sales and F&I principals

More information: http://dealercompliancesummit.com/registration/

EFG Compliance resources: http://www.efgcompanies.com

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EFG Companies and Northwood University Announce F&I Innovator of the Year Competition

DALLAS – EFG Companies, the innovator behind the award-winning Hyundai Assurance program, together with Northwood University, today announced an F&I competition designed to jolt the automotive industry into a higher standard of innovation.

The F&I Innovator of the Year Award, to be held annually, will pit six teams of Northwood’s junior and senior undergraduate automotive marketing and management students against one another to conceptualize and build a new F&I product while earning course credit. A panel of leading dealer principals, EFG executives, and Northwood’s automotive program educators will judge each team’s business case in November. EFG Companies will award the winning team $25,000, and, more importantly, will develop the winning F&I product for the retail automotive marketplace. The company will also return a percentage of the product’s revenues to Northwood University.

The competing teams will be tasked with developing a business case for their new F&I product. Each team will be assigned an F&I director as a mentor to act as a sounding board and guide for one hour per week. The students must research, rationalize and demonstrate the market viability of the new product, and it’s potential to facilitate F&I product sales in franchise dealerships. In addition, the teams will keep video diaries of their progress, challenges, breakthroughs, etc., that will be uploaded to YouTube each week. The competition will run from September 7, 2015 – November 13, 2015.

“Since the 1980’s, F&I products have been developed from a dealer/F&I perspective outward, versus a consumer perspective inward,” said John Pappanastos, President & CEO, EFG Companies. “The increasing compliance and customer retention pressure, and the challenge of appealing to a new and highly informed generation, have predicated the need for the industry to turn innovation on its head. These students represent a fourth of the U.S. population with $200 billion in annual buying power. Our hope is that other F&I providers will follow suit in finding new ways to innovate and drive value for dealers.”

The F&I Innovator of the Year competition will provide Northwood junior and senior students with a deeper understanding of F&I’s importance for dealer profit and customer satisfaction. Currently, dealers generate 35 to 40 percent of their profit from the sale of F&I products. The pace of change in this area of dealership profitability is evolving rapidly due to continuing pressure on lenders, and consequently, on the dealer’s finance reserve from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

“This competition exemplifies the Northwood University philosophy of hands-on learning. It provides our students the unique opportunity to see first-hand how entrepreneurism and leadership can impact the industry as a whole,” said Keith Pretty, President, Northwood University. “Through this competition, we are providing students with an up close and personal opportunity to assess the challenges facing dealerships today and create a product or solution that has never been done before, and can viably drive profit margin for a dealer.”

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EFG Companies Hosts 5th Bi-Annual Agent Council

DALLAS, Texas – EFG Companies, the innovator behind the award-winning Hyundai Assurance program, held its 5th Bi-Annual Agent Council at the Rancho De los Caballeros outside of Phoenix, AZ. EFG’s premier agents from across the United States attended this three-day conference from Wednesday, April 22nd to Friday, April 24th to discuss current industry trends and challenges, share best practices and discuss new product innovation.

Hosted in the spring and fall of each year, this conference is to provide a collaborative environment where agents can formalize their strategies to better serve their dealer clients, improve F&I performance, and increase dealer profit.

“Our agent council underscores our core support of our agents’ long-term strategies,” said Eric Fifield, Senior Vice President, Agency Services, EFG Companies. “By stepping back to dissect market trends and map agent progress on hitting their goals, we can effectively evaluate how to better contribute to their success and build their business.”

In EFG’s efforts to provide productive solutions in building agent profitability, the company created the EFG Top Agent Award. This award is determined by overall performance, effective training, and comprehensive achievements throughout the year. This year’s award was given to Empire Dealer Services out of Boston, MA during the Agent Council.

“This award underscores the collaborative relationship between EFG and Empire Dealer Services,” said John Kane, Cofounder of Empire Dealer Services. “By working with EFG to implement effective dealer solutions, and proactively train our people and the dealerships we work with, we’ve been able to generate a PRU increase of $200 to $250 with a VSC production increase of 10 percent and an appearance protection production increase of 25 percent.”

“One of the main objectives with EFG’s Agent Council is to guide and direct our own efforts in the evolution of product development and process improvement,” said John Pappanastos, President and CEO, EFG Companies. “At each conference, we identify key products and processes that need to be developed to support our agent’s initiatives.”

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Minn. AG’s Lawsuit Against EFG Dismissed

PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson’s lawsuit against EFG Companies regarding its direct-to-consumer sales of vehicle service contracts was dismissed on Dec. 24, 2014, 90 days after it was filed in the Fourth Judicial District Court.

On Sept. 24, 2014, the attorney general charged the F&I product provider with violating three consumer-protection laws for the way it handled cancellations and refunds on service contracts sold through third-party sellers. But an internal audit conducted by EFG showed that its distributors paid 96% of all consumer refunds within the 45-day period required by Minnesota law.

“As part of the dismissal, there was no finding of fault, no finding that EFG did anything wrong, and no civil penalty or fines were imposed,” John Pappanastos, president and CEO of EFG Companies, said in a statement issued to F&I and Showroom magazine. “The resolution of the Minnesota case within 90 days is evidence of the AG’s understanding that EFG is a consumer-centric company that acts with high integrity to ensure that consumers are treated respectfully and fairly.”

The executive noted that the company “moved quickly in accordance with its normal operating procedures” to pay the remaining refunds that fell outside of the 45-day period.

Swanson’s office did not return calls seeking comment. The attorney general, who was reelected to her third term this past November, had charged EFG with violating the state’s Service Contract Law, the Consumer Fraud Act and the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act for not delivering on its promise of issuing full refunds to consumers in a timely manner if they canceled their service contract within 30 days.

“Minnesotans are bombarded with postcard mailers claiming that their auto warranties are about to expire, and people need to know that not all of these companies play fair,” Swanson warned in a press release her office issued at the time of the lawsuit’s filing. The release and a bulletin that warned consumers about service-contract sales no longer appear on the attorney general’s website.

Speaking to F&I and Showroom this past September, Pappanastos said EFG was first contacted by Swanson’s office in December 2013. The attorney general gave no indication that EFG was at the center of what her office described as a “broad-reaching” investigation. The executive added that Swanson indicated at the time that multiple providers were being investigated. That last communication EFG had with the attorney general before the lawsuit was filed was in June 2014.

“Up until the lawsuit, they never said what the nature of the investigation was,” Pappanastos told F&I and Showroom in September. “And somehow, the press was privy to the lawsuit before us.”

Customers who cancel their EFG contract within 30 days of purchase are instructed to contact the seller for a refund. Typically, that refund consists of the purchaser’s down payment, which is collected solely by the seller. EFG, Pappanastos noted back in September, does not transmit funds on contracts until after the first 30 days, which means it would not have an enforceable contract in its system until after that period. That means EFG would have no record of the sold contracts if that was the case with the consumers involved in the complaint. But the company could not confirm if that was the case because Swanson’s office refused to release the names of the affected consumers.

Since 2009, according to the attorney general’s lawsuit, EFG has sold 3,700 service contracts to Minnesota residents. Its complaint rate, Pappanastos touted in September, was less than 1%.

“The audit confirmed there was no systemic or methodical intent to delay refunds, and the amount of money in question proved nominal,” read Pappanastos statement, in part. “We want to thank all of our stakeholders for your support of EFG during this situation, and for your steadfast confidence in the fact that EFG operates with the highest level of integrity.

“EFG applauds the efforts of attorneys general across the nation for ensuring that consumers are treated fairly in accordance with their state laws,” he added. “As you know, EFG holds itself to a very high standard and we would like to see the entire industry held to such a standard.”

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NIADA Partners with EFG Companies

DALLAS, Texas — The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) and EFG Companies have announced a new strategic partnership to drive greater F&I profit opportunities for independent dealerships nationwide.

Independent auto dealers operate in a highly fragmented F&I product market where there is an abundance of products, but a lack of relevant and consistent dealership engagement in terms of F&I training, compliance and recruiting, officials said. With almost 40 years of experience as an industry innovator of consumer and vehicle protection programs, EFG serves the independent dealer as a single-source provider for F&I products, services and administration.

“EFG Companies represents a leading force in the F&I training, compliance, and ancillary solutions market. We see a tremendous reservoir of very innovative, high impact, and leading edge F&I solutions that our member dealers need more than ever to effectively compete and ensure compliance within a very dynamic, hypercompetitive auto retail finance market,” said Scott Lilja, senior vice president of member services of NIADA. “EFG Companies exemplifies at the highest level what we look for in an endorsed NIADA National Corporate Partner.”

“During this time of increased compliance oversight and economic expansion, it is imperative that independent auto dealerships be equipped with the ability to drive F&I revenue in a compliant manner while increasing customer satisfaction,” said John Pappanastos, president and CEO of EFG Companies. “EFG has proven that an engagement model which combines F&I and sales training, recruiting services and industry analytics drives healthy and sustainable business growth.”

EFG’s dealer services field team is 100% AFIP certified, and the company has been certified as a Center of Excellence by Benchmark Portal — a customer service designation that less than 10% of companies achieve. In 2014, EFG was also the only product provider awarded the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Blue Seal of Excellence, with EFG’s claims adjusters averaging 15 years of experience.

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