Tim Owens, consumer vehicle lending executive at Bank of America, places a priority on networking to learn from fellow banking professionals and to grow his perspective of the evolving auto finance industry.
He leans on his diverse network for feedback on ways to manage the challenges he faces in automotive lending.
At Bank of America, Owens leads the consumer vehicle lending division with the goal of delivering a simple but high-tech customer experience. He has been with the bank since 2011, when he joined as a national retail sales executive assisting clients with their home loans. Owens then took the reigns as consumer vehicle lending executive in April 2019 to lead client managers who work with more than 12,000 car dealerships.
Owens founded Owens Consulting Services LLC for mortgage banking and default management consulting in 2008 after serving in executive leadership roles at Lehman Mortgage Capital, Option One Mortgage, H&R Block and Associates Financial Services.
Auto Finance News recently spoke with Owens about his career, his approach to leadership and his thoughts on trends in the auto finance industry. What follows is an edited version of that conversation.
Auto Finance News: What are Bank of America’s goals in about 10 words or less?
Tim Owens: Helping our clients live their best financial lives.
AFN: What do you think is the most underrated lending trend?
TO: Delivering a high-tech and high– touch customer experience. Customers want an easy, self-directed digital experience to research, apply, fulfill, and service a financial product. Delivering digital solutions are absolute table stakes in today’s market, but when the need arises customers want the option to talk to a knowledgeable lending professional in the moment. Most competitors are good at high tech or high touch. Market leaders need to deliver both.
AFN: What is your favorite piece of leadership advice ever received?
TO: To be very deliberate in building a diverse network both within and outside of my line of business. The benefits of maintaining a strong network are many. It’s given me a broader perspective on the enterprise and how we’re all connected in delivering for our clients. I’ve also received valuable feedback on ways to best manage the challenges and opportunities of my business. I’ve leveraged my network to expand my circle of influence. It’s allowed me to build my personal brand and I’ve made some great friends along the way. I’ve also found it’s the leadership advice that I most frequently pass on.
AFN: Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
TO: I’ve had the benefit of being surrounded by many great leaders throughout my career who have all contributed to my professional development. That said, the biggest influence in my career and in my life has been my father. My dad was a manufacturing plant manager and then later in life was a management and leadership consultant. I had the benefit of following his example of how to work hard, how to persevere, how to treat people, how to approach problems from different angles, the power of teamwork, and how to believe in myself. I miss him every day.
AFN: What’s something your employees would be surprised to learn about you?
TO: I’m pretty much an open book with my team, so not much would surprise them. One thing they may not know is that I play the guitar and try my hand at writing songs, especially to celebrate my friends’ birthdays. I get to honor them and roast them a bit. It’s all in good fun.