Five questions with … Arivo Acceptance Chief Risk Officer Landon Starr

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Landon Starr

Arivo Acceptance’s Chief Risk Officer Landon Starr turned to unique solutions to manage borrowers’ risk during a global pandemic, and a year later the lender is now poised for growth.

Arivo invested in digital verification technology to mitigate risk and make vehicle ownership more affordable to subprime consumers, Starr previously told Auto Finance Excellence. The Sandy, Utah-based lender uses automated data acquisition to verify borrowers’ employment status and income to better rate their ability to repay a car loan, he said.

Starr has more than 20 years’ experience in risk management and spent about a decade at American Express building predictive models for commercial and consumer risk. In 2018, he joined Arivo, where he leads the risk, technology, data and analytics teams.

“I’ve been focusing on building out the machine learning platform and building out a lot of the risk modeling functions for [Arivo] over the last few years,” Starr said during the 2021 Auto Finance Risk Summit.

Arivo is currently in growth mode, with origination volume almost doubled in March 2021 following the lender’s expansion into new regions and its second entrance into the auto asset-backed securities market. Originations totaled nearly $200 million in 2020. As of March, Arivo had a managed portfolio of about $325 million.

In his personal time, Starr likes to work on cars and currently drives a modified Subaru WRX.

“I love to tinker with cars and have upgraded a number of the components in the vehicle,” Starr said. “Vehicles are very complex systems that we totally take for granted that they somehow just work. I really enjoy understanding and appreciating the various systems and complexities that go into these extremely reliable modes of transportation. Plus, there’s nothing quite like being able to go fast.”

Auto Finance Excellence asked Starr five questions to learn about his goals for the company, who helped shaped him as a leader, and something his coworkers may not yet know about him.

Auto Finance Excellence: What are your company goals in about 10 words or less?

Landon Starr: Our current aim is subprime simplified, for dealerships and consumers alike.

AFE: What is your favorite piece of leadership advice you ever received?

LS: Help others find where their passions and talent intersect. This is where employees are most fulfilled, and employers benefit from the greatest contributions.

AFE: Who has had the biggest influence on your career?

LS: Probably one of my earliest bosses at American Express, Pieter Van Ispelen. He was always open to discuss leadership concepts, theories, and consider all possibilities. Interacting and learning from him really emphasized the importance of knowing you can entertain an idea without accepting it or agreeing with it. It really empowers the voices and ideas of others, while laying the foundation for how the best solutions are found.

AFE: What do you think is the most underrated lending trend?

LS: The relatively recent shift in focus to the customer and user experience. Everyone is doing it to some degree these days, so it’s far from a secret anymore, but I think the value from being able to deliver products in an easy, simplified fashion is still extremely underrated.

AFE: What’s something your employees would be surprised to learn about you?

LS: That I have a mini vineyard in my back yard and make my own wine. It’s a great break from the computer screen and gives me an excuse to play in the dirt. My “mini vineyard” is four vines.

Auto Finance Summit, the premier industry event, returns October 27-29 in Las Vegas. The Summit continues to bring together the best and brightest in the industry year after year for unparalleled networking and professional education. To learn more about the 2021 event and register, visit www.AutoFinanceSummit.com.

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