Hyundai Capital America (HCA) Chief Risk Officer Jennifer Kim strives to lead by example and take on new opportunities as she prioritizes speeding up the captive’s decisioning process through automation and e-contracting.
Kim started at HCA in 2016 and previously served as deputy chief risk officer and card risk management leader before taking on the CRO role in 2019. Under her leadership, HCA’s rate of automatic decisioning increased to 80% in 2022 from 50% in the last three years, Kim said at the recent Auto Finance Risk Summit. The captive, which started offering e-contracting three years ago, now completes 86% of its contracts digitally.
Hyundai Capital America had $46.6 billion in total auto outstandings at yearend 2021, according to the 2022 Big Wheels Auto Finance Data report.
Auto Finance Excellence spoke with Kim about her lead-by-example strategy and how she aims to inspire other women to take on senior leadership positions. What follows is an edited version of the conversation.
Auto Finance Excellence: What are your company goals in about 10 words or less?
Jennifer Kim: Be the trusted captive finance partner for our Hyundai, Kia and Genesis service brands by providing the best dealer and customer experiences.
AFE: What is your favorite piece of leadership advice you’ve received?
JK: I’ve received a lot of leadership advice throughout my career for many different situations. However, a theme that has always resonated with me has been: Be balanced, be humble and be a good listener.
AFE: Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
JK: I’ve been very lucky to have great bosses who have been teachers, mentors and leaders in my professional career. Among them, Hyun Joo Kim, former executive vice president at Hyundai Capital Services, has been an influence in my career over the last 10 years. Her passion, expertise, respect for others and reasonable decision-making guided me on how I work through challenges in my professional life. In addition, Hyun Joo Kim was always an inspiring female senior leader, which allowed her to achieve great things and take on big challenges in her career. As a female leader myself, I also try to be a good example for other aspiring female leaders.
My mother is also a major influence on my career by continuing to demonstrate how brave she is in her own life. For example, I did not know how to speak English until the age of 30; however, I became a chief risk officer in the United States and speak English every day now. By not hesitating and taking on challenges, I was able to take advantage of opportunities in my life which have influenced my career.
AFE: What do you think is the most underrated lending trend?
JK: The most underrated lending trend is fraud management in the auto industry. Once fraud losses are recognized as credit losses, it results not only in the lender’s credit cost increasing but eventually the consumer’s cost going up as well. However, anti-fraud activity is still limited by lenders. In the future, I hope an anti-fraud bureau, similar to the credit bureau, forms in the U.S. market.
AFE: What’s something your employees would be surprised to learn about you?
JK: I’m considered short in the U.S., but I was the tallest student in my fifth- and sixth-grade elementary school in Korea. I was always asked to play sports and one time I was even a sprinter. I also took up golfing during the pandemic and made my first hole-in-one last April.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect Hyundai Capital America’s correct total auto outstandings at yearend 2021.
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