Bank of America Dealer Financial Services aims to “redouble” its efforts to improve the customer experience, which includes investing in technology like direct lending and virtual reality, Jim Cockey, the bank’s new central region and national market executive, told Auto Finance News.
“By keeping a pulse on industry trends, we are able to address client concerns in modernization and smart investments for dealerships,” Cockey said.
Bank of America Dealer Financial Services hired two executives in mid-September — Marisa Carnevale-Henderson as east region market executive and Cockey as central region and national market executive. Both executives lead seasoned teams in the auto and recreational vehicles industries across the U.S., according to a company statement.
Carnevale-Henderson joined Bank of America’s predecessor Barnett Bank in 1988, where she worked in various areas of the firm. She was promoted to marketing manager in 2013. In her new position, Carnevale-Henderson leads a team of relationship managers who deliver financial solutions to clients in the auto industry throughout the eastern U.S.
Cockey has been with Bank of America for more than 25 years. He was most recently market executive for the central region healthcare and institutions team, and prior to that served as business development manager for Bank of America Business Capital. In his new position, Cockey leads a team that delivers solutions across the automotive and RV dealer network.
AFN spoke with Carnevale-Henderson and Cockey about their new roles, top priorities, and Bank of America’s technology investments. Following are edited excerpts from the interview:
Auto Finance News: What are your top goals for the remainder of 2017?
Marisa Carnevale-Henderson: One of the goals for this year is to grow our business by delivering customized solutions to our clients. Over the past two years, we have increased the number of our clientfacing associates by 30%. Expanding our team is key to improving the existing client experience and enhancing our new business development efforts. Our clients benefit from having access to the full resources of the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch enterprise. Whether it’s investments in technology that power an easy-to-access treasury platform or insights from award-winning global research analysts, our clients are armed with the best resources to maintain and grow their businesses, giving them a significant advantage in the marketplace.
Jim Cockey: Moving into 2018, client satisfaction is our top priority. The Dealer Financial Services team has the highest client satisfaction rating across our commercial bank. We want to continue this great work by being out in the marketplace with our clients, expressing our appreciation for their business, and continuing to find new ways to provide best-in-class service for our clients. Demonstrating our continued commitment to the auto dealer industry is also a top priority. As new additions to the DFS team, our focus on client commitment and industry leadership is key. We continue to support industry-focused organizations because we know how important they are to our clients and to the advancement of the industry.
AFN: What marketing strategies are you undertaking to help boost the bank’s auto portfolio?
JC: We focus our time, effort, and resources on regional to national dealers. We are also investing in the technology to predict and handle the complex needs of our clients. For example, we are taking a deeper look at augmented and virtual reality. By keeping a pulse on industry trends, we are able to address client concerns in modernization and smart investments for dealerships. Additionally, fraud and security are top-of-mind issues for dealers right now. We help clients protect their businesses by tapping into our deep understanding of corporate security. By providing fraud protection technology solutions, foreign exchange capabilities, and interest rate management services, we are preparing our clients to manage risk in fluctuating market conditions. Our leadership in these initiatives will be a key driver of growth within our portfolio.
AFN: In your new role, what changes do you hope to bring to Bank of America?
JC: We want to redouble our efforts to improve the customer experience for our clients. We want to put a greater focus on new business development as we move into 2018. To be successful, a key factor is removing internal roadblocks. We ask ourselves how we can simplify and improve our own processes, which can lead to meaningful change in how we interact with our clients. From a leadership perspective, we are thinking about sustainability for our own business and that of our clients. We continue to tackle questions like: What does it take to grow responsibly while being a good corporate citizen? Also, we want to spend more one-on-one time with our clients so we can understand and serve their unique needs.
AFN: What technology initiatives do you have on the roadmap?
MCH: Our team’s technology goals this year are centered on our consumer vehicle lending platform. Our partners are working to pilot a new offering (which will be delivered nationally by Bank of America next year) related to searching for auto loans within a defined geography. This initiative, among others, is part of a larger technological effort that spans both business-to-business and businessto-consumer sectors. It will include a series of upgrades to ensure we are delivering cutting-edge solutions for our clients.