Bill Katafias has been named chief executive of California Republic Bank Auto — a division of Mechanics Bank — after leaving Wells Fargo Dealer Services in February, the company announced in a press release today.
Katafias succeeds Scott Raymer, who previously announced his resignation from CRB Auto to “pursue other opportunities,” the release states. Raymer has over 26 years of experience in auto finance and has served at a number of companies before joining CRB, including CIG Financial, Long Beach Acceptance Corp. and Ford Motor Credit Co.
Wells Fargo provided no explanation for Katafias’ departure when it was announced in February. Since then, Dawn Martin Harp retired from her position as president of Wells Fargo Dealer Services in April, and was replaced by Laura Schupbach.
Katafias worked at Wells Fargo Dealer Services for more 23 years, most recently serving as executive vice president. He managed all aspects of the business, including retail production, oversight of national and regional dealer partners, direct and indirect lending operations, loan originations, high risk collections, and operational risk management.
“We are extremely fortunate that Bill was available, and that we are able to add someone of his caliber to our leadership team to continue the future growth of our successful auto finance group,” said John DeCero, Mechanics Bank’s president and chief executive. “His extensive experience and proven track record are a great fit, and it demonstrates our continued commitment to our dealer network, our customers, and our employees in the indirect auto space.”
The privately held bank doesn’t disclose its latest earnings, but in 2015 CRB Auto held $2.5 billion in outstandings, according to the Big Wheels Auto Finance Data Report. In October 2016, the Walnut Creek, California-based Mechanics Bank officially completed the acquisition of California Republic Bank.