Exeter Finance Corp. appointed two Santander Consumer USA veterans to its team on Feb. 17. Jason Grubb will serve as chief executive, replacing interim CEO Mark Floyd, and Brad Martin will serve as chief operating officer. Floyd had re-joined the company in December 2015, after then-CEO Tom Anderson departed to “pursue other interests.”
Grubb brings 25 years of leadership experience to his new role. He previously served 11 years at SC, including his most recent role as president and chief operating officer of originations. Martin, another 11-year veteran of SC, was previously chief operating officer of servicing and executive vice president of business operations.
About one month into their new roles at Irving, Texas-based Exeter, Grubb and Martin spoke with Auto Finance News about their priorities and plans for the company. Following are edited excerpts from the interview:
AFN: What are your primary goals in these new roles?
BM: We have several primary goals that are important to us, including assessing where we are, from a technology standpoint, to better serve our dealer customers and consumers, mitigating regulatory reputational risk, and developing the overall culture of the organization.
AFN: Do you have any plans for improving the car-buying experience?
JG: Our focus right now is on our dealers. We definitely want to improve our responsiveness and consistency when communicating with our dealer partners. We believe our new dealer communication portal will accomplish this goal. Additionally, we will continue to roll out our new dedicated originations teams (PODS). Each POD will include originations staff from sales, funding, and credit who are dedicated to a specific number of dealers. We believe this new structure will improve our efficiency when working with our dealers.
AFN: What do you think will be Exeter’s biggest challenge?
BM: Efficiency is probably the primary area of opportunity right now. I think, given our size, we are right at the cusp of being big enough to leverage technology to become more efficient. [Another] thing we are striving for is scalability — there’s a lot that goes into that one word. Each day we go through this process, we have to become scalable.
JG: Short-term, one of our challenges is overcoming the perception that Exeter isn’t as customer-centric as we need to be. However, with the new initiatives we have in place, I believe we will correct this perception. Long-term, most of the bigger challenges that get in the headlines, such as the economic downturn and regulatory oversight, are out of our control. So Brad and I focus on internal initiatives that we can control, without stressing the company, and we will achieve our goals.
The interview originally appeared in the April issue of Auto Finance News. Subscribe for more content.
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