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VSCAC to Feature the Untold Story of US Fidelis Debacle

August 03, 2010

The collapse of US Fidelis will take center stage at this year’s Vehicle Service Contract Administrators Conference, as attendees will hear the untold story about the company that symbolized the direct-to-consumer movement for F&I product sales.

Occurring on day one of the conference ― scheduled for Sept. 14-15 at the Paris Las Vegas hotel and casino, “The Inside Story on US Fidelis” will dive into the inner workings of a company that once claimed to be the largest marketer of service contracts before it filed for bankruptcy in March with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for St. Louis.

Terry M. Keating, managing director of Amherst Partners, was part of the team selected by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to lead US Fidelis through bankruptcy proceedings. He will take attendees through an hour-long presentation that detail how the company became the subject of more than 33,000 inquiries and more than 1,100 complaints received by the Better Business Bureau.

Keating also will discuss the company’s operational and financial issues, and will lend his insight on what the company’s debacle could mean for the F&I industry.

Terry Keating will also serve as a featured panelist during the F&I Conference and Expo’s direct-to-consumer panel on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 3 p.m. The panel, “Direct-to-Consumer Product Sales and What It Means to You,” also will feature CNA’s Jay Sharpnack, APCO’s Larry Dorfman and Ristken Software Services’ Patrick DeMarco. To view the F&I Conference and Expo’s complete agenda, click here.

In its seventh year, the conference, which will run concurrently with the F&I Conference and Expo, has been revamped to include topics addressing F&I product categories outside of vehicle service contracts. And as in years past, event organizers have gathered the industry’s leading experts to lead attendees through a host of educational sessions on topics such as: managing business strategies; improving internal operations; increasing product offerings; key issues impacting the vehicle service contract industry; and the changing regulatory environment.

Rounding out this year’s roster of keynote speakers are Tony Wanderon, president of Allstate Dealer Services, Forrest Heathcott, president of JM&A Group, and Scott Allen, president and CEO of Oceanic Group.

Wanderon will present “The Danger Inside the Data,” a session that will answer and detail whether historical data can really predict the future. Heathcott will then dive into “The New World of F&I: Today’s Realities and Tomorrow’s Promise,” an address that will provide administrators with an overview of the F&I industry, the role of technology and the opportunities that lie in today’s online marketplace. He also will talk about the demographics shift among today’s car buyer, and will detail how recent legislation could impact the industry.

Allen, a legal expert in insurance litigation, also will deliver an address centering on the challenges and opportunities that lie in reinsurance. His focus will be on how providers can make reinsurance an integral part of their offerings.

Administrators in attendance will also hear from service directors and F&I managers on what they expect from providers. These dealer representatives also will provide feedback on what providers do well and where improvements are needed.

This year’s agenda also touts two panel discussions on Web services and the economy’s impact on business. Attendees will hear from panelists about their experiences with Web services for real-time quoting, rating and contract generation, as well as gain insights on the economic downturn’s impact on cancellations and regulatory issues.

Workshops filling out this year’s agenda include: “The Importance of a ‘Bag’ of Products and What Constitutes a Full Bag?” “Controlling the Bad Guys: How to Deal with Players that Abuse the System,” and a limited warranties workshop that will focus on how companies are navigating the host of regulations governing that segment of the industry.

Those who register for the conference before Aug. 27 will save $100 on a full conference pass. Conference organizers are also offering a reduced room rate for those who book their room at the Paris Las Vegas hotel and casino before Sept. 3. A hotel block raffle will also be held for those who book their rooms before the early bird deadline.

For more information or to register, visit www.VSCAC.com or call (800) 576-8788.

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