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Prof. Marguerite Watanabe to Lead ADI Workshop in Kuala Lumpur

February 4, 2008

Scottsdale, Ariz. — The Asian Banker has confirmed the new dates for the Automotive Financing School from the Automotive Dealership Institute (ADI). This will be the third year that ADI has been showcased by The Asian Banker, with attendance increasing each consecutive year. This intensive three-day program will take place April 21-23, at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The workshop will be led by ADI’s director of international programs, Professor Marguerite Watanabe.

“Initially, we chose the Automotive Dealership Institute because we felt that their exceptional programs would be an asset to any bank in Asia,” said Emmanuel Daniel, The Asian Banker’s president and CEO. “In the three years since we started, ADI has exceeded our expectations. We’re particularly thrilled that Professor Watanabe will be leading the workshop this year. She’s second to none when it comes to understanding the automotive finance sector and the impact it has had on automotive retailing marketing. We look forward to her sharing her insights on growth opportunities and best practices in auto financing.”

The workshop, entitled Creating a Competitive Advantage in the Auto Financing Market for Tomorrow, is designed for financial services executives throughout Asia who are currently in or looking to enter the automotive financing industry. During the workshop, Prof. Watanabe will outline key factors for successful operations and management and how an organization can be positioned for tomorrow’s challenges. She will facilitate working group discussions on the opportunities to build and grow a highly successful automotive lending portfolio in the emerging markets of Asia. The discussions will include the analysis of actual case studies to examine best practices for the Asian market.

“We’ve had wonderful feedback on our automotive financing workshop every year,” reports Arzu Algan, dean of education at ADI. “Our attendees come from all across Asia: China, Vietnam, Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. I think that the interaction between people from so many different countries is almost as valuable as the workshop itself. It really puts the training in a global perspective.”

Professor Watanabe has worked and consulted with many of the biggest companies and trade associations in the industry. Two years ago, she founded Connections Insights LLC, a consulting practice where she assists automotive captives, banks and independent auto financing companies in establishing strategic partnerships with innovative and forward-thinking service providers. Before starting her own company, Watanabe spent more than 10 years in management at Nissan with Nissan Motor Company Ltd, Japan, Nissan North America and Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation.

She is currently on the board of directors of the American Financial Services Association and the National Auto Finance Association. Prof. Watanabe earned her Bachelor of Science degree in political science and economics from University of California at Berkeley, and her MBA from Pepperdine University. She also lived in Japan for several years where she worked with major Japanese organizations and educational institutions.

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to lead this workshop,” says Watanabe. “It is very rewarding to provide Pacific Asia’s top-level industry leaders with the knowledge and tools that will help them successfully compete in the automotive financing arena. And, with the diverse group of attendees expected, the learning will only be enhanced by the interaction of the participants.”

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