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Red Flags, Lending Strategies to Headline F&I Conference and Expo

August 26, 2008

The Red Flags Rules and second-half lender strategies will take center stage at next month's F&I Conference and Expo, scheduled for Sept. 16-17 at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel.

Mixing entertaining networking activities and tackling today's toughest issues, the event will bring together leading legal experts to discuss the federal government's new consumer protection law. It will also showcase Dr. Robert Phillips, the man behind lending strategies being used by companies such as Ford Credit, Chrysler Financial and AmeriCredit.

"It is definitely a challenging environment out there, which is why I'm excited about the program we've put together this year," said Ed Bobit, publisher of F&I Management and Technology magazine. "We've tried to hit every topic that's impacting today's dealership, and we’re doing that with today's leading experts."

The Compliance panel on identity theft and the Red Flags starts at 10:50 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 17. Moderated by Gil Van Over of gvo3 & Associates, the panel includes Robert Shimberg, Continental National, Terrence O'Loughlin, Reynolds and Reynolds, Penelope Bell, gvo3 & Associates, and Greg Oltman, VT Group.

"There's much more of a sense of urgency and confusion. Dealers are being swamped by multiple vendors who claim to have a solution, yet only offer a tool for part of the dealer’s total compliance needs," said Van Over. "You can boil the Red Flags Rules regulation as it apples to dealerships in seven words: policy, training, detection, prevention, mitigation, oversight, and ensure. We'll discuss that in more detail at the show."

Occurring at the same time will be Phillips’ keynote address, titled "Future of Pricing in Auto Finance." Phillips serves as chief science officer and vice president of research and development for Nomis Solutions, a company that touts a risk-based pricing approach to lending that’s being employed by several of today's lenders. It was Phillips who predicted in F&I's February issue that lenders would move away from the full-spectrum strategies employed last year.

"Quality, not quantity, is going to be the primary focus of lenders for at least the next year, as lenders feel the need to develop visibility into the risk of their portfolios," he said. "This is true whether they hold the portfolio on the balance sheet or look to sell it on the secondary market. We have already seen HSBC leave the auto market, and other players such as Chrysler have abandoned leasing. These won’t be the last announcements of this type, as the number of lenders and leasers continues to shrink."

Event organizers have also planned an exciting first evening for the show, which will feature several networking activities aimed at connecting dealers with finance companies, technology and F&I product providers.

"We're really excited about the first night of the show. Think of it as an icebreaker for what will be a great show," said Bobit. "There's a reason why Tradeshow Week named us to its 'Fastest 50 Growing Shows' list. They understand what we've known for five years now, that the F&I industry needs a show that's not afraid of hitting the toughest topics impacting our business."

For more information about the show or to register, go to www.fi-conference.com.

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