DENVER and AUSTIN, Texas -

The previously announced all-stock merger of two companies describing themselves as equals came to fruition this week.

On Monday, RateGenius Loan Services and AUTOPAY Direct announced that the companies have successfully completed their merger transaction. Upon closing, the two companies became operating units of The Savings Group, creating what executives believe is the most diversified consumer marketplace for automotive finance and refinance.

The merger was unanimously approved by each company’s board of directors, according to a news release.

The announcement also indicated The Savings Group will be led by co-chief executive officers and AUTOPAY co-founders Jeff Hutcheson and Seth Meyer, while the previous RateGenius CEO, Christopher Speltz, will take over as executive chairman and chairman of the board.

The Savings Group said it will provide even more choices to consumers with what it believes to be the market’s best rates, savings and vehicle protection plans, while also delivering volume growth to its network of finance companies and business partners.

“This merger represents years of growth on behalf of both companies, and now is the perfect time to make this move as consumers have increasingly embraced digital lending and as auto finance activity has shifted outside the dealership,” Speltz said in the news release. “We’re very excited to complete the merger agreement with AUTOPAY and together lead the way to offer the best rates and products to consumers.”

“We’re incredibly fortunate to merge with a company in RateGenius that shares our passion for helping consumers save money on their auto loans,” Hutcheson added. “We’re excited for this new venture that will provide even more options for consumers to secure the best rate and terms possible.”

And Meyer went on to say, “In The Savings Group, we’re positioned to become the market leader in auto finance and refinance, combining resources from two of the industry’s leading platforms under one company with expanded offerings.

“More options increase a consumer’s confidence in making the right decision when picking the best loan terms. There are expanded options for everyone and that is what matters most,” Meyer said.

The executives noted The Savings Group will now employ more than 550 team members split between their existing office hubs in Austin, Texas, and Denver. With an expanded network of more than 180 finance companies representing all 50 states, The Savings Group said the combined company will facilitate more than $2 billion in automobile financing transactions in 2021.

Portico Capital Advisors served as the exclusive financial advisor to AUTOPAY throughout the transaction. AUTOPAY is a portfolio company of FM Capital, while RateGenius is a portfolio company of Tritium Partners.