AGORA, a Texas-based provider of technology solutions for the financial services industry, recently made two more moves to bolster its position as a platform for bulk portfolio transactions.
Along with announcing that Chris Barry has become a part of the management team as senior vice president of sales, AGORA also revealed that Tom Hudson has joined the company’s advisory board.
Hudson is the founding partner of Hudson Cook — one of the nation’s preeminent law firms in the area of consumer financial services. He is also the founder of CounselorLibrary.com — a collection of legal tools for compliance professionals as well as founder and editor in chief of CARLAW, a monthly publication of legal developments in auto finance.
“I have known and worked with Tom for years. Tom is an icon and a household name in our industry. We are thrilled and privileged that he has joined our talent-packed advisory board,” AGORA founder and chief executive officer Steve Burke said.
Hudson joins an advisory board that could be considered a who’s who in consumer finance, including:
— Ian Anderson, group president of Westlake Financial Services and a previous recipient of the SubPrime Auto Finance Executive of the Year
— Eric Green, CEO of Real Time Resolutions
— Kevin Weis, CEO of Spireon
— Steve Levine, founder of Ignite Consulting Partners
— Jim Bass, CEO of Starboard Advisors
— Gary Flowers, director of sales at Conduent
“I have advised and counseled thousands of market participants in my decades of practice in consumer finance. AGORA represents a truly remarkable and wholly novel dimension to our sector. It is sure to revolutionize how business is conducted, and I am very excited to help in that effort,” Hudson said.
Since its launch in April 2017, AGORA’s flagship loan exchange platform has rapidly grown in the secondary market for auto loans, allowing buyers and sellers to publish and exchange loan data directly in an efficient and secure environment without the need of intermediaries or brokers.
AGORA was created in response to the many friction points and inefficiencies that exist in the manner that auto loan portfolios currently trade — namely poor and inconsistent data, lack of transparency from the brokers that previously dominated the market and heightened regulatory concerns over unsecured transmission of personal consumer data.
“Having such a ‘blue-chip’ name as Tom Hudson associated in such a meaningful way with AGORA is a strong endorsement and validation of the value we continue to bring to the market. We could not be more proud to have Tom and our entire advisory board as our partners in our mission,” Burke said.
And now Chris Barry has joined the management team as the senior vice president of sales.
Barry will lead the growth of the platform and AGORA’s ever-expanding scope of services and solutions it offers to the marketplace of auto finance loans and receivables.
“Chris is an experienced automotive finance leader with over 30 years of success building great organizations,” Burke said. “His senior leadership roles with GWC Warranty, American Credit Acceptance, JP Morgan Chase, and AmeriCredit Financial Services position Chris well to lead the growth and success of the AGORA community.
"Our growth over the past year has been exceptional, and we are thrilled to have Chris as a catalyst to take AGORA to even higher levels of success and innovation.” Burke continued. “Chris will take on the mission of building our sales team and messaging to the industry.
Currently, AGORA has 10 open positions for sales professionals and account managers, and Chris has put in place an excellent career path for motivated sales professionals,” Burke went on to say.
The announcements involving Hudson and Barry arrived a couple of months after AGORA formed a partnership with Nancy Hughes — a leading debt acquisitions expert — as well as finalizing a partnership with Ignite Consulting Partners to provide increased transparency and security.
Barry added, “Mighty oaks from tiny acorns has been my tagline throughout my career. The tremendous power and value of AGORA’s platform and groundbreaking technology is no tiny acorn, considering we have already placed $1.5 billion in the market in only 14 months, which we should easily double in the next 12 months.
“I am thrilled to be part of this amazing team, helping drive AGORA’s integrated resources across the consumer finance sector with this revolutionary platform,” Barry went on to say.