SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The dates and workshop leader for the Automotive Dealership Institute's Automotive Financing School have been set, according to officials from The Banking Academy and The Asian Banker.

The program will be led by professor Marguerite Watanabe, ADI's director of international programs, and will take place April 21 to 23 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

According to officials, The Asian Banker has featured the ADI workshop for three straight years and attendance has increased each time.

"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, president and chief executive officer of The Asian Banker.

"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," Daniel continued. "She's second to none when it comes to understanding the automotive finance sector and the impact it has had on automotive retailing marketing."

Daniel added: "We look forward to her sharing her insights on growth opportunities and best practices in auto financing."

The title of the workshop is "Creating a Competitive Advantage in the Auto Financing Market for Tomorrow." The program is aimed at advising financial services executives in Asia who are considering working in the auto financing sector.

Her points will include key factors for operations and management and how companies can position themselves to overcome challenges, organizers noted.

The workshop includes group discussions, which will feature case-study analysis of best practices in Asian markets, officials indicated.

"We've had wonderful feedback on our automotive financing workshop every year," commented 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," Algan added. "It really puts the training in a global perspective."

According to executives, Watanabe's experience includes consultant work with some of the world's largest companies and trade associations, officials indicated.

She began Connections Insights two years ago. Her company is a consulting group focusing on automotive captives, banks and independent auto financing companies.

Prior to that, Watanabe had more than 10 years' experience in management positions with Nissan, officials pointed out. Watanabe has also served as senior vice president of Equifax, where auto financing clients was her responsibility.

She was also a business development executive for BarNone and practice manager for the auto finance sector of BenchMark Consulting International.

Currently, Watanabe serves on the board of directors for the American Financial Services Association and National Auto Finance Association, executives highlighted.

"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," Watanabe added.