RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. — Finance Express and Subprime Analytics announced that they have signed a joint venture agreement. Subprime Analytics is a company Ken Shilson, founder of the National Alliance of Buy-Here, Pay-Here Dealers, established to provide computerized portfolio analysis services.

"Finance Express is the best platform I've seen for integrating buy-here, pay-here and special finance together. It can be a total capital solution," explained Shilson.

"The buy-here, pay-here industry is the fastest-growing segment of the automotive industry but needs more standardization through better systems and processes. This alliance will help dealers standardize their processes and reporting and better monitor their portfolio performance," he added.

"There is a tremendous amount of synergy between our companies, both providing a strong channel of powerful analytical tools, and years of industry knowledge and experience to our dealership community," noted David Huber, president of Finance Express.

"Costs are increasing at an alarming rate for independent dealers. Technology and, more importantly, the successful adaptation of technology within independent dealerships, will help improve efficiencies, reduce operating expenses, and make dealers more profitable in an inflationary environment. Standardization, improved ability to monitor performance, and our joint analytical tools can help facilitate the ability to find additional capital," Huber added.

Finance Express Buys Exclusive Rights to DealerCAP Forms

In addition to other recent news, Finance Express announced it has purchased the exclusive distribution rights to DealerCAP forms.

Executives explained that DealerCAP is provided through Dealer Office Xpress, a partnership between ADP and Standard Register.

DealerCAP offers a document management system that includes forms such as customer proposals, trade-in value appraisals, test drive agreements, and more.

Flagship Credit Corp. Joins Finance Express Platform

Flagship Credit Corp., an indirect lender focused on the near-prime segment, recently announced it has joined the Finance Express platform.

"Our new relationship with Finance Express brings us several steps closer to realizing our vision of becoming the industry's prime source for near-prime financing," explained Thomas Stillman, chief operating officer for Flagship. "The benefits that Finance Express provides will help us better provide our dealers with the fast, flexible access to information that their success demands."

Huber added, "We're pleased to add a progressive near-prime auto finance company such as Flagship to our platform. The more diverse the financing options are that we provide our dealers, the better. Flagship helps fill a niche that will expand our value to both independent auto dealers and used-car buyers."'

Flagship is a relatively new subprime lender in the market. Equifin Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity firm focused on the financial services industry, sponsored the formation of Flagship and led the company's equity financing.

Discussing the company last year, Michael Ritter, Flagship's chief executive officer, said, "Flagship will target markets in which our executive management team has longstanding relationships with franchised dealers. We anticipate growing to nearly $1 billion in assets over the next five years, an achievable goal given that our management team has done this before while targeting the same market segment and utilizing a similar product."

The company's senior management team consists of Kevin O'Connell, chief credit officer; Thomas Stillman, chief operating officer; and Kenneth Sicinski, chief financial officer. Company executives said this team has worked together for nearly two decades.

For more on Flagship, visit www.flagshipcreditcorp.com.

Finance Express Names Whann Compliance Officer

The company recently named Keith Whann as its compliance officer to assist its dealer partners in meeting all federal, state and local regulations.

"The experience Keith brings to our company is beyond extraordinary," Huber explained. "We're pleased to have him join us with his more than 20 years of experience in the complicated field of compliance. This move truly takes our company to the next level.

Whann is the founder of Whann & Associates, which is located in Dublin, Ohio. He recently launched www.keithwhann.com, which offers a series of tools and resource materials to help consumers and dealers with the car-buying process. Moreover, Whann serves as general counsel for the National Independent Auto Dealers Association.

"I am excited to partner with Finance Express and to continue to provide independent dealers much needed compliance solutions," Whann said. "The Finance Express platform creates profit opportunities for independent dealers while increasing dealership compliance at the same time. I am proud to be a part of this dynamic opportunity."