LOS ANGELES — Continuing its path to growth, Westlake Financial Services recently announced it has hit a new milestone this month by hiring its 100th dealer account manager.

"Reaching this milestone is a great success. We are working toward our goal of increasing our marketing and servicing footprint out on the street," said Ian Anderson, senior vice president of production. "This strengthens our dealer relationships, which is a major factor in our company's growth."

According to officials, dealer account managers are the marketing service representatives who work in the field and are the first point of contact for Westlake's network of dealerships. They are not only responsible for initiating contact and adding dealers to the Westlake network, but they also maintain that relationship once it is established, the company noted.

"This personalized service and attention is just one of the reasons why our rep force has grown over the past 10 years," Anderson pointed out. He went on to explain that Westlake's aggressive use of technology to approve customers faster and more accurately is another factor for the growth.

"Through our partnership with Nowcom, we are able to offer our dealers and our reps more tools to help finance retail customers," he continued. "Our auto-decisioning software is unique in that it can approve a customer on the spot, giving the dealer a level of control rarely seen from a finance company.

"Brian Heath (Westlake's vice president of marketing] as well as our regional sales managers have a lot to do with this milestone," Anderson highlighted. "They keep the sales force focused on strengthening dealer relationships, which will be the main challenge facing us as we continue to grow."

Heath added, "One hundred may just be a number, but it's a psychological threshold that reminds us to look back at what got us here, and make sure we continue to do those things. Our headquarters are in Los Angeles, but our reps in the field allow for that personalized, one-on-one service, no matter where our dealers are located."

Westlake said it has more than 4,000 dealerships throughout 29 states, with the newest being Maryland and Delaware. States to be added in the future include Nebraska, Arkansas and West Virginia.

For more information, visit www.westlakefinancial.com.