BMO forms consolidated automotive finance group

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By Daniel Moher

BMO has formed what it calls a consolidated automotive finance group designed to provide a customer experience more closely aligned with the evolving Canada – U.S. marketplace.

Officially formed on Nov. 1 but revealed to the market in mid-January, BMO says this new group combines retail and commercial automotive finance operations for what Robert Sadokierski, the exec heading up  the initiative, assures will provide a more “integrated approach” for its clients.

Sadokierski previously led the bank’s commercial automotive finance division. He joined BMO in 1998 as director of corporate finance and was appointed vice-president in 1999.

Since 2006, BMO said he has led the commercial automotive finance organization through a period of “sustained growth.”

“BMO’s new auto finance group is uniquely positioned to offer dealerships customized services including operating lines, inventory financing, term loans, risk management and cash management solutions,” he said.

He noted the team is also able to support specialized customer needs, such as growth capital, buy and sell advisory services and syndicated loans. Additionally, through its U.S. subsidiary BMO Harris Bank, BMO said it could provide “seamless cross-border banking services.”

Ray O’Kane will continue to lead the retail dealer finance team at BMO. He said this new structure would provide a more “integrated client coverage approach.”

O’Kane has led the BMO RDF for the past 13 years.

When asked about what the merger of the commercial and retail groups would mean, Sadokierski explained that the emphasis would be on expanding BMO’s capability for auto dealers.

“We will be leveraging the existing strengths and resources of the combined teams to provide our customers with fully integrated automotive finance solutions and market-leading service.”  

According to him, the holistic approach to developing an overall plan will result in “deeper and more meaningful conversations” that can effectively address all aspects of a dealer’s business, as well as their personal objectives.

For dealership F&I managers, BMO said it is now able to provide competitive and flexible retail auto loans for end users, while providing commercial solutions, all under one roof.

“According to J.D. Power & Associates’ Dealer Satisfaction survey, BMO has received the highest customer satisfaction ranks among all Canadian banks for three years running,” O’Kane emphasized. “This consolidation only increases our potential to improve.”

BMO said it would be fully equipped to field any questions using the team coverage approach, meaning servicing dealers with familiar and knowledgeable points of contact at every level of dealer business.

“Whether it be the dealer principal, CEO, F&I manager or sales personnel, there will be someone on our team that will be able to provide the right information to our client.”

Members of the newly structured group said the goal is to make it as easy as possible for both dealership and retail customers to do business with them.