Ramping Up Operations With an Eye Toward Acquisition

Paul Kerwin, CFO of Westlake Financial Services

If there is one lesson Westlake Financial Services has learned since it started purchasing portfolios back in 2011, it’s to prepare for hiccups along the way.

Through the launch of portfolio acquisition and management divisions, the lender has discovered several essential practices that businesses should incorporate for successful acquisitions and overall growth.

Westlake leverages its third-party division, Westlake Advanced Lending & Portfolio Services (ALPS) to purchase buy-here-pay-here portfolios and this year launched Westlake Portfolio Management, to bid actively, load, and service portfolios. However, the lender would not have established this entity without evolving its core business first.

“We focused on our core business first, then had the scale to be able to branch out into these different services,” Paul Kerwin, chief financial officer, told Auto Finance Excellence. “[Lenders] need the scale in their margins for that to make sense.”

Proactive communication and procedural refinement are two of the elements that enable companies to scale their business. Additionally, it is vital for lenders to never “cut corners” when leveraging technology, Kerwin said.

Westlake has auspiciously acquired portfolios with its operational tactics, and in this episode of The Roadmap, Auto Finance Excellence talks with Kerwin, about what lenders can do to improve acquisition practices and develop existing infrastructure for further growth.

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