Former Top Auto Finance Execs Join to Establish New Full-Spectrum Indirect Auto Lender
NEW YORK — Sixth Gear Solutions Corp., an independent auto finance company providing financing solutions to dealerships across the United States, today announced its entry into the market with $1 billion in equity and debt financing commitments to fund its growth.
Sixth Gear said it uses proprietary technology and personalized service to efficiently provide dealers and drivers with an array of customized auto financing solutions, offering auto financing across all credit segments. Moreover, the company said it funds both new- and used-vehicle loans.
The co-chief executive officers of the company are Michael Barrington, the former CEO of AmeriCredit, and Norman Buchan, the former president of Chase Auto Finance.
The senior management team includes other former officers of AmeriCredit, Banco Santander, Chase, Citibank, GE, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Volvo and Wachovia, among other major companies represented.
Commenting on the launch, Barrington said, "We are committed to delivering unique value and outstanding service to the dealer and the driver, which will define our position in the marketplace."
With the support of Fiserv Automotive Solutions, Fair Isaac and DealerTrack, the company indicated that it has developed a state-of-the-art technology infrastructure to help Sixth Gear provide best-in-class service to auto dealers and customers.
"Our management team, our investors and our technology partners share our vision of bringing ease of access to an array of financing options to our dealers and to their customers," said Buchan.
Sixth Gear's capitalization is composed of more than $250 million in equity commitments from a group of private equity investors led by Warburg Pincus and $750 million in long-term debt facilities.
David Coulter, chairman of the board of Sixth Gear, said, "We look forward to working with this top notch management team to build a best-in-class auto finance platform. We think that this is the right time to capitalize on an attractive market opportunity, while other lenders are reducing their commitment to this marketplace."
Coulter is a managing director at Warburg Pincus, the global private equity firm and lead equity sponsor of Sixth Gear. He is also the former CEO of BankAmerica Corp. and vice chairman of JP Morgan Chase.
The Sixth Gear management team consists of:
—Michael Bachand, chief credit officer, who began his career with BankOne. Later he was senior vice president of risk management, at AmeriCredit; then senior vice president of decision support at Santander Consumer USA Inc. (formerly Drive Financial Services).
—Michael Berkowitz, of Human Resources, is 20-year veteran in organizational and management development, serving most recently senior vice president of global compensation and benefits at Merrill Lynch. Previously he was senior vice president of human resources at JP Morgan Chase Consumer Financial Services.
—Steve Dietz, general counsel and secretary, practiced corporate and securities law for 30 years. Dietz held numerous legal positions with Citibank and Citigroup, most recently as general counsel of The Citigroup Private Bank.
—William Houlihan, chief financial officer, was CFO of financial services companies, including Metris Companies and Hudson United Bancorp. Houlihan has experience in debt and equity financing, loan securitizations, capital structure optimizations, derivatives transaction and mergers/acquisitions. He also had previous investment banking positions with Goldman Sachs and other firms.
—Michael Levine, chief technology officer, is responsible for Sixth Gear's technology strategy. He has had a 35-year career leading large scale business automation and information systems efforts in the financial services sector. He is formerly of JP Morgan Chase, where he managed global securities systems, retail bank automation and merchant services credit card operations. He most recently served as CTO for Chase Auto Finance.
—Cheryl Miller, chief servicing officer, is formerly president of consumer services for AmeriCredit, responsible for $16 billion portfolio serviced by five call centers. She has had a 20-year career that focused on growing business while maintaining corporate and customer goals relative to call center executive management.
—Michael Miller, of corporate strategy, was instrumental to the early concept and development stage of Sixth Gear, officials said. He served as chief credit officer and chief operating officer of AmeriCredit. He has 20 years of auto finance industry experience.
—Joe Scimone, chief originations executive, started in the auto finance business at Chase 23 years ago, initially managing the Dealer Services business, then served as president of its prime auto business. Officials said he was instrumental in developing the full-spectrum buying strategy for Chase.
For more information on the company, visit www.sixthgear.com.