Los Angeles, CA – Westlake’s Chairman of the Board, Don Hankey, has assumed the role of President at Westlake Financial Services, following the departure of Bruce Newmark. 

In related news, Westlake has also added two executives to their team: a new Senior Vice-President of Operations, Michael Pavlin, and a new Vice-President of Collections, Chad Johnson.

“I sincerely thank Bruce for his substantial contributions to Westlake and the Hankey organization over the years,” Hankey says, “Bruce has been an essential part of growing Westlake into a national lender and leading Westlake to success over the past several years.  Bruce remains a Board Member and shareholder of Westlake.  We hope that in the future he can continue to play a critical role in the success of the Hankey organization.”

Mr. Hankey founded Westlake in 1988 and has served as Chairman of the Board since its inception.  He is also Chairman of the Board of the Hankey Group; a group consisting of financial, real estate, insurance, and technology companies as well as rental and automotive dealership operations.

As the new Senior VP of Operations, Michael Pavlin has two primary goals at the start of his tenure.  The first is to assess the organization and identify what the company’s needs are.  “I have a talent for efficiency,” Pavlin says, “in operations, that’s your goal.  You have to ask ‘where are the opportunities to help reduce operating expenses?’”

His second goal is to help solidify Westlake’s organizational structure, which has grown tremendously over the past five years.  “An essential part of a newly maturing organization is formalizing its structure.  When a company’s operation has grown as Westlake’s has, this keeps the organization well-grounded and settled.  One of the keys to improving efficiency is building the relationships between departments.  You have that, and you can work with greater confidence.” 
 
Pavlin brings extensive experience with automotive financing to Westlake, coming from Long Beach Acceptance Corp., where he was also VP of Operations.    “I’ve been given an opportunity to help improve the company,” he says.  “I was invited to join Westlake to bring a fresh perspective.   My goal here is to help make Westlake the best finance company it can be; and it will look different than any other finance company.” 

Chad Johnson is the new Vice-President of Collections.  Johnson, a former Bank of America manager, has over 18 years of experience in the collections field.
His primary goal is to mitigate Westlake’s losses, but he wants to make clear his aim goes beyond simply trying to collect payments, “I want to make sure our department’s image stays in line with our company goals: to provide excellent customer service regardless of when Westlake is in contact with them.”

“We want to establish a middle ground for both Westlake and the customer with respect to repayment; a mutually agreeable term that will allow them to get back up to speed on their contractual obligations,” he explains.  “The purpose of this, of course, is not only to minimize Westlake’s losses, but also to genuinely help our customers protect and improve their credit.”

“We are excited to have both Mike and Chad at Westlake in their respective roles,” Hankey says.  “Both bring extensive experience to their positions and broad knowledge of the auto finance industry.  Westlake is continuing to expand its sales force in an effort to grow our business.  With this growth it is essential to have strong people driving the operational success of the company.”

About Westlake Financial Services:
Westlake Financial Services is an internet based, privately held finance company that specializes in the acquisition and servicing of sub-prime to near-prime automotive retail installment contracts. Headquartered in Southern California, Westlake originates indirect retail installment contracts through a network of 4,000 new and used car dealers throughout the United States. All collections and servicing are performed in-house from its central facility located in the Mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles.