IRVINE, Calif. — Longtime retail credit executive Bill Katafias has left Wells Fargo Dealer Services. His new employer, CRB Auto, announced today that he has joined the indirect auto finance source, a division of Mechanics Bank, as CEO.
Katafias, who spent 23 years with the Wells Fargo auto finance group, succeeds CRB Auto CEO Scott Raymer, who previously announced his resignation to pursue other opportunities, according to company officials.
"We are extremely fortunate that Bill was available, and that we are able to add someone of his caliber to our leadership team to continue the future growth of our successful auto finance group,” Mechanics Bank President and CEO John DeCero said. “His extensive experience and proven track record are a great fit, and it demonstrates our continued commitment to our dealer network, our customers and our employees in the indirect auto space.”
Katafias began his career in auto finance with Ford Motor Credit in 1988. He most recently served as executive vice president and national production manager for Wells Fargo Dealer Services, where he managed all aspects of the division’s business, including retail production, oversight of national and regional dealer partners, centralized lending operations, and the decentralized regional business center model of indirect auto (including sales, credit, loan origination, high risk collections and operational risk management).
He now joins longtime CRB Auto Executive Vice President and COO Jim Ponzo in setting and driving the group’s strategic initiatives and future expansion plans. The regional finance source operates in 15 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Washington.