Q&A with Bruce Van Wagoner, Wells Fargo CDF

On March 1, Wells Fargo officially acquired GE Capital’s Commercial Distribution Finance platform in the U.S. and Canada. The company expects to close on the rest of the global operations (which includes Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Australia) this year.

The deal with Wells Fargo was first announced in October 2015, as part of GE’s plan – outlined in April 2015 – to mostly exit the financial services business.

The new Wells Fargo Commercial Distribution Finance will continue to provide inventory and receivable financing solutions across 17+ industries, including the boating industry.

We talked to Bruce Van Wagoner, president of the Wells Fargo Commercial Distribution Finance Marine Group about the transition and what dealers can expect from the new company.

You can read the full Q&A in the May issue of Boating Industry.

Boating Industry: What does this mean for dealers? Will they be dealing with the same people they've gotten to know over the years?

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Van Wagoner: There are no anticipated changes expected to our team. I am pleased to share 100 percent of our marine account management and commercial teams have successfully transitioned.

Wells Fargo is an established financial services company that is committed to investing and growing across our core industries globally, and will offer a good environment for growth. We will continue to provide inventory financing solutions, service and business intelligence through our in-depth industry expertise. Our success will be based upon our ability to deliver financing solutions to help our customers grow.

Boating Industry: Will there be any changes in systems, processes, etc., that you expect to impact dealers?
Van Wagoner: No, we do not anticipate any changes to our external systems or processes. All previous websites are in the process of being rebranded, and will redirect to our new site www.wellsfargo.com/cdf. We’ll continue to provide customers with access to COMS, the powerful operating system that provides real-time inventory and business management information. In addition, our commercial representatives will continue to provide customized CDF and industry analytics to our dealer customers when requested.

Boating Industry: Who should dealers talk to if they have questions or concerns?
Van Wagoner: Customers will continue to work with the same teams as they did before. Every dealer in our portfolio is assigned both an account manager and a commercial representative and most dealers take advantage of those relationships. Our goal is to help our customers make better decisions for their business every day by using more timely business intelligence which can make a difference.

Boating Industry: Are there other services that CDF will be able to offer now as part of Wells Fargo?

Van Wagoner: As the new CDF, we look forward to enhancing our existing capabilities by offering customers faster service and expanded resources, backed by Wells Fargo’s strength and stability. We will continue to work closely with our customers as we look to develop our new offerings based on our customers’ needs. Our Dealer Council, along with many of our customers, are interested to learn more about banking services, retail financing and real estate lending. We are evaluating all possibilities, however want to make sure that any new service we provide is at the same level customers have come to expect from our current services. More details to come soon.

Boating Industry: What are some of the benefits Wells Fargo will bring to the table?

Van Wagoner: Wells Fargo brings a deep understanding and knowledge of the financial services market, which will allow us to serve our customers in both good and challenging times. We remain committed to providing our customers with the same customer focused approach to help keep the marine industry strong and accelerate product growth across the globe. We (CDF) have much to learn about all of the product capabilities of Wells Fargo and we look forward to bringing the best to our customers. It’s very important that we bring these products in a very thoughtful, helpful manner.

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