An Interview With Bob Corbin
An Interview With Bob Corbin

IAS has seen tremendous growth under the leadership of its CEO and president, Bob Corbin. As the competitive landscape evolves and traditional service contract providers try to break into the aftermarket product world, Corbin has taken a proactive approach. By purchasing an established, robust service contract company known for their top-notch training, IAS now has a complete F&I solution - offering custom aftermarket technology solutions, turnkey reinsurance, F&I management, a training institute, and a suite of VSC products. And they are doing it all in-house.

Corbin was excited to discuss the newest happenings and offerings at IAS. “We don’t outsource anything,” says Corbin, “We don’t rely on outside vendors or others for our software, or for that matter, anything that we do. We always have complete control over the products and their delivery of the IAS promise – being the complete F&I solution for our agents and dealers.”

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, IAS also has a 40-person, state-of-the-art training center in Oklahoma City and administrative offices in Dublin, Ohio. Corbin describes the training company they recently acquired, First Dealer Resources (FDR) as “one of the industries’ best F&I development and training companies.”  He has known the founder (now president of IAS’s vehicle service contracts), Frank Klaus for over 30 years.  “We could have pursued any privately held VSC company. Frank and First Dealer Resources were first on my list for a couple of reasons. They have a really strong vehicle services contract suite of products for automobile and recreation vehicle dealers, all fully insured by multiple A-rated multi-billion dollar insurance companies. They are also known for their in-store F&I management. They deliver a really high performance for some of the industry’s most profitable F&I operations, and they have developed proven and practical systems and processes that deliver consistent, best of class results for the dealers.” Corbin is proud to say that the students who become certified through their training institute consistently perform in the top 1% in the F&I industry.

In May, Corbin says they introduced “the new IAS” at their first agent conference in South Beach. “Our new executives and business partners made the case for what makes IAS a complete F&I solution,” says Corbin. And because of its success, Corbin says it will likely be the first of what will become an annual agent conference.  Future conferences will likely focus on expanding offerings and solutions, and increasing the penetration of F&I products they currently sell in the F&I department.

Corbin got his start very young, working with a leading VSC company in 1978. “I worked probably every single position in sales and in training prior to being recruited to run IAS as its CEO fourteen years ago.” The thing he likes most about the industry is the people. “It’s just full of highly dynamic, entrepreneurial people. Some people start out as your clients and become very close friends over 20 and 30 years in the industry.”

Corbin credits his family with having a big role in his success. He has been married for 27 years and has a son, 21 and a daughter, 24  - both of whom he says are very active in Austin. His family supports the charities of the Austin Children’s Shelter and the Austin-based Zach Theater, a local theater that raises money for the Dell Children’s Hospital and the Zach Charities.

When he isn’t behind a desk, you might find him knee deep in the everglades. He says his passion for deep sea and backcountry fishing haven’t yet landed him any close encounters with gators but he has managed to catch a few red fish, snook and trout. For Corbin, fishing is the ideal get-away from the day-to-day routine.

In the future, Corbin says he just hopes to keep doing what he is doing. “We’ve really built a great team.  And now with our acquisition, we even have a better team of senior executives, sales and training talent.  I want to continue to develop IAS into a larger and larger, and better and better company.”

Advice for someone new to the industry? Corbin says he learned much from his mentors early on, and was fortunate to have some great ones. He recommends anyone getting started would be well served to do the same. “Find somebody who is willing to mentor you and teach you the industry.  And don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Everybody is going to make mistakes, especially somebody new to the industry. As long as you learn from your mistakes, it’s okay to make them. But most importantly, grab on to a mentor and really learn from that person. That is probably the best advice I could give anybody  - it’s what worked for me. “