NEW YORK – Assurant, Inc. (NYSE: AIZ), a global provider of lifestyle and housing solutions that support, protect, and connect major consumer purchases like automobiles, announced that it has combined American Financial & Automotive Services (AFAS), its 2020 acquisition, and its Assurant Dealer Services team into one premier dealership development organization. This alignment brings the leading products, services, training, customer support, and teams from two experienced organizations together, now operating as Assurant Dealer Services.
"Our acquisition of AFAS in 2020 underscored our confidence in the long-term growth potential of the global automotive market," said John Laudenslager, Assurant president, U.S. Automotive. "Over the last 18 months, we have spent time strategically combining the best of AFAS with the best of Assurant to create an unmatched service offering for the dealer community, now operating as one Assurant."
To support these changes, Assurant has elevated its deep bench of industry talent to fill key roles, beginning with Jeff Strickland, who has been tapped to lead the Assurant Dealer Services channel as senior vice president. Strickland joined Assurant in 2019 as vice president of Strategic Accounts, which will remain under his purview. Dealer Strategic Accounts will be led by senior vice president Ash Bauer, who will also be responsible for Assurant's participation programs. The leadership team also includes national vice president of sales Dennis Alexander and Joe Amendola. Sean Browning will serve as national vice president of Development, overseeing the Automotive Training Academy by Assurant, along with promoting consistent processes across the organization.
"The new Assurant Dealer Services is a client centric organization that brings together two industry leaders to better serve our dealer clients," said Strickland. "From our suite of new products, the award-winning Automotive Training Academy by Assurant, to our full range of participation programs, we've focused in on what dealers need and want to help them optimize performance and maximize profits in any market."
"Dealers are making critical decisions every day as their businesses evolves," added Laudenslager. "The Assurant Dealer Services team will give our U.S. clients support and analysis to navigate through decisions that will be critical to their growth not only today, but for years to come."