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RSA EXPANDS BEYOND CORE RE-LEASING OF AUTOS
WILL HELP BANKS SERVICE MANY KINDS OF LOANS

Remarketing Services of America is no longer just helping the auto industry get the most for cars that are about to come off lease.

The company will now help banks and other financial institutions with everything from mortgages to student loans to insurance, and has changed its name to RSA Solutions to reflect its new scope.

The move will likely mean more jobs at the Amherst-based company, which is a subsidiary of Fiserv, a Wisconsin-based financial data processor.

"We started in the automotive arena in 1991. We found that translated well to other types of lending," said Stuart Angert, co-CEO of RSA. "Recognizing that fact and not wanting to be captive to the cyclical automotive market, we made a decision to expand our scope of services."

RSA has been dipping its toes into new waters of mortgages, home equity loans, student loans and other products for the past six months to a year, Angert said. About 20 percent of its more than 450 employees are now working on nonautomotive products.

"There are trillions in mortgages and billions in automotive," Angert said. "It would suggest that the majority of our associates will be in areas other than automotive, although we're very committed to automotive."

The 140,000-square-foot building that RSA leases in the Village Park Business Center on Main Street between Youngs and Transit roads could accommodate up to 1,000 employees, he said.

"It will significantly enhance our revenue line, our bottom line and our associate line," Angert said. "It's good for Western New York."

Here's how RSA might work with clients outside the automotive industry:

A bank might hire RSA to contact people who filled out a form on the bank's Web site for more information on mortgages. Or RSA might analyze a bank's portfolio of mortgages and predict which customers are most likely to refinance and when. To help the bank avoid losing those customers, RSA would call and offer to refinance the loan.

RSA already manages the sale or re-lease of vehicles for banks and auto companies' credit units. By working with dealers and the driver of the vehicle, RSA aims to reap higher prices than the vehicle would fetch at a used-car auction.

Auto leasing has declined because low interest rates have encouraged many people to buy and some auto makers no longer lease cars in New York State because of its vicarious liability laws, Angert said. Under vicarious liability, lease companies can be held responsible by courts for unlimited damages in accident-related lawsuits, even though the driver, not the leasing company, is at fault.

Founded in Buffalo in 1991 by a trio of bank executives, Daimler-Benz, now DaimlerChrysler, bought RSA in 1996. In 2001, Fiserv bought RSA from DaimlerChrysler.

e-mail: lhaarlander@buffnews.com

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