5 Questions with Byrider CEO Craig Peters
Craig Peters, chief executive of buy-here-pay-here lender Byrider, has focused on two key areas since the COVID-19 pandemic hit: Innovation and community engagement.
The company kicked its digital efforts into high gear and now “innovation is more of a part of [Byrider’s] culture than it ever has been,” Peters told Auto Finance News.
Byrider has more than 140 buy-here-pay-here dealership franchises across the U.S. and has sold more than 1.3 million cars since it was founded in 1989. Its newest franchise opened in Fayetteville, Ark., in November 2021, according to its website.
The lender has expanded its investment in the communities where employees live and work, he said. Byrider started working with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and offered first responders an incentive program for $500 to $750 off the purchase of a vehicle amid the pandemic.
Peters joined Byrider as CEO in 2017 after nearly 30 years in leadership positions at HSBC Auto Finance, Capital One and Barclays.
In his current role, Peters continues to expand his knowledge of the business through the challenges he faces, noting “I don’t like taking on opportunities where there’s not something that I can learn.”
Auto Finance Excellence sat down with Peters to discuss Byrider’s goals, his leadership style and his greatest influences throughout his life and his career.
Auto Finance Excellence: What are your company goals in about 10 words or less?
Craig Peters: Supporting our customers and our franchisees and expanding the brand.
AFE: What is your favorite piece of leadership advice you ever received?
CP: I’ve received a lot [of advice] throughout my career. But the one that’s always stuck with me is surrounding yourself with great people and ensuring that they can leverage your strength, but even more importantly, that I can leverage theirs.
AFE: Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
CP: My father. Very early in life he instilled two main principles or values which were around hard work and education. Both of those stuck with me through all the years of growing up and he lived it his entire life. What both of those did for me is gave me confidence to take on challenges and always want to continuously learn.
AFE: What do you think is the most underrated lending trend?
CP: One that I don’t hear as much about is ensuring that organizations are making the necessary adjustments to ensure customer affordability. It’s one thing to acquire the inventory and be able to sell it, but I think making sure that it still fits within [a customer’s] budget is very important.
AFE: What’s something your employees would be surprised to learn about you?
CP: I spent two years working in Vietnam when I was with HSBC. I always had an interest in living and working overseas and the opportunity presented itself. It was a fascinating place, not only to work there but to live there as well. The people were fantastic and the culture there is extremely rich. The main thing it really reinforced for me was just how important a bank or a financial institution is to a developing country. It’s amazing to me how financing, when it’s done right, provides opportunities for people.
Auto Finance Innovation Summit, the premier event for technology in auto finance, returns April 25-26 in San Diego. The event will showcase today’s technology and tomorrow’s innovation-driven opportunities to position your company for success in this fast-paced digital era. To learn more about the 2022 event and register, visit www.AutoFinanceInnovation.com.