The Tennessee Attorney General's Office and the state Division of Consumer Affairs have reached an agreement with auto dealer Wholesale Inc. that calls on the company to change its advertising. The deal comes after a complaint from a soldier stationed at Fort Campbell led to allegations that the company violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act in marketing a fictitious lender and saying it was marketing a limited amount of loans to military personnel. Check out more info here.
Automotive accelerator program autoXLR8R, which is now being run by regional venture development organization Tech 2020, is on the hunt for its third cohort of startups. The nine-week program was started by the Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Center in 2013 and will this year be run from Tech 2020's Oak Ridge offices. Classes will start July 6 and take place in various meeting locations but the Tech 2020 team also will utilize online platforms to be more accessible to participants and gather a wider audience.
"We are moving to an online/remote based program delivery, which will minimize disruption of the entrepreneur's normal business activities and it also removes geography as a constraint,” Shawn Carson, Tech 2020's director of venture development, said in a release. “We expect to have participants from across Tennessee and the Southeast."
Tech 2020 also has connections with the University of Tennessee and UT Research Foundation.
The directors of auto insurer First Acceptance last week voted to give CEO Joe Borbely and CFO Brent Gay raises of 33 percent and 21 percent, respectively. Borbely, who took over as CEO last fall, will now be paid $400,000. He, Gay and Senior Vice President Daniel Walker also have been awarded a collective $526,000 in bonuses for their 2014 work, which was headlined by a $20 million tax benefit. Check out the full set of numbers here.
First Acceptance posted an operating profit of nearly $3.1 million in the fourth quarter, down slightly from the last three months of 2013. (Net income was helped big time by a $20 million tax benefit thanks to 10 consecutive quarters in the black.) Total premiums rose nicely to $56.3 million from $48.7 million but losses also rose substantially, with the loss ratio climbing to 74.5 percent from 70 percent. The company made that up on the expense side, though, and CEO Joe Borbely says his team early this year began writing policies in Virginia, First Acceptance's 13th state.
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