Bank Watch

Ally Financial discusses its quarterly results from Charlotte now

Jeffrey Brown, the Charlotte-based CEO of Ally Financial, was named chief executive of the Detroit-based company in February. Since then, the company has held its quarterly earnings conference calls with analysts and investors in Charlotte.
Jeffrey Brown, the Charlotte-based CEO of Ally Financial, was named chief executive of the Detroit-based company in February. Since then, the company has held its quarterly earnings conference calls with analysts and investors in Charlotte. tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com

When Ally Financial’s executives discuss the lender’s quarterly results on conference calls with analysts and investors, they’re doing so from Charlotte now.

In February, the Detroit-based lender named Charlotte-based Jeffrey Brown its new chief executive officer. Since then, the company has held two of the calls in a row from Charlotte, including its second-quarter call on Tuesday.

Previously, the company has held the earnings calls in New York since going public last year.

Brown was named CEO to replace retiring chief executive Michael Carpenter. Before his promotion, Brown ran Ally’s auto finance and insurance business from his office in Charlotte.

Ally considers Charlotte one of its three corporate centers, in addition to Detroit and New York.

The company employs roughly 800 people in Charlotte, mostly at its South Church Street tower. Christopher Halmy, the bank’s chief financial officer, who helps lead the earnings calls, is among the top executives based in Charlotte.

Brown is Ally’s second Charlotte-based CEO. Al de Molina, a former chief financial officer for Bank of America, was the first.

In the second quarter, Ally reported profits fell about 44 percent from the same period last year as its results were impacted by a charge for extinguishing debt. The company made profit of $182 million, down from $323 million.

Ally, which operates an online-only bank and is a large auto lender, earlier this year lost an exclusive – and lucrative – lease agreement with former parent company General Motors.

That loss contributed to Ally reporting relatively flat auto loan originations of $10.8 billion in the second quarter, compared with $10.9 billion a year earlier. Ally said its auto-loan originations outside of the GM business grew 36 percent from a year ago.

Following the loss of the GM business, Brown has been seeking other ways to boost Ally’s profitability. Those plans include Ally doing more business with its existing customers, such as those with Ally Bank accounts.

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