Just to get it out of the way, no, this Steve Martin has never appeared on Saturday Night Live nor starred in any major motion pictures, but he has certainly heard the joke about having the same name as the famous actor and comedian plenty of times throughout his life.
Open Lending has long been focused on protecting both consumers and financial institutions, and Steve Martin, VP of Insurance Services, has been making sure that the insurance Open Lending offers through its Lenders Protection is top notch.
Prior to joining Open Lending in 2008, he had worked for 35 years at CUNA Mutual Group. The last 4 years he worked as the product manager for the Lenders Protection program, which at the time was a joint venture. When the founders of Open Lending came to Steve in 2003 when he was still at CUNA Mutual with the idea of Lenders Protection, he originally thought that the project would be a nonstarter. Every default insurance program he had seen from other companies had some kind of fatal flaw. However, Open Lending closed up all the fatal flaws he’d found with other companies.
Steve worked with Open Lending from 2003 until 2008 and then joined Open Lending after he retired from CUNA Mutual. Shortly after that, Open Lending bought out CUNA Mutual’s half of the joint venture.
From there, helping Open Lending grow from a small startup with only 7 employees to a publicly traded company has been “one of the most fun jobs I’ve had.”
What’s been key to that success and fun is being able to focus on and refine one product, which is the auto loan default insurance. Being able to make changes to one product without having to worry about the loss of other ones has been a great luxury.
However, with most all things, the fun must one day come to an end. By the spring of next year, Steve plans to retire from Open Lending. He shared that he hopes his professional legacy will be that he was able to help build a strong foundation for a successful program that works for everyone and that it will continue long after he stops working. He added that he considers Open Lending a second family, and that it will continue to be even when he’s retired.
As for his future retirement plans, Steve wants to get back into playing tennis and bowling, as well as get himself a fishing boat. He also plans to become a certified financial planner, offering his services for free. “I love numbers, and I continue to love numbers,” he said, “and I need to stay involved with something that enables me to work with numbers.” No slowing him down!