PERSON OF THE WEEK: Andy Pollock is the new senior managing director of Clayton Consulting Services, a specialty consulting firm that helps mortgage originators, servicers, banks, regulators, private equity firms and the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) improve their operations and maintain compliance. MortgageOrb recently interviewed Pollock to learn more about his role in the company and what will drive demand for mortgage consulting services in 2016.
Q: How has your past experience prepared you for your new role as head of Clayton’s Consulting Services?
Pollock: I’ve been in the mortgage industry more than 30 years and have held nearly every job imaginable – from the new loan set-up department to president and CEO of one of the largest mortgage banking firms. I even founded a management consulting firm, Global Logic Advisors, to help all facets of the lending industry solve specific challenges with information technology, finance, or management and operations. I’ve probably made every conceivable mistake (but hopefully only once). All of these experiences have given me a strong working knowledge of the mortgage industry, from origination to servicing, which I believe will allow me to effectively develop strategies and solutions to help meet the ever-changing needs of Clayton’s diverse client base.
Q: Clayton is well known as a due diligence and surveillance provider. What kinds of services does it offer through its consulting arm?
Pollock: Clayton Consulting Services supports market-leading mortgage companies, banks, regulators, private equity groups, mortgage insurance companies and the GSEs by identifying challenges within business processes and recommending optimal solutions. Our ‘cradle to grave’ assessment approach includes originator assessments and reviews; loan fulfillment workflow and process improvement; quality control and asset quality reviews and evaluations; regulatory risk assessments and reviews; loan servicer reviews and oversight; loan servicing portfolio transfers; and mortgage banking mergers and acquisitions.
Over the past three years, our team of experienced subject-matter experts has conducted more than 230 evaluations of residential mortgage originators and servicers, including reverse mortgage and special servicers.
Q: Now that the industry is getting accustomed to the new regulations, will this create more or fewer opportunities for consultants?
Pollock: I’m not sure that the new regulations have been successfully worked into the fabric of the mortgage banking industry yet. And, despite all of the new regulations, mortgage banking will always be – on some level – risky, cyclical and ridden with fraud. That being said, there will also always be opportunities with new collateral types, underwriting tools and fraud detection applications, as well as technology advancements and product types that require consultants to help with integration and implementation.
Q: What trends do you expect to see in 2016?
Pollock: My crystal ball tells me that more ‘fintech’ companies will pop up in 2016, challenging the traditional mortgage lenders by offering marketplace and consumer direct solutions. The ever-elusive millennial market will grasp homeownership but will remain below expectations. I also anticipate increased interest in second mortgages, consumer loans, student loan refinancing, marketplace lending and (heaven help us) piggyback purchase lending next year.
Q: You’ve previously said that you’re working to deliver next-gen solutions that new ‘fintech’ entrants will need to profitably grow their businesses. What kinds of solutions do you think they’ll need? Will they source them from a traditional player, like Clayton, or try to build them themselves?
Pollock: The growth of fintech is obviously an opportunity for Clayton. Many new fintech entrants are looking to disrupt the market, but I believe they’re going to find that many of the innovative, disruptive approaches they’re considering may be constrained by regulations, investor reluctance and consumer behavior. These new entrants will need to understand the challenges they are bound to face.
Clayton has been in business for more than 25 years. We have a deep institutional knowledge and unbiased approach that allows us to verify compliance with industry best practices and recommend strategies to enhance performance while at the same time customizing each project based on our client’s individual organizational structure and identified risk areas. We believe that we can certainly help the new fintech entrants accelerate their learning curve and optimize their new, non-legacy-based tech/operational approaches to the business, which is why we are opening a Clayton Consulting office in Silicon Valley, Calif.