Mason-McDuffie Mortgage Corp. is a different type of mortgage lender. The company, owned by employees, is based off the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen, which means continuous improvement.
“It truly is the most purist form of team collaboration, where everyone has a voice and a responsibility to make what we do here better,” said Chief Information Officer Jason Frazier. “We strive to be different, as opposed to just doing things better than the competition. We want people with ideas that will help us be different. We aren’t just building a company, but really a home for our people.”
Mason-McDuffie’s focus on employees is particularly magnified for the company’s front line — its loan officers.
“The loan officer is the lifeblood of our business. Our goal is to put them in the best possible position to succeed,” Frazier said.
The company operates like a family and sees a clear correlation between happy employees and happy customers. Mason-McDuffie strives to keep a flat hierarchy and puts a premium on listening to employees, even on issues like compliance.
“It is important to listen to all of our people on how to balance the right process/procedures so that it is not overly burdensome to our clients,” Frazier said. “By being open to discuss anything as a company, we can always come up with ideas on how to face new challenges.”
The company’s innovative thinking extends to its technology infrastructure, which it has leveraged from outside the mortgage space. As a result, the company has the systems in place to be completely paperless from beginning to end.
“Our technology and marketing brain trust comes directly out of Silicon Valley. We usually stay away from mortgage-specific vendors, as they tend to live inside of a box with their offerings. We use vendors that other tech firms use because we make them work for our processes, not the other way around,” Frazier said.
“We really are at the beginning of a new era in lending. Even with the heavy compliance costs and sometimes confusing regulations, we have the opportunity to recreate a new way of lending. The future is bright for those of us who rise to the challenge of being able to use our creativity to build a better lending process for consumers."
Herb Tasker, Chairman
As chairman, Herb Tasker led the team that founded the third iteration of Mason-McDuffie Mortgage in 2005. His involvement with Mason-McDuffie Mortgage dates back to the 1970s and he served as chairman and CEO from 1982 to 1984.
In addition to Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Tasker has been successfully involved as a senior executive in the formation and eventual sale of other mortgage companies, including All Pacific Mortgage and AIG Centre Capital.
Tasker is a former president of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, as well as a former president of both the California Mortgage Bankers Association and the Southern California Mortgage Bankers. He currently serves on the board of directors of First American Title and AmNet Mortgage.Tasker holds the title of Certified Mortgage Banker and is a registered California Real Estate Broker.
Marilyn Richardson, President and CEO
Marilyn Richardson is an experienced mortgage professional and one of the founders of Mason-McDuffie Mortgage Corp. As president and CEO Richardson oversees the day-to-day operations of the company and serves on the Board of Directors. She served as operations manager for Mason-McDuffie Financial and became the first female partner
Richardson has since successfully directed operations for several mortgage companies, including RBC Mortgage, Zino Mortgage Group, Countrywide Home Loans, Union Security Mortgage and ITT Financial. She and Tasker assembled the team that re-founded Mason-McDuffie Mortgage in 2005.
Richardson has served as a director of the California Mortgage Bankers Association and currently is a member of the loan production committee for the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Jason C. Frazier, Chief Information Officer
Jason Frazier brings a strong technology and operations management background from Silicon Valley to the mortgage industry. His experience has helped with the creation and leadership of the Prime Services Group. He joined Mason-McDuffie in 2009.
The Prime Services Group handles all of the human resources, marketing, technology solutions, multimedia, support and training for Mason-McDuffie, as well as leading its social media strategy.
Frazier has worked with or consulted for a variety of firms including Founders Fund, LinkedIn, Palantir Technologies, Peregrine Systems and Dresdner RCM. He served as senior vice president of IT and security for Clarium Capital prior to moving to Mason-McDuffie.