2017 HW Vanguard: Claudia Merkle

Chief Operating Officer at National MI

Over the past 25 years, National MI Chief Operating Officer Claudia Merkle has emerged as an innovative and influential leader in the mortgage industry. With experience in mortgage insurance, mortgage banking, business development and operations, she is known for fostering a positive, diverse work environment where she listens to and values all perspectives.Merkle

In September 2016, Merkle was promoted to COO of National MI. Merkle has been with National MI since the company’s inception in 2012 when she joined as senior vice president of underwriting and risk operations. In 2013, she was promoted to executive vice president, insurance operations, and in 2015 she assumed the additional responsibilities of managing National MI’s sales and marketing functions. 

Merkle has played a key role in more than doubling National MI’s lender clients in the past four years to over 1,200 clients today, and the company continues to grow. Since 2015, National MI has tripled its market share. The company achieved GAAP profitability in the second quarter of 2016, just three years after writing its first mortgage insurance policy. 

Merkle is well-recognized as a thought leader for positive change and improvements in the mortgage insurance industry. She is perhaps best known for National MI’s groundbreaking insurance coverage that shortened the traditional industry timeframe for rescission relief from 36 to 12 months. The product, National MI Safeguard, started an important trend in the mortgage insurance business as other companies followed suit to shorten the time period for rescission relief. 

What one habit has made a crucial difference in your success?

“If I could boil it down to one habit, it’s preparation. I’m a big believer in the importance of laying the groundwork, and I think it has made all the difference in my success.”

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