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Mortgage

2017 HW Vanguard: Steve Smith

Chief Financial Officer at Stearns Lending

As a seasoned industry professional with nearly three decades of mortgage banking and financial services industry experience, Steve Smith, chief financial officer for Stearns Lending, has used his superior leadership skills and a strong background in financial systems, operational activities and compliance management systems to lead Stearns Lending into the digital age. smith

This past year, Smith worked closely with the company’s technology leaders and their teams and completed the successful transition of the company’s accounting, accounts payable and procurement functions to a seamless digital platform. 

The efficiencies and cost controls achieved had a nearly immediate impact. In addition, the platform allows for a full vendor management and maintenance cycle that is of immense strategic value for the entire enterprise – especially given the increased focus on compliance and managing vendor risk.

Many lenders face a digital divide – a state in which the customer-facing systems have gone digital, but the workforce has not. The new streamlined experience for the Stearns workforce makes the company one of the few that has removed this impediment and linked its team members to digital tools for support, connectivity and collaboration. Smith led this successful effort while also ensuring that his teams responsible for treasury and finance activities and strategies achieved superior performance levels in their respective disciplines.

“The benefits of our digital platform go beyond the quantifiable efficiency improvements and cost control numbers. The new streamlined experience for the Stearns workforce reaps both tangible and intangible rewards,” Smith said.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

“Staying focused on what is important and not getting distracted by the fire of the day.”

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