When we heard that Mike McFadden, one of the key executives at Stonegate Mortgage, was making the move to the world of high tech to take the helm of Alight Mortgage Solutions, we were intrigued and wanted to hear more. We sat down with Mike to talk about his goals for Alight Mortgage Solutions, not the least of which is bringing Alight to the desk of every mortgage banking executive in the U.S.
HousingWire: You joined Alight Mortgage Solutions after a very successful career at Stonegate Mortgage. What made you want to work with Alight and what was that transition like?
Mike McFadden: I've been a fan of the Alight team and the Alight Mortgage Lending application since they got started. In fact, I think I was their second customer! From the beginning, I saw that —through Alight — mortgage industry executives could transform how key financial decisions are made and, in turn, transform how they run their businesses.
There are some big differences between running a publicly-traded mortgage banking firm with over a thousand employees and leading a nimble, high-tech startup. One thing I’m really enjoying is the speed with which we can move and get things done. For example, we recently sent a survey to our customers asking for their ideas about new features and within a day processed some very valuable feedback. And because of our agile structure, we were able to incorporate some of the feedback and deliver it to our entire customer base within two weeks. That’s very satisfying and incredibly beneficial to our customers.
HW: One of the things you’re charged with in your role as Group Head is customer success. What does that look like as a former customer?
MM: The mortgage industry is in a state of constant change and to help our customers succeed in that environment, we need to be part of ensuring they’re ready for whatever comes their way.
The next priority we’re focusing on is expanding the services we offer customers. My goal for 2018 is to be the first call our customers make when considering their most strategic and critical business decisions. We have an amazing depth of mortgage banking knowledge and talent, and I want Alight Mortgage Solutions to be known as the advisory firm that’s supercharged by an amazing technology platform. That's the part of the business that I'm really excited about growing.
HW: What do you see as some of the biggest challenges mortgage industry companies will face in 2018?
MM: The biggest challenge for every mortgage banker is the same year in and year out: the unknown. Mortgage bankers are always trying to get ready for the huge shifts that they know are coming, but can’t quite see. Everyone’s been looking for that elusive crystal ball and finally, thanks to Alight, I believe they can have one.
We help our customers prepare for any outcome – we enable mortgage executives to have not just one plan, but a plan A, B, C, and beyond. Alight customers can focus on early indicators and the actions to take if and when interest rates do rise. Therefore, with Alight, they can be ready for any change in rates and understand the financial impact of those changes across their enterprise – before it happens. That’s revolutionary stuff.
HW: How will Alight meet those challenges?
MM: First, I firmly believe that every mortgage banking firm needs a solution like Alight. When you use Alight, your decision making improves a hundredfold – that’s something every firm, of any size, can benefit from.
We’re doing something that no one else can do. We offer customers an aggregated financial planning solution that integrates with their core systems — G/L, HR, LOS and capital markets — and brings all that rich information together so that it can be used to make confident, forward-looking financial decisions. Add to that our team of top mortgage industry talent and you have an unbeatable solution. The opportunity is huge and I am very excited about the future.