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loanDepot makes more changes to C-suite

Mortgage lender hired Gregory Smallwood to be chief legal officer

loanDepot continues to make changes to its top management as it navigates a sharp workforce reduction in a shrinking mortgage market.

The California-based mortgage lender announced on Wednesday it has hired Gregory Smallwood, former general counsel and executive vice president of Caliber Home Loans, to be chief legal officer and corporate secretary.

The announcement comes two days after the company named Joseph Grassi as its chief risk officer. Grassi is an industry veteran who spent two decades at Fannie Mae.

Smallwood will start immediately and report directly to Frank Martell, loanDepot’s CEO since April. He will oversee all aspects of loanDepot’s legal strategy and operations, including enterprise, shareholder and corporate governance matters.

Prior to working at Caliber, Smallwood was associate general counsel and senior vice president at Bank of America, general counsel at Saxon Mortgage, and managing director and associate counsel at GMAC ResCap.

“loanDepot operates in a complex and rapidly evolving legal and regulatory environment,” said Martell, according to a news release. Smallwood, according to him, will help ensure the company “successfully execute on our plan and deliver best-in-class experiences for our customers.”

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For mortgage servicers as well as lenders with a healthy servicing portfolio, the changing market environment can be a time to thrive — to expand and strengthen revenue streams outside of just mortgages.

Presented by: Branch

loanDepot has made several changes on its C-Suite since the first quarter. In March, the company announced the hiring of the digital technology veteran Zeenat Sidi, amid an operational restructuring that led to the creation of a new business division called mello.

In April, founder Anthony Hsieh left the daily operations to take a more strategic leadership role in the company. Hsieh, who is also the loanDepot’s main shareholder, became the executive chairman. loanDepot named Martell, who has a reputation for cost-cutting, as the CEO.

Smallwood and Grassi, however, came after the company reported a $223.8 million loss in the second quarter of 2022, more than double the $91.3 million loss in the first quarter of 2022.

To adapt, the company is exiting the wholesale and non-delegated correspondent channels. The company is also eliminating 4,800 jobs. As of July 12, the company had 8,500 employees.

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