Mutual of Omaha Reverse announces strategic estate planning partnership; appoints Barnes as wholesale training director

The partnership is designed to serve seniors complementary products, while Barnes moves over to Mutual of Omaha from Fairway

Mutual of Omaha Mortgage’s reverse mortgage division has announced a new strategic business partnership with an estate planning company, as well as the appointment of industry veteran Craig Barnes to serve as its new wholesale training manager, RMD has learned.

The partnership with ePIC Services Company is designed to expand the product offerings available for senior clients, and to “allow the two companies to serve the same client base with complementary products,” a company announcement said.

Estate planning partnership

“ePIC Services Company offers estate planning services directly to consumers and indirectly through financial advisors,” the company added. “The company provides services including creating a trust, establishing a power of attorney and setting up health care directives through its electronic platform.”

Such partnerships are relatively common in the reverse mortgage space, especially due to the business’ well-established practice of establishing referral partnerships with adjacent industries and individual professionals. This has particular relevance for the kinds of services ePIC provides, according to Geoffrey Wallace, Mutual of Omaha Mortgage’s director of strategic business.

“In the reverse mortgage industry, it’s not uncommon to work with customers who don’t have a trust or power of attorney set up, which can be the source of a lot of stress when it comes time to make important decisions,” Wallace said. “The ability for two companies to provide symbiotic services to baby boomers through multiple channels is part of our overall strategic planning vision.”

Serving baby boomers, market differentiation

The partnership will also allow both companies to collaborate on marketing projects targeted toward the baby boomer demographic, said Chris Kargacos, Mutual of Omaha Mortgage’s EVP of sales.

“Our new relationship with ePIC Services Company reinforces our commitment to serving the evolving needs of the baby boomer generation,” Kargacos said. “Together with ePIC, we aim to empower our clients with the knowledge and resources they need to make informed decisions about their financial future.”

For ePIC’s part, the company sees synergistic potential in its goals aimed at baby boomers according to Carter Wilcoxson, CEO of ePIC Services Company.

“We are honored to be in this new strategic relationship with Mutual of Omaha Mortgage,” Wilcoxson said. “Our team is excited to collaborate with Mutual of Omaha Mortgage’s loan officers to provide their clients with our estate and legacy planning solutions. We will create a streamlined, elevated and efficient client experience for those households that need this necessary planning done the right way.”

When reached by RMD, Wilcoxson added that the new partnership can serve as a differentiating factor for Mutual of Omaha Reverse in its competitive market space.

“ePIC Services Company fills the gap between what reverse mortgage clients expect and what reverse mortgage professionals deliver with respect to estate and legacy planning,” Wilcoxson added. “Ultimately, this end-to-end estate and legacy planning service helps to differentiate reverse mortgage professionals in the ultra-competitive market that they are in.”

Barnes moves to Mutual of Omaha

Reverse mortgage industry trainer Craig Barnes has been named as Mutual of Omaha Mortgage’s wholesale training director for its reverse division, bringing a well-established industry educator to the company.

Reverse mortgage trainer Craig Barnes presenting at the 2022 NRMLA Annual Meeting and Expo in Atlanta.
Reverse mortgage trainer Craig Barnes presenting at the 2022 NRMLA Annual Meeting and Expo in Atlanta.

“Craig is joining us at a very exciting time in the development of our channel,” said Mark O’Neil, SVP of reverse wholesale at Mutual of Omaha Mortgage. “We are seeing steady growth this year and the addition of Craig to our team increases our ability to reach clients and help them grow their own businesses. We hope bringing on Craig at this juncture is a clear sign [of] just how committed Mutual of Omaha is to the industry and how bullish we are about the long-term prospects of our program.”

Barnes previously served in training and education roles at other reverse mortgage companies including MetLife Home Loans, Security One LendingReverse Mortgage Funding (RMF) and most recently as VP of reverse education at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation. He holds the Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional designation from the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA), and is a regular speaker at the association’s training and education-focused event programming.

“This is an exceptional team and I am excited about the opportunity to join a company that is a recognized leader in the financial services industry,” Barnes said. “I look forward to supporting our wholesale partners’ growth and continuing my work at the industry level by developing and delivering first-class training content.”

Adding to the chorus is Shelley Giordano, director of enterprise integration at Mutual of Omaha Mortgage.

“Craig is a respected member of the reverse mortgage community,” Giordano said. “His deep knowledge of our products will surely help Mutual of Omaha wholesale clients access the very best in both expertise and experience.”

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