Open Mortgage Adds President Position, Appoints Industry Veteran

Multi-channel mortgage and top reverse mortgage lender Open Mortgage announced on Wednesday the creation of the president role in its corporate leadership structure, naming mortgage and reverse mortgage industry veteran Joe Stephenson to the position. Stephenson will assume his duties as president of the company beginning on December 6.

The selection of Stephenson to serve in the new role reportedly came after a long search, and is said to allow the company’s founder to pursue other growth-related activities beyond the day-to-day management of the company.

Joe Stephenson

“The newly-created position will oversee day-to-day mortgage lending operations for the company, with a strong focus on the company’s continued growth,” the announcement of Stephenson’s appointment said. “[This will allow] Open Mortgage Founder and CEO Scott Gordon to continue to focus on its long-term strategic expansion, innovation and corporate culture.”

For Gordon’s part, he expressed confidence in Stephenson’s ability to serve as a good fit for a company that aims to prioritize culture, which is only bolstered by Stephenson’s experience level, he said.

“After much long-term planning and an extensive national search, we found a perfect fit in Joe,” Gordon explained. “Not only will his nearly three decades of experience in independent mortgage banking and depository institutions serve Open Mortgage well, but his strong leadership skills and warm demeanor will also complement our family-like culture.”

Most recently, Stephenson served as SVP of operations for industry-leading reverse mortgage lender American Advisors Group (AAG), where he oversaw over 500 employees and supported concurrent sales channels including wholesale, a centralized call center, and a national distributed retail operation. In his time at AAG, Stephenson was responsible for the expansion of company infrastructure to support growth in the company’s operating platform, and implemented a national remote support strategy.

The full scope of Stephenson’s experience extends back to the mid-1990s, having spent a combined total of nearly 20 years at Bank of America in roles including responsibilities over home loans fulfillment and national sales execution. Prior to joining AAG, Stephenson spent nearly three years at Morgan Stanley serving as its head of mortgage operations.

Stephenson expressed gratefulness for the new opportunity to serve in a leadership position at Open Mortgage, and also emphasized the importance of company culture in a statement accompanying his hiring announcement.

“I’m extremely excited to lead Open Mortgage and grateful to the executive team who has afforded me this opportunity,” Stephenson said. “The strong family culture of balancing personal and professional aspirations is in line with my core values. The company is well-positioned for future growth as it has built a strong foundation with an established national footprint over multiple distribution channels and products. I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and joining the team as we make the turn into 2022.”

According to recent Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsement data compiled by Reverse Market Insight (RMI), Open Mortgage is currently the seventh-largest reverse mortgage lender in the country, recording 2,357 loans over the 12-month period ending in November 2021.

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