Pennymac shakes up tech leadership

The California-based lender and servicer promoted Jim Follette to chief digital officer and Mike Hogan to chief information officer

Pennymac Financial Services has made changes to its technology leadership, creating a new role focused on digital innovations, the company announced on Tuesday. 

The changes come after the resolution of a long-standing arbitration process with Black Knight regarding its servicing platform. They also come as the mortgage industry is making efforts to adopt artificial intelligence solutions to improve productivity and better assist customers.

The California-based lender and servicer promoted Jim Follette to chief digital officer, a new role to pursue opportunities in digital innovations, commercial markets and solutions for homeowners. Meanwhile, Mike Hogan will be Pennymac’s new chief information officer, replacing Lior Ofir, who is departing the company to pursue new opportunities.

Follette, who joined Pennymac 12 years ago, became the company’s senior managing director and chief mortgage operations officer in 2022. He had a crucial leadership role in Pennymac’s mortgage fulfillment, production business technology and servicing divisions. 

David Spector, chairman and CEO at Pennymac, said Follette’s “strategic acumen” positions him to lead the company in a “new era of technological advancement and ingenuity.” 

Follette’s vision for the company revolves around a “frictionless customer experience,” the company said. He will be responsible for developing a road map to expand Pennymac’s proprietary servicing platform, Servicing Systems Environment (SSE). 

HousingWire reported in December that an arbitrator awarded Black Knight $155.2 million in damages related to a breach of contract claim in a four-year dispute between the companies. Black Knight accused Pennymac of copying its mortgage servicing platform, MSP, to create SSE. Meanwhile, according to the arbitrator, Pennymac kept all of its intellectual property and software, including SSE, “free and clear of any restrictions on use.” 

Hogan joined Pennymac in 2020 and previously served as its managing director of capital markets technology. In his new position, he will report to Follette and work to bolster emerging technologies that elevate the commitment to Pennymac’s customers. 

Spector highlighted Hogan’s “technological expertise, industry insight and proven ability to manage complex systems” as assets to Pennymac’s IT transformation.   

“Mr. Follette will also play a key role in implementing solutions within Pennymac’s retail and servicing divisions while partnering with Mr. Hogan to ensure that Pennymac’s Third Party Origination and Correspondent Group partners have the technological and digital tools they need to succeed across all market cycles,” the company said in a prepared statement. 

Founded in 2008, Pennymac employs about 3,900 people nationwide. It produced $99 billion in unpaid principal balance (UPB) in 2023. At the end of last year, its servicing portfolio totaled $607 billion in UPB.

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