Urban Targets Growth Through Financial Advisors, Hires Phil Walker

Urban Financial of America, LLC, formerly Urban Financial Group, announced Monday it has hired Phil Walker to lead its growing reverse mortgage education program geared toward financial advisors.

As Vice President for Financial Advisor Programs and a former financial advisor himself, Walker will spearhead UFA’s initiatives to build relationships with the financial advisor community and educate its members about the use of reverse mortgages as a retirement planning tool. 

“One of the missing links in forging relationships with financial advisors has been effectively showing advisors not just how wonderful a reverse mortgage product can be and all the success stories our industry has delivered, but giving them a better reason why a reverse mortgage works,” Walker told RMD. 

A primary initiative moving forward includes an outreach program that involves Urban’s retail team, Walker said, where the company will train its sales force on how to build a dialogue with advisors and showing them the times when a reverse mortgage can be appropriate for their clients.

“A lot [of the effort] has to do with taking out the mysteries surrounding reverse mortgages for financial advisors, but I think Urban is poised to succeed in connecting the dots between the reverse world and the advisor world,” Walker said. 

While Urban already offers a CE course for financial advisors on reverse mortgages, the program announced Monday represents a whole new department opening within the company that aims to broaden the relationship outreach for advisors, according to Walker.

In this new position at UFA, Walker, who is based in the Visalia, California area, will report to Sherry Apanay, managing director of sales. 

“We’re excited to have Phil on board in this important new role, leading efforts to educate financial advisors and their clients about the ways in which a reverse mortgage can be used to safely and strategically leverage home equity as a retirement asset,” said Apanay. “His extensive reverse mortgage knowledge paired with his past experience as a financial advisor gives home valuable insight.”

Prior to joining UFA, Walker was formerly a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and the National Sales Manager for the reverse mortgage division of First Horizon Home Loans, which was acquired by MetLife in 2008.

Written by Jason Oliva

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