On Sunday, Union Home Mortgage Corporation CEO, Bill Cosgrove, wrapped up his year as Chairman of the MBA, by passing the torch to Bill Emerson, CEO of Quicken Loans. Cosgrove is credited with many successes as MBA Chairman. A tireless advocate for the industry, Cosgrove traveled the country to address some 35 state associations. Below is Bill's farewell speech, in which he talks about his year as Chairman. We Congratulate Bill for a job well done!
"Good morning and welcome to MBA’s 2015 Annual Convention.
Well this last year as just flown by! A year ago I took this stage as the new Chairman and now, with a year of tremendous personal and professional growth behind me, I will pass on the leadership reigns.
Last year I spoke of the incredible change that has dramatically shifted the way we do business. And it’s so much more than just the Dodd-Frank rules; it’s the influence of federal and state regulatory and legislative bodies in our board rooms and our strategic plans. I encouraged you to become active participants in the shaping of our industry’s future, to get off the sidelines and in the game of advocacy at the state and federal levels for the success of your businesses and our industry.
I outlined three objectives – provide greater access to credit especially for first-time homebuyers, educate regulators and enforcement officials on the impacts of their decisions and actions on consumers, working with ALL real estate finance stakeholders for clarity in the rules and creating a pathway to responsible homeownership, and finally I issued a CEO challenge to create a culture of advocacy within your companies and step up advocacy efforts locally and federally. Well, I’m proud to say - you ALL accepted the challenge head-on, which led to some great success this year.
First-time homeownership numbers are improving, although still below historical standards, the percent share of first–time buyers has risen to 32 percent compared to 29 percent just one year ago. The FHA MIP reduction was a huge win and big part of the reason we see this growth in first-time buyer numbers. We sent a clear, strong message about soaring student debt, and how it is hurting many first-time buyers’ ability to become responsible homeowners and the media took notice. While moving in the right direction, we still have much work to do in this area.
By cultivating strategic relationships, we improved the lending atmosphere for our industry and consumers. For example, we achieved improvements to the Qualified Mortgage rule (QM) such as the right to cure. We ensured the final risk retention rule aligned with CFPB’s QM rule. We worked with the GSEs and FHFA to bring back the 97 percent LTV loan products for responsible borrowers and expand access to credit.
We launched MBA’s Consumer Advisory Council to build deeper relationships and understanding, and find common ground with consumer advocates. Working with consumer groups can only fortify our voice, improve the regulatory and market atmospheres, while also strengthening our industry and our businesses.
This year has also given me a FULL appreciation for all housing in America. I’ve enjoyed my working relationship with COMBOG and the commercial/multifamily members of the MBA Board of Directors. Commercial real estate is important to growing the economy and multifamily housing is so important for the millions of American who cannot yet own a home or prefer rental housing for a place to call home.
As a former Ohio state MBA chairman, I’m passionate about promoting and building a strong grassroots team. This was a major objective for me as Chairman and MBA shares this vision. Due to the success of MBA’s State Relations Initiative, we continued building high-level partnerships with state associations, which are stronger now than ever before. I applaud the state MBAs who have partnered with MBA and accepted my challenge of stronger advocacy. MBA put forth a tremendous amount of work and resources in this area with William Kooper and Scott Nowak at the helm.
Speaking of advocacy, CEOs took my challenge seriously. You stepped up your advocacy efforts, especially through your participation in MBA’s first CEO Exchange in DC. Remain involved, but also drive activism through your company culture. Don’t let strangers in Washington and state houses determine the direction of your companies. This includes more participation in the Mortgage Action Alliance and MORPAC. Jamie Korus is doing an outstanding job as MORPAC chairman, and we need to help her match MBA’s clout on Capitol Hill.
All of these efforts require a strong foundation to make things run smoothly. MBA continues to build its resources. I’m proud to report that MBA remains on firm financial footing to continue our mission for a strong, safe, reliable and affordable housing system.
We could not have achieved success and I could not have enjoyed my leadership in MBA without the continuous help, support and guidance of so many people.
Thank you to my fellow officers, Bill Emerson & Rodrigo Lopez. It’s been a pleasure working with you both and I look forward to your great service to our association.
To RESBOG and COMBOG – the information and advice you provide is invaluable to any Chairman.
To the Board of Directors – it’s been a pleasure serving with you. We’ve had a good year and our meeting in Cleveland, the Rock N Roll capital of the world, is one I will not soon forget.
One of the TRUE PLEASURES of serving as Chairman is building professional relationships and many friendships with the MBA staff. They are hardworking, talented, wonderful people that work every day for the mission of MBA and its members. They advocate for us, educate us, promote us and represent us in Washington and state houses throughout the country. I couldn’t be prouder of the work they do. It’s been a great ride working together, so thank you very much.
Dave Stevens and Marcia Davies – what a great team! It’s been wonderful working with both of you. And if the MBA members haven’t noticed, and based on the feedback I received all year, you have noticed, this duo has taken MBA to a new level of energy, enthusiasm and success. Well done.
To Joe Reppert, John Robbins, Mike Petrie, Kurt Pfotenhauer, Michael Berman, Deb Still, EJ Burke, David Kittle, and Marianne Collins – thank you for the support & encouragement to serve our industry on an even larger scale and thank you for the guidance along the way.
And to the members of this great organization that gave me the opportunity to serve as an officer and your Chairman - thank you.
I want to thank the Union Home Mortgage family for supporting my passion for industry activism and bringing this culture to our company. My leadership team’s job was hard somedays and I appreciate their sacrifice.
And most important of all, to my beautiful wife and the family boss, Paula – thank you. Being an officer of MBA is a family commitment. Thank you for allowing me to serve at this level. We did it together and had more than a few family experiences along the way we will never forget.
So I’m often asked, what is my favorite part of being Chairman and why did you do this? The best part is meeting with mortgage bankers all over America. From Keeneland in KY, Boise, Portland, Los Angeles, Austin, Milwaukee, Hilton Head, Mackinaw Island, Destin, Fort Walton, Birmingham, Newport, Tulsa, Indianapolis, Syracuse, Atlanta, Memphis, Des Moines, Lincoln, Denver, San Juan and home to the Ohio MBA in Columbus, the Cleveland and Cincinnati MBAs, just to name a few. Seeing the passion in their eyes and speaking from their heart about the profession we love was consistent and inspirational throughout the country.
This is what I take away – the people of our industry are wonderful, caring people. We want to do the right thing. We are proud of what we do. We want simple rules to follow. We want the consumer protected but don’t want to be strangled by over the top regulation and enforcement. We want clear rules of the road and the unnecessary bureaucracy out of the mortgage lending process.
I ask all mortgage professionals to serve the industry. What happens outside the four walls of your company is as important as what happens inside the four walls of your company. You will grow personally and professionally. Your career and company will benefit, I promise you.
It’s truly been an honor serving you as Chairman of MBA. I thank you for this blessing and opportunity of a lifetime.
I leave you by saying more time, more passionately than ever before – I am so proud to be a Mortgage Banker!
Now it’s my distinct honor to do the proverbial passing of the torch.
You all know Bill Emerson as the CEO of Quicken Loans, but I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know him as so much more. He’s an innovator, a leader and strategic thinker. It’s this leadership that grew a lending business during one of the most difficult times in our industry and our country’s history. Bill’s modern flare for taking our industry forward will be a great asset to MBA and our industry.
He knows how to obtain, retain and motivate excellent employees. Quicken Loans ranked No. 12 on FORTUNE magazine’s annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” list in 2015.
He’s an active spokesperson in the industry, testifying before Senate and House committees numerous times as well as quoted in national and trade press throughout the country.
Bill has been an active leader and advocate for and with MBA, serving for several years in leadership positions such as former Chairman of MBA’s Diversity Committee and former Vice-Chairman of MBA’s Residential Board of Governors. He serves on the MBA’s Board of Directors and is a member of the Financial Services Roundtable’s Housing Policy Council and the HPC’s executive council.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your 2016 MBA Chairman Bill Emerson!
TMC - Chief Operating Officer