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Inspiration can strike in the least likely locations. For example, John Councilman found his inspiration for NAMB’s Wholesale Summits during a breakfast in Atlantic City.
“I attended the Northeast Mortgage Brokers Convention in Atlantic City last year,” recalled Councilman, president of NAMB—The Association of Mortgage Professionals. “[National Mortgage Professional’s founder] Andrew Berman held a breakfast for some major wholesale lenders. After the breakfast, I was very interested in talking about this issue further–but there was no forum for that.”
Councilman sought to share his enthusiasm on a wholesale-exclusive meeting with the NAMB board of directors. He outlined the possibility of the association hosting a pair of summits–one in the spring, the other in the fall–dealing with the challenges and trends facing the wholesale lending sector. Although the board had not budgeted for new conferences, they were intrigued by Councilman’s idea.
“They took a giant leap of faith that people would be interested–even though this was without having any funding for it in place,” Councilman added.
As a result, NAMB’s first Wholesale Summit took place in Orlando, Fla. in March, while a second summit was held recently in Dallas. An initial plan was to have the second Wholesale Summit piggybacked on NAMB National in October, but was scrapped because the proposed dates clashed with a previously scheduled event. But in seeking participation in the new summits, NAMB CEO Don Frommeyer wanted to avoid a come-one/come-all invitation.
“We limited participation to a maximum of three members of any company,” Frommeyer said. “But we were looking for the decision-makers. We didn’t want account executives–we wanted the people above them.”
The first summit brought in representatives from 15 of the industry’s leading companies: Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions, B2R Finance, Carrington Mortgage Services, Franklin American Mortgage, Freedom Mortgage, HomeBridge Wholesale, Impac Mortgage Wholesale, Land Home Financial Services’ Wholesale Division, Lenders Compliance Group, New Penn Financial, Quicken Loans, REMN Wholesale and United Wholesale. Frommeyer recalled that the first summit got off on a very cautious note, with both the organizers and attendees showing more than a little uncertainty.
“We did not know what to expect,” Frommeyer said. “Everyone was tentative–no one wanted to speak up. But after the first break, attendees started to introduce themselves to others because they did not know each other.”
NAMB provided its attendees at the first Wholesale Summit with data from a proprietary survey conducted with hundreds of loan originators and mortgage brokers on what they expected from wholesale lenders. The second Wholesale Summit was dominated by discussion on the impact of the new TRID regulations on the wholesale sector and the entire industry.
Frommeyer dubbed the wholesale outreach “a work in progress” and stated he was open to inviting non-NAMB members to next year’s meetings. As for Councilman, the idea for more NAMB summits aimed at specific segments of the industry was not out of the question.
“We may, but it’s not on the agenda,” Frommeyer said, adding that NAMB was already pre-occupied with the production of four major conferences for 2016.
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at [email protected].
This article originally appeared in the October 2015 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.