As director of agency risk management, I lead a team of experienced asset managers responsible for a high-touch portfolio of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans. My team’s job is to head off receivership and foreclosure and to help sponsors resolve issues that can prevent them from repaying their loans in a timely way.
My start in asset management occurred in the wake of the great recession. I had already held several positions in commercial real estate, from property management to underwriting, when I landed a job at C.W. Capital overseeing foreclosed hotel assets. I really loved working in different areas of the country, hearing different stories, and learning how, as a special servicer, to value a nonperforming property and to market and dispose of it. It was fascinating and satisfying.
Building and maintaining good relationships is very important at Lument, and this was evident from my first contact with the company. I wasn’t looking to switch jobs at the time, but one of Lument’s corporate recruiters convinced me to explore the possibility. Within a week, I had four or five interviews with executives all the way up to Mike Larsen, the company’s chief operating officer. I was astonished that Lument put so much emphasis on these meetings, but the importance of building lasting relationships with the right people is underscored at Lument. That’s very important to me as well, so that’s one reason why we clicked.
I also enjoy the culture at Lument. Because it is a new company, it has the energy of a startup. I could sense that openness during the interviews. People here are open to new approaches. They don’t hesitate to question accepted procedures if they can be improved upon. You are hired for your expertise, and you are encouraged to use it.
Consistent communication is critical under any circumstance. And throughout the pandemic and now in our hybrid work environment, it’s especially important. I try to schedule one-on-ones with my team members as frequently as I can. It is an opportunity for me to listen, see if there’s anything I can do for them, and just get to know them better as individuals.
I have been really excited about resuming meetings with my agency counterparts. For me, there is something lost when you don’t have face-to-face meetings, so it’s been a special pleasure to make regular trips to Dallas, Columbus, and New York to spend time with people I work with on a daily basis.