July 8, 2016

Q&A with Chris Gill, CC Pace’s Newest Team Member

Written by Keith Kemph

CC Pace is proud to welcome Chris Gill as the newest member of our Financial Services team, a group that has been recognized as among the premier consulting practices in the mortgage banking industry. Chris’s knowledge, skills, expertise and overall commitment to helping lenders solve their challenges makes him a great addition to the team. During Chris’s nearly thirty-years in mortgage banking he has spent significant time as a lender, working at both Washington Mutual and JP Morgan Chase, before transitioning to the software side of the industry, where he spent nearly ten years at a leading mortgage software firm. This collective experience serves to make Chris a valuable asset to our clients, someone they can trust to help chart a course for success with their most complex challenges. Chris recently sat down for a Q&A session to discuss his background, his vision for the industry and his purpose in joining CC Pace.

How did you get into the mortgage banking business?
CG: My first exposure to the mortgage banking industry was with the Sheltered Lending group at Chemical Bank in Jericho, NY. While still in college as a temporary employee, I worked in the Closing department faxing out packages from the mailroom to attorneys and settlement agents. I was hired not because of my knowledge or experience but rather my ability to turn a double play. Not only am I proud to still be part of this tight knit industry, you can also find me on the baseball diamond trying to hurt myself.

What sort of things have you done during your time in the industry?
CG: I’ve been fortunate enough to be exposed to lots of different areas within the mortgage banking industry. Started in the backend end of the business as part of a Portfolio Administration group, worked my way into Secondary Marketing, ran a rogue IT shop, and eventually became a licensed Mortgage Banker, Broker and Secondary Lender. One of my most valuable experiences was the time I spent working on a trading desk building a conduit. Interesting to note, these various positions spanned across both the business and IT sides of the house. My new role with CC Pace will allow me to accomplish so much more and better service our clients.

What would you say are some of the greatest challenges the industry is facing today?
CG: Whether it’s customer demand, changes in the market or new regulations, the ability to adapt is the greatest challenge facing financial institutions. Understanding, reacting, and potentially leading is the true definition of an innovator. This can be accomplished with solid forward thinking strategy which most likely includes process and technology refreshes. The famous quote by General George Patton, “Lead, follow or get out of the way!” is still relevant today. Mobile devices, portals, automated workflows, imaging, e-notes are no longer the wave of the future. They are essential building blocks to keep pace with our real-time, on-demand society.

So you’ve transitioned from lender to technologist, and now consulting. Why the recent decision to join CC Pace?
CG: Right people, right time, right situation…. While I’ve been in the industry a few decades, I’ve only worked at a handful of institutions. Every organization strives for excellence. I firmly believe the most effective way to be successful is to work with the best professionals. In my opinion, CC Pace offers something not found at other consulting firms. Deep real-life experience with complete focus on the client’s best interest. At the end of the day, we’re all in this business to originate loans. For me, this opportunity represents a unique chance to work with more than one lender.  Servicing clients while driving industry innovation excites me.

What will be your primary focus be at CC Pace?
CG: My role at CC Pace will be a little departure from the traditional business development function. CC Pace has done so much in the industry that no one knows about. I’m here to start meaningful conversations and share our valuable experience. “Been there, done that” is a great mantra when it can be said about defining strategy, improving efficiency, reducing risk and ensuring success.

What makes for a successful lender/consulting partnership?
CG: This could really be a one-word answer: ‘trust’. Trusting our experience, our knowledge and our skills to help solve your most complex of challenges or projects. Our end goal is to help you operate more efficiently, effectively and successfully. A great partner can be the difference in making a struggling, meandering project with marginal success into a timely, smooth-running project with significant success.

When should lenders be calling you?
CG: Call me anytime, even if you’re not sure what you need. CC Pace is the premier financial services consulting firm. Our seasoned staff of consultants have an average of over 25 years of experience managing highly complex multi-faceted projects. Together, we can accomplish great things.

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