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Schedule subject to change.

Note: Meeting rooms may change. Please refer to the MBA Events mobile app, available in both the App Store and Google Play, on-site for final locations.

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Saturday, October 26, 2019

  • Industry Panel: Leadership and Learning

    Location: Level 4,
    Ballroom


    Speaker(s)

    Kristy Fercho, Executive Vice President and President, Mortgage, Flagstar Bank, FSB

    Claudia J. Merkle, Chief Executive Officer, National MI

    Byron L. Boston, President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chief Investment Officer, Dynex Capital, Inc.

    Laura Escobar, President, Eagle Home Mortgage, LLC

    Kimberly P. Browne, Managing Director, UBS

    Hear from successful industry leaders who will share their experiences in leading teams.  We will explore their successes and what challenged them along the way. Join the discussion and get practical advice and inspiration on how to make a positive impact in the workplace.

    Speaker(s)

    Kristy Fercho, Executive Vice President and President, Mortgage, Flagstar Bank, FSB

    Kristy Fercho joined Flagstar Bank in 2017 as executive vice president and president of Mortgage. In this capacity, she is responsible for the direction and oversight of all aspects of mortgage and secondary marketing for Flagstar and for the continued expansion of Flagstar’s mortgage business. Flagstar is the nation’s fifth largest bank mortgage originator.  Prior to Flagstar, Fercho spent 15 years with Fannie Mae, ultimately serving as senior vice president, customer delivery executive, responsible for the end-to-end strategy and business performance of all single-family customers in the western United States, representing an acquisition volume of over $300 billion. Her experience in the mortgage industry is broad and deep, covering mortgage originations, fulfillment, risk management, secondary marketing, servicing, technology initiatives, and regulation.  Prior to Fannie Mae, she worked for eight years at PepsiCo, reaching the level of director of Human Resources for several corporate functions worldwide. Fercho began her career at Baxter Healthcare in sales, operations, and HR positions.  Fercho serves on the board of directors of the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the Detroit Zoological Society. MReport honored her as one of the Top Women in Housing, Diversity Journal listed her among its Women Worth Watching, National Mortgage Professional Magazine named her to its list of Most Powerful Women, and the Michigan Chronicle selected her for its Women of Excellence recognition.

    Claudia J. Merkle, Chief Executive Officer, National MI

    Claudia Merkle serves as CEO for National MI and is responsible for the company’s day-to-day management, financial performance, and long-term growth strategy. Claudia is now the only female CEO in the private mortgage insurance industry. She joined National MI in May 2012 as senior vice president of underwriting fulfillment and risk operations, was promoted four times in seven years, to executive vice president of insurance operations in 2013, appointed COO in 2016, was promoted to president in 2018 and promoted to CEO in January 2019.  Claudia has received numerous industry awards: she was recently named to HousingWire’s 2019 Women of Influence list, received a HousingWire Vanguard Award in 2017 and was named to HousingWire’s Women of Influence list in 2016. Claudia was also named to MReport’s 2015 Leading Ladies list.  Prior to joining National MI, she held executive leadership positions within the mortgage banking and mortgage insurance industries, including senior business development, operations and risk management roles. 

    Byron L. Boston, President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chief Investment Officer, Dynex Capital, Inc.

    Byron Boston is President, CEO and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Dynex Capital (NYSE:DX), a leading Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) with approximately $4 billion in managed assets. Mr. Boston is responsible for strategy and operations as well as fostering and maintaining key relationships with shareholders, creditors, and dealers. He also leads the day-to-day investment, financing, hedging, and financial reporting decisions. Mr. Boston is also a member of Dynex Capital’s Board of Directors.  Mr. Boston is a seasoned investment professional with 36 years of experience in the fixed income capital markets and the U.S. housing finance system.  Since January of 2004 he has built two successful public companies, Dynex Capital and Sunset Financial Resources.  Prior to Dynex, Mr. Boston served in a senior leadership role in the investment division of Freddie Mac for 7 years.  Between 1981 and 1997 Mr. Boston developed his career as a banker and bond trader, first with Chemical Bank as a Corporate Banking Officer and then with Credit Suisse First Boston as a mortgage-backed securities trader.   He is currently a board member of the Mortgage Bankers Association and The Salzburg Global Seminar.

    Laura Escobar, President, Eagle Home Mortgage, LLC

    Laura Escobar is President of Eagle Home Mortgage, the mortgage lending subsidiary of Lennar Corporation, the nation’s largest homebuilder. She leads a team of more than 1,100 associates in 54 locations across 26 states. Eagle generated sales volume of $11.1B in fiscal year 2018.  A 30-year mortgage industry veteran, Laura has held leadership positions with both bank-owned and independent mortgage companies overseeing all aspects of mortgage banking including production, operations, compliance, accounting and training. Her personal ground-level experience in every facet of mortgage lending has enabled her to manage and fully integrate all these departments within Eagle Home Mortgage.  Laura joined Eagle in 2002 as Branch Manager in Miami. She was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2004 managing the Eastern Region, then to Executive Vice President in 2016, where she was responsible for all aspects of operations and production of Eagle’s entire Builder Division. She was named President of Eagle Home Mortgage in 2018.  Laura’s passion is “Paying It Forward”. This is accomplished through her involvement not only in her local community but within communities throughout the country. Involvement such as Habitat for Humanity and Make A Wish foundation. Laura is also a licensed mental health counselor and devotes much of her time working with underprivileged woman. She is an advocate for women and minorities and is a proud supporter of mPower.  Laura currently sits on multiple advisory boards (TransUnion Mortgage advisory, Fannie Mae AHAC, Mortgage Action Alliance, Ellie Mae Executive advisory and MBA RESBOG).

    Kimberly P. Browne, Managing Director, UBS

    Ms. Browne has more than 18 years experience in the residential mortgage industry holding integral positions for two international investment banks, a startup broker-dealer and a domestic savings bank holding company including key roles in warehouse lending, whole loan capital markets, specialty loan servicing and trustee accounting.  She is a Managing Director in Mortgage Finance at UBS, joining May 2011 to re-establish the business and in her capacity is responsible for marketing, client management, credit risk management, third-party loan file diligence and collateral valuation enhancement. While at UBS, Kimberly has closed over 20 facilities helping UBS reach and maintain a top 5 lender status.  Ms. Browne spent six years with DLJ and Credit Suisse building the whole loan conduit into a top 3 investor and reengineering conduit operations and servicing transfers. Ms. Browne was recruited to join Washington Mutual Capital Corporation, a startup broker-dealer, where she helped develop and manage the external whole loan conduit sales and securitization strategy. After the birth of her son, Ms. Browne spent two years covering private and institutional investors in bond and loan trading before transitioning into her role with UBS.  Ms. Browne is the current head of external partnerships for All Bar None a women's diversity organization at UBS.

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