Q&A with Bret Leech of Fiserv
By MBA Insights Staff
September 5, 2017
Brett Leech is President of the Lending Solutions Division with Fiserv, Brookfield, Wis., a position he assumed in March 2016. He leads more than 800 associates who provide technology services for home and automotive clients across North America. He was been with Fiserv for five years, serving previously as Senior Vice President of Human Resources. He also held executive positions with SourceHOV, Rogers Communications and Bell Canada.
MBA INSIGHTS: Is it a reflection of how quickly this industry is changing that major updates to products such as LoanServ are coming out more frequently?
BRET LEECH, FISERV: Yes, I believe that as our industry grows, and consumer expectations increase, technology providers will have to become increasingly fluid in how they respond to market needs. For servicing systems, we see this fluidity reflected by the decisions made in the build/buy/partner spectrum.
Technology providers will have to thoroughly assess and understand their core value propositions, the surrounding eco-system of point-solutions and how to best deliver an integrated solution quickly to the market which can frequently evolve. An example of this approach is our work with CoreLogic to integrate their IntelliMods product with LoanServ, in order to deliver a tightly integrated automated Loss Mitigation decisioning solution.
INSIGHTS: Which is more important to your clients right now: technology-driven innovations or customer-driven demands?
LEECH: They move in lockstep with one another. Our clients' customers have become accustomed to a certain level of ease and control when interacting with technology in all aspects of their lives. Without question, they have come to expect the same from their mortgage experience. This fuels the need to respond to our clients with technology-driven innovations that address their ever-evolving demands.
INSIGHTS: You're not new to Fiserv or FinTech, but fairly new in the mortgage industry. What are some of the things you've learned from your previous positions that you're bringing to our industry or planning to bring to the mortgage space?
LEECH: Prior to joining Fiserv, I benefited from more than 10 years in consumer business focused primarily on mobile technology. It is an exciting time to be in this industry as the advances in technology and the focus on a superior customer experience are right in our wheelhouse. Our clients recognize that we play a key role in delighting their customers and we are excited to partner with them in creating better customer experiences.
INSIGHTS: You said the customer experience is important for a number of reasons. What does Fiserv do to enable servicers to address this?
LEECH: The customer experience is driven by many different aspects. One is the direct interaction you have with a customer; a key element here is to provide your customer with a way to communicate that suits the way they live their lives. If they prefer to speak to someone, interaction human-to-human, they should be able to call in via phone or in-person. If they want to get information and execute transactions like setting up a recurring draft on their own, there should be a channel available to them. For these customers, we are launching an improved borrower self-service portal which will enable borrowers to interact with their servicers on their own terms, at any time, and on any device.
INSIGHTS: What would you like to tell the industry about new technology--for example, what do you think of blockchain and how it might affect the lending industry?
LEECH: My advice for lenders and servicers is to invest the time to understand how technology, such as blockchain, can be applied in creative ways to solve actual business challenges. Cut through the hype to find real examples and uses cases that make sense to you.
At Fiserv, we have been working on blockchain proofs of concept with solving real-world challenges in mind. We want to exploit the power of a distributed ledger, smart contracts and the transparency that blockchain can deliver in concrete ways. Fiserv was recently the prime sponsor of the MISMO Blockchain Challenge Day concurrent with the MISMO Spring Summit. While we are pursuing uses for this technology, we also embrace a collaborative approach to help the industry embrace blockchain to achieve better risk controls and improved transparency for a variety of transactions. Keep an eye on us in this space later in 2017.
INSIGHTS: How far into the future does Fiserv gaze?
LEECH: Our team does a great job connecting with both industry trends and advancing technology. We strive to anticipate market trends, in order to develop solutions that are in step with the way people live and work today. The goal is to ensure the technology is ready to enable our clients. In lending, there are a lot of variables around what shape the secondary market may take, the evolving regulatory landscape, the role of new technology and changing borrower demographics. We take all of these factors into account as we look out over a multi-year time span.
INSIGHTS: How did the Fiserv acquisition of PCLender come about? What factors determined that this would be a good fit?
LEECH: Fiserv is continually evaluating opportunities to enhance our portfolio, whether through internal development or through acquisition. The PCLender technology is a nice addition for Fiserv because it complements our existing lending capabilities, and enables the digital experience lenders and borrowers are increasingly seeking. The platform offers a proprietary rules engine, imaging and consumer direct functionality in a SAS model, which is cost effective for our clients.
The PCLender technology is already integrated into all Fiserv bank core account processing platforms and many of our credit union core account processing platforms. PCLender and Fiserv have collaborated on roadmap objectives that are designed to provide banks and credit unions with technology that offers superior workflow, streamlined operations and simplified compliance, which means we can hit the ground running. We're committed to continuing to serve existing PCLender clients as well, and the fact that the PCLender team is joining Fiserv will help make this a seamless transition.
(Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect policy of the Mortgage Bankers Association, nor do they connote an MBA endorsement of a specific company, product or service. MBA Insights welcomes your submissions. Inquiries can be sent to Mike Sorohan, editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org; or Michael Tucker, editorial manager, at email@example.com.)