Despite the continuing wave of mass layoffs that has thinned its ranks in North Virginia and Maryland, a bank-owned mortgage company is keeping strong in Richmond.
George Mason Mortgage, a subsidiary of United Bank, has watched dozens of its employees leave in recent weeks following poaching by West Coast-based rival CMG Financial, which appears to be making its initial push into Mid-Atlantic.
But there is no way out of the George Mason Mortgage office in the Richmond area. Its nearly four dozen employees remain intact, despite the fact that many have flirted with CMG.
Among them is Joe Dunn, a veteran local mortgage executive who started his local GMM office in 2013.
Dunn said that since last week, about 135 of GMM’s more than 300 employees since the CMG poaching began last month. This includes both support staff and loan producers and CEO Bill Landon, who is now CMG’s chief operating officer in Mid-Atlantic.
“We have not lost anyone in Richmond,” said Dunn, who also rejected a generous queue from CMG. “The amount of money they are throwing away is crazy. They offer a lot of money to the producers to come “.
The messages left for Landon and the emails sent to CMG were not returned.
Dunn said he and others in the city chose to stay with GMM to continue with the team they have formed in Richmond and to continue the brand’s strong performance in the area.
“I wish them well – the people who left are all friends and I know they will be successful wherever they go,” Dan said. “My decision was really based on the brand that my team and I have created in Richmond and the products and leadership that the bank offers to GMM. “Ultimately, building a brand for nine years is hard work.”
The local office, based in Innsbrook, is the best-performing branch of the company based on the total number of loans it owed from the 14 branches it had before the poaching.
While some of its offices in North Virginia may generate more dollars, due to higher real estate costs in this part of the state, the Richmond County office gave about 250 loans last month.
It closed 2,367 loans in 2021 totaling about $ 693 million, he said.
For Dunn, who has always been closer, the recent departure from GMM has led to a new, temporary role. At present, he and Chad Loube of Maryland and Andrew Siddon of North Virginia have been appointed as executive vice presidents to oversee the GMM as the search for a new CEO continues.
“I did not really want to get away from it and I really believe in the leadership of the bank and working with Andrew and Chad to help us deal with it,” he said.
Dunn said the local GMM group is also beginning to see the benefits of United Bank’s increased presence in the Richmond area thanks to the acquisition of Henrico-based Essex Bank last year.
“We own a nearly $ 30 billion bank that is fully committed to the mortgage industry,” Dunn said. “As the market changes, being affiliated with a bank-owned mortgage company has many advantages.”
The changes in the GMM come amid rising interest rates, which have raised mortgage rates up to more than 5 percent each year. This has an impact on the volume of loans, including refinancing and purchases. With interest rates expected to continue to rise, Dunn said the CMG shrinkage could prove timely for GMM.
“I know this sounds crazy, but the good news is that a lot of mortgage companies are firing people, so we feel we are better off now than we were before because there is a reduction in volume,” he said.
And the company’s Richmond market may continue to decline further as it plans to open a second local branch next month in Hanover.
“We are very positive and we are working to increase market share and improve an overall great brand,” he said.