PERSON OF THE WEEK: Trevor Gauthier is managing director of Accenture Mortgage Cadence, a provider of loan origination software. MortgageOrb recently interviewed Gauthier to learn more about how the company has been dealing with the implementation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rules (TRID) and how technology will continue to reshape the mortgage market in the years to come.
Q: You’ve been with Accenture Mortgage Cadence for more than a decade. Since taking over as managing director late last year, have things gone as you expected? What has surprised you the most?
Gauthier: There really have been no surprises. I’ve worked with many of the executives closely over the years. The team has a combined 100 years with the company and about 200 years of mortgage experience, so I knew I was starting on the right foot. I went in with a realistic view of where the organization was and where it needed to go.
Taking over the reins in October 2014 meant we were in the midst of TILA-RESPA system enhancements and exponential customer growth, so my immediate plan was to stay the course with the initiatives we already had in motion.
The reality is that this past year has been unprecedented in many ways and will be a year that we will look back on as one of the most transformational in the history of the business.
We will have substantially increased the size of our enterprise customer base, will have continued growth in the mid-markets, and will have significantly enhanced the Accenture Mortgage Cadence Cloud, all while taking on the single largest regulatory change the industry has ever seen - a change that must be implemented flawlessly across our entire customer base.
This is no small order and I’m fortunate to have inherited a team of individuals and a technology platform that are both second-to-none.
Q: As you mention, TRID is the focus for all lenders and vendors in the business right now. What does the future hold for Accenture Mortgage Cadence post-TRID?
Gauthier: Without question, we will continue the momentum we’ve seen since I joined Accenture two years ago. Being part of this company gives us access to world-class resources that put us in an even better position to be the last origination platform our customers ever need. Looking to the future, we will further our technology and bring on new solutions that help lower origination costs while keeping stride with regulatory changes. Although that’s a lot to accomplish, increasing customer satisfaction so that they, in turn, increase borrower satisfaction is no less important.
We already have clients using our technology to push the boundaries on the all-digital mortgage. The next step is moving all customers to the fully paperless mortgage.
Accenture recently surveyed nearly 4,000 North American retail banking customers and discovered that 27% would consider a branchless digital bank if they were to switch from their current bank. What does that mean for the future of lending? It’s trending all digital. I want to make sure our customers are ready for this by making the mortgage process a more enjoyable experience for all: faster, more convenient, online and in-line with other purchase experiences consumers are becoming used to.
Although technology development sounds very impersonal, it’s actually quite the opposite. The factor that will allow us to get our technology and our customers to the all-digital mortgage is our people. I strive to surround myself with great people, which is exactly what we have and precisely what we need to hit the goals and long-term vision of this organization.
Q: With people being at the heart of your commitment to the future of the company, what is your vision for staff development and mentorship?
Gauthier: We have a great team and need to continue to foster a climate in which career and personal growth are at the center of what we are doing. Mentoring is something I am very passionate about. My end goal is to enable each individual around me to perform to the best of his or her ability while also ensuring we are creating the right team. That’s a team that clients and prospects alike want to do business with; a team that people internally want to work with and be a part of; and a team comprising of individuals focused on success - not simply their own, but also the success of others around them. This comes from properly matching skill sets and personalities with roles, constant mentoring, letting individuals take risks and grow, and developing future leaders.
Taking this future-view a step further, our vision is to be the last lending solution our customers ever need through our commitment to partnership, service and technological innovation. Our focus on partnership truly sets us apart from the pack. We take a collaborative approach with all of our customers in order to make sure we are meeting each of their unique needs head on. This begins as early as the sales process but really comes to light during implementation. By hearing what our customers need, then sharing our solution, we create a system that ultimately allows them to achieve more than they ever dreamed possible. Technology innovation is crucial, but serving our customers and providing true partnership lead to a long and fruitful relationship.
Q: What is the best piece of advice you were ever given?
Gauthier: Learn as much, if not more, from an undesired outcome as you do from the good. Whether that be a conflict with a boss, a project gone south, or missing a personal goal, you will grow from these experiences if you look at them the right way. Don't give up; instead, use these as valuable learning experiences and be better for it. It's easy to be crippled by the fear of failure, but we will all fail at many points in our career. It's how you handle those failures that will determine your future success. Work hard. Seek to learn more. As long as you are doing this, opportunities you never expected to present themselves will surface.
This has been the motto of Accenture Mortgage Cadence, and it has led us to our most successful year as an organization. We’ve witnessed firsthand the devastation felt by our industry during and after the crash, but we've also witnessed the industry come back stronger than before. Although times were not always easy, we grew exponentially through those experiences, leading us to this unforgettable year.