Former MBA Chairman Felix Beck Passes Away

FelixBeckFelix Beck, Chairman Emeritus of Chase Home Finance who served as Chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association from 1983-1984, passed away on Mar. 26. He was 93.

Mr. Beck served as Chairman Emeritus of Chase Home Finance from 1994 to 2009. He was Chairman and CEO of Margaretten Financial, a mortgage banking firm, from 1992 to 1994 and before that was Chairman and CEO of Margaretten, a subsidiary of Berg Enterprises since 1969. From 1957 to 1969, he was Executive Vice President of J.I. Kislak Mortgage Corp.

“Felix was a standard and inspiration to all who knew him,” said JPMorgan Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon.

“Felix wasn’t just in the industry–he helped shape the industry,” said a longtime industry colleague. “He inspired the best in everyone and he always led by example. His enthusiasm was contagious.”

Mr. Beck was born on March 12, 1926 in Highland Park, N.J. After graduation from Highland Park High School, he joined the Army, where he received his commission through the Officer Candidate School, becoming the youngest second lieutenant in the Army.

Following his service in the Army, Mr. Beck returned to New Jersey and enrolled at Rutgers University, earning a bachelor’s of science degree in 1950 and an MBA in 1953 before beginning his career in the mortgage industry. He had a reputation as a hard worker who saw the importance of building strong sales operations.

During his career Mr. Beck was widely regarded as an innovator. In 1972 New Jersey Gov. William Cahill (R) appointed Mr. Beck to a commission aimed at improving home mortgage options for home buyers. The Commission, which became known as the Beck Commission, became noteworthy for advocating for more widespread use of adjustable-rate mortgages, which soon became a standard mortgage offering nationwide.

Mr. Beck became involved with MBA in the 1960s and served on numerous MBA committees and boards before being elected as President (now Chairman) of MBA in 1983, serving through 1984.

During his tenure with MBA he lobbied Capitol Hill on usury laws and successfully worked toward getting Freddie Mac business open to all lenders, not just members of the Federal Home Loan Banks. He also wrote extensively for Mortgage Banking magazine.

Mr. Beck also served on the Board of Directors of Fannie Mae from 1985 to 1996. He served 17 years on the Board of Governors and Board of Trustees with Rutgers University, where he received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1998.

Mr. Beck is survived by his wife of 68 years, Doris, the former mayor of Livingston, N.J.; his son Bruce and his wife, Janet; his son Steven and his wife, Lauren; his daughter-in-law, Karen, the widow of his late son, Jeffrey; his four grandchildren, Jonathan and his wife Jordana, Michael and his wife, Calie, Justin and Jake; and two great granddaughters.

Funeral services took place in New Jersey on Mar. 29. In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations to the Rutgers University Foundation at