Career Growth Amidst Crisis: A Conversation with MBA Future Leader Graduate Dennis Moore
The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Future Leaders Program started in 2013 and is designed to develop mid- to senior-level managers identified as high potential candidates. The leadership program accepts 36 qualified applicants each year from a variety of companies including banks, servicers, vendors, insurance companies and independent mortgage bankers.
Networking and learning are key benefits of the program. Focus areas include leadership principles, case studies, problem solving exercises and sharing best practices. Participants read several books on leadership and have follow-up discussions on principles and concepts that apply directly to commercial/multifamily finance. The program will have a gap year in 2021 due to COVID but will begin taking but began taking applications in June 2021 for a 2022 class.
MBA Newslink interviewed recent MBA Future Leaders Program graduate Dennis Moore about his experiences and perspectives on the current industry landscape and the program.
Moore is a Senior Sales Executive responsible for business development for SS&C’s Precision LM loan servicing platform, among other complementary integrated software and services offerings for the global commercial real estate finance market. He has supported some of the top commercial/multifamily lenders, third-party servicers, specialty finance companies and nonbank lenders in their system evaluations as they look to improve operational efficiencies across technology and processes. He works closely with SS&C’s dedicated software development resources to infuse new innovations into its platforms, driven by client requests and market demands.
MBA NEWSLINK: Describe some ways your business or your customer’s businesses are shifting their use of technology.
DENNIS MOORE: COVID has been a dominating narrative since 2020 so we can start there. The global pandemic has accelerated trends underway and, despite the stress and uncertainty created with the pandemic, it has been exciting for us to be part of the acceleration of these trends.
Trends I am seeing, and perspectives clients and prospects are sharing, include:
–Simultaneously increasing operational agility and reducing operational risk through automation and real-time processing.
–Exploring new strategic partnerships and business models.
–Regulatory and compliance requirements with an eye towards more regulatory oversight in the next few years.
Of course, effective technology solutions are key for acceleration to occur. Areas where we see real potential include: enabling a remote workforce; providing better data access and visibility to borrowers, investors and other key stakeholders; and leveraging modern API-based interface approaches to ensure seamless information-exchange among systems.
NEWSLINK: Are these shifts changing what you focus on at all as far as solutions delivery to existing customers or new customer acquisition?
MOORE: What we are hearing from clients and prospects is expanding my thinking around how service providers bring different solutions sets to customers. When we hear some of the challenges that colleagues are facing, it is on us as a service provider to ask the right questions to gain a comprehensive understanding and come back with proposed solutions.
What is unique about my role and company is the diversity of our offerings. We are in a unique position in that we have a broad technology and services offering above and beyond loan servicing and asset management. In my role, I am responsible for putting together ideas for strategic partnerships that enable clients to focus on their core competencies and leverage a partner that can grow with their business.
Working with each client is a different experience from the culture, organization design and business perspective. It requires responding to each situation uniquely and I enjoy the challenge. I would like to add that MBA’s Future Leaders program has helped me sharpen my skills to take on these challenges, including problem solving and working collaboratively with others as well as effective listening and communication.
NEWSLINK: How was the first virtual round of Future Leaders Program? Any takeaways you can share?
MOORE: First, I am grateful for the opportunity provided by MBA and my employer, SS&C. With the impact of COVID, the program looks different; however, it still achieved its objectives:
–Continuous refinement and enhancement of participant business and leadership skills.
–Increased knowledge of the commercial real estate finance industry.
–Development of networks and relationships amongst established as well as up-and-coming industry leaders.
MBA and the Future Leaders Program participants did a great job adapting program offerings and embracing the opportunity presented to us. We are all working and living differently than we were at the start of 2020, and this program provided a strong platform for professional development and connection with the industry.
For me, an important point is to remain connected to peers and expand my worldview and general knowledge of the industry–this program really delivered in that regard.
Some specific takeaways I expect will stay with me throughout my career are:
–It is OK to ask for feedback, and soliciting open and honest feedback from managers, peers and direct reports will only make one a stronger leader.
–It is important to leverage the unique strengths and viewpoints of team members; there is no one right way to do something and I don’t have to do everything myself.
–Not getting caught up in the day-to-day can help one to avoid burning out. Taking a step back to see the bigger picture is significant, which may include setting aside time for rest, strategy, critical thinking and reflection.
NEWSLINK: On a lighter note, what are you reading (or listening to) right now?
MOORE: Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey. A must-read that is entertaining, insightful and motivational.
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.