Fidelity Brings Beginning-to-End Agenda to Convention

When Fidelity National Financial executives travel to the MBA annual convention, they expect a lot of traffic from mortgage servicing professionals and representatives of other segments of the industry.

Traditionally one of the largest booths in the exhibit hall, Fidelity's portfolio includes loan servicing automation, loan origination technology, title insurance and other specialty real estate and mortgage insurance and information products.

And this year, executives with Fidelity National Information Services division say the company will be emphasizing integration during the MBA show. In part, that reflects an industry-wide trend that has lenders hoping to have access to data across their entire enterprise, not separate silos relating to each loan division or department. In many cases, that involves simplifying technology platforms to ease integration.

"We are going to be emphasizing and demonstrating the booth an array of end-to-end mortgage solutions," said Dan Scheuble, chief information officer at Jacksonville, Fla.-based Fidelity National Financial.

He said that Fidelity is a "year further along" in its initiative to integrate "a supply chain management model" linking pretty much everything that is offered by the firm.

In a world where the Internet is increasingly pervasive, service-oriented architecture allows companies like Fidelity to integrate offerings more seamlessly, he said.

Mr. Scheuble expects that continuing growth in the home-equity line of credit business will also be a hot topic at this year's convention, with more and more lenders looking for technology that will help them grow their HELOC portfolios.

Hugh Harris, president of Fidelity Information Services, said that another priority for Fidelity will be to promote the MBA's new certification program for mortgage servicing professionals, an initiative in which Fidelity is a partner. Today, most of the people enrolled in the certification program are Fidelity employees, and the MBA and Fidelity want to get more mortgage bankers interested.

In general, Mr. Harris said a couple of hot topics will likely dominate discussions among servicing professionals at the conference. One will be interest rate trends, with some attention paid to the increasingly narrow gap between rates on long-term instruments and short-term instruments. That complicates the hedging of interest rate risk for mortgage servicing managers.

"I think the yield curve will get a lot of discussion in Orlando," he said.

Also, data security is high on the minds of industry executives this year, especially after several credit-card providers had to confess to the public that personal data on hundreds of thousands of accounts had been stolen.

He also expects servicing attendees at the convention to be interested in the potential for a growth market in bulk sales of mortgage servicing rights. In recent years, that market has largely diminished because falling interest rates have driven down servicing values. But with interest rates rising, and with many observers expecting rates to continue going up, the bulk MSR market may revive. "It does appear that more and more people are looking at opportunities to sell blocks of servicing," Mr. Harris said.

(c) 2005 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com http://www.sourcemedia.com

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