Citi, Wells Fargo make mortgage leadership changes

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A pair of the nation's largest banks, Citigroup and Wells Fargo, made changes to their mortgage banking executive teams.

Citigroup promoted David Smith to chief operating officer of its newly combined U.S. retail banking and mortgage businesses.

In February, Citi announced it is integrating its mortgage business and retail bank "into one, client-centric organization."

At that time, it said the combined organization would be led by Will Howle, bead of Citi's U.S. Retail Bank.

The company shrunk its presence in residential lending following its January 2017 decision to exit the mortgage servicing business through the sale of $97 billion of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac servicing rights to New Residential Investment Corp. for $950 million. Its remaining MSRs are being subserviced by Cenlar, which just opened its own office in Citi's space in O'Fallon, Mo.

At the end of the fourth quarter, Citi serviced $47.3 billion. Its loan production for the period was $3.2 billion, down from $5.6 billion for fourth quarter of 2016. Full-year loan production was $13.1 billion, down from $24 billion for 2016.

Most recently, Smith was Citi's head of originations operations. In his new role, he will continue to lead the launch of its digital end-to-end mortgage originations capabilities.

Smith joined Citi in 2008 and held leadership roles in mortgage default and originations program management. His organization includes the ATM network, branch oversight and consumer sales practices, strategic transformation projects and vendor strategy.

Citi's new head of U.S. mortgage is Ranjit Bhattacharjee, the current head of capital markets and correspondent sales. He joined Citi is 2000.

Brad Wayman is the new head of U.S. mortgage sales, having previously lead teams in the retail, wholesale and correspondent production segments. For the past four years, he was a division lending executive for New York, New Jersey and the Northeast suburban markets.

On March 29, Wells Fargo announced that Perry Hilzendeger, currently executive vice president and head of Home Lending Servicing, will become the new head of home lending retail, a newly created role, effective April 16.

Hilzendeger will oversee 15,000 people working in the mortgage and home equity sales, underwriting, fulfillment and support functions. He will report to Michael DeVito.

He took over as head of the servicing business in 2015 and prior to that, he was head of default servicing.

Gui Kahl, currently senior vice president for servicing change delivery, will occupy Hilzendeger's previous job on an interim basis while Wells Fargo conducts a search for a permanent leader.

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Career moves Correspondent Secondary market MSR Citigroup Wells Fargo