Wells Fargo sharpens its mortgage tech toolkit with two new key hires

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Wells Fargo is leveraging two new hires to sharpen its mortgage technology and data security game.

The bank named Gary Owen as chief information security officer and head of information security, and Steve Hagerman as head of consumer lending technology. Both will report to Saul Van Beurden, head of technology.

The hires come at a time when the mortgage and broader finance markets are embracing digital efforts to streamline banking for professionals and consumers. Back in the fall, Wells Fargo announced its plan to launch an electronic note program, showing its push for a more digital process. The initiative, in partnership with eOriginal, allows the purchase of e-notes through the bank's correspondent channel, Wells Fargo Funding.

Hagerman previously served as managing director and head of JPMorgan Chase's home lending originations technology, where he was responsible for the first mortgage, home equity and correspondent lending platforms. He will begin his New York-based role at Wells on May 31.

The bank's move to sharpen its tech toolkit also follows a system-wide tech failure that occurred in February when an issue at a server facility in Minnesota took down its operations nationwide. Some pointed to possible gaps in Wells' emergency backup plans for prolonging the outage that lasted around 24 hours. Wells did argue it had a blueprint in place for such a failure, but couldn't have tested for every possible situation.

"Gary and Steve bring a wealth of technology experience to our organization," said Van Beurden in a press release. "Their leadership will be critical as we continue to provide innovative and secure banking technology to our customers."

Where there's more attention being paid to digital, the potential for other issues, like data breaches, also arises.

Assuming his role in early August, Owen will be held responsible for maintaining and enhancing Wells Fargo's risk and information security framework, where he will lead information security strategy and governance, identity and access management, security engineering, line-of-business engagement, and cyber defense and monitoring, the bank said. Owen will be based in Charlotte, N.C.

The new hire comes with over 30 years of experience working in risk and technology roles, the most recent being his position as chief information security officer at Time Warner successor WarnerMedia.

Wells made headlines earlier this year when now-former CEO Tim Sloan made an abrupt exit in March following a slew of employee firings, changes in management and regulatory actions. Sloan had attempted to mend the bank's corporate culture and repair its bad reputation after a fake-accounts scandal broke in September 2016.

Wells Fargo's general counsel, C. Allen Parker, is serving as interim CEO until the firm decides on a permanent replacement.

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Career moves Mortgage technology Digital mortgages eNotes Data and information management Data security Fintech Tim Sloan Wells Fargo JPMorgan Chase
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