More on AGF Trust

AGF-Trust As with many lenders, the economic and credit downturn is casting a shadow on AGF Trust.  It turns out the company has reorganized a much larger part of its mortgage operations than we reported Tuesday.

Upwards of 50 employees will be laid off in all–roughly 10% of the AGF Trust workforce.  The staffing cuts include employees in the mortgage and investment loan sides of the business, sales, underwriting, administration, and project management.

AGF says “every effort has been made to reallocate resources within the organization to ensure that we continue to service our mortgage broker clients with excellence.”

Despite the cuts, the company told us it is nonetheless fully “committed to mortgage brokers and the mortgage business division within AGF.”

AGF VP, Lucy Becker, said that Area Lending Managers will now play a dual role, providing both sales and service.  The company is also focusing on a new “end-to-end service delivery model.”  Going forward, it says brokers can expect “one point of contact for all inquiries on a mortgage transaction–from application through to funding.”

With lower funding volumes, the company has had to defer some key initiatives including “regional expansion.”  AGF strongly believes the job cuts will not affect service levels, however.  It says that’s because staffing levels were increased just before the credit crunch started taking a toll.

As regular readers know well, AGF is not the only lender facing short-term challenges in Canada.  They won’t be the last either.  Given that AGF’s parent has been around for 50 years and is relatively stable, AGF Trust may bounce back sooner than most however.

For those unfamiliar with the company, AGF Trust serves the non-prime Canadian mortgage market, providing both conventional and insured mortgages.  It distributes its mortgages through the broker channel and uses its balance sheet to fund them (as opposed to securitization).

Among other things, AGF is still one of a few lenders offering insured second mortgages at reasonable rates.

AGF’s average conventional loan-to-value was 68% in its latest quarter.

  1. Are they still in the broker business?
    How many companies is Moe Forget going to work for?
    Canada Trust,IMC, Xceed, Wells Fargo, Money Connect and now AGF, great work.

  2. They are still accepting applications, they are officially a lender of last resort. They have lost the confidence of the mortgage broker community. As for the Moe comment he’s a cat-9 lives.

  3. A corporate coup d’etat has taken place at this company. Moe Forget was brought in and promptly brought in his entire group from the failed MoneyConnect. It should be noted that all of the group that were brought in by Mr. Forget not all in management positions have been spared in the cuts. Many people with years of industry experience and many years of service were let go in favour of employees with less than 6 months at AGF. A disservice has been perpetrated on the good people who built AGF. Mr. Forget will no doubt be gone after the current credit difficulties subside and will bring his cadre of hangers on with him to his new endeavor, gutting the leadership ranks of what will no doubt be a competitor. A cunning move by a mortgage industry survivor; unfortunately for AGF and the broker community the result will no doubt be one less mortgage lender in the mortgage market. A more detailed explanation can be found on the globe and mail web site in the comments section.

  4. Agf promoted the investment borrowing tool and now eliminates the products-comical. If you want something to go bad fast hire Moe Forget . Wherever Moe lands he brings his usual cast of characters “followers”, and they burn through another company and receive packages in the end for their incompetence. In my opinion he is running out of options, he has burnt too many bridges in this industry.

  5. As always, we welcome everyone’s commentary and are grateful to have readers, and industry insiders, who are passionate about the topics we write about.
    That said, we just ask–for obvious reasons–that comments be phrased in a way that is polite and factual. One of the comments above was edited because it made a defamatory statement of fact about a person’s reputation and this is not the forum for those kinds of comments.
    Thanks for understanding.

  6. yes, thing are getting personal, however, it does not get more personal than this. People worked their hearts out for AGF, worked with committed passion, and gave it 100% day after day. However, as a reward after many years of service, they are being substituted by a group of new people, who care only about their own ego, and maybe some more cash at the end of it all, as it happened many times before! It happened before, and will happen again!!! Mortgage professionals — any advice for those who received a short end of the stick?????

  7. It seems Moe Forget is as well liked in this industry as George Bush is liked in politics, can you say–your ship has sailed please exit off a short pier to both.

  8. This will not be a popular point of view on this thread but here goes anyway…
    Moe is a good man who was faced with tough decisions in one of the worst credit markets of our time. I know a lot of you are bitter about how things shook out at AGF, and I feel for you…really I do. At the end of the day though, AGF’s problems were born long before its leadership changed.

  9. Steven, what makes a good man, as you state? Someone who has worked for: 7 companies in 10 years, like Moe has or is because he says good morning to you? Please do not edit my comments as these are factual and can be researched to be confirmed correct:
    Moe has worked for-Mortgage Center–sold a failing near bankrupt franchise, Canada Trust–shown the door,IMC-sold to BMO, BMO then sold to Xceed–Moe shown the door from BMO and Xceed as part of the agreement Moe had to go, Wells Fargo–shown the door, Money Connect–another failure-shown the door told by investors to shut it down and AGF–another great start, that is 5 packages in 10 years. I am not trying to bash the guy but that is a poor track record for anyone no matter how you sugar coat it, so the question remains–how many companies is Moe going to work for, hopefully not many more. He may be a nice guy to go have a drink with but having a drink with someone and running a business are two different things.

  10. I have been sitting back and reading all the comments, on here and in the other newspapers. However, its hit the point that I can’t sit idle anymore.
    Its so easy to sit there and point fingers and blame the person that is the head of the division. However, did Moe Forget actually have anything to do with the financial crisis in the world? Can you honestly say that this person, and his team of managers are responsible for bringing down the markets all over the world? Might as well blame the poor guy for the Great Depression.
    Seems to me, there are a lot of sour grapes by past employees and mortgage brokers that just need to grow up, and realize “Its not personal, its business”.
    Now, yes, I fully agree, a lot of good people were let go. However, there are only a few people that actually explain why those people were let go. As for the rumour that only the AGF people were let go, and moneyconnect folk were left, well that’s not true. No one was safe. There was a mix of everyone. In addition, out of the 10% that was laid off, only 20 something were from the mortgage division. So how about people take a moment and think.
    Other companies are laying off all over the country. Its the economy. It happens. There isn’t much we can do about it. We just have to be adults and move with the flow of what is happening.
    As for the comment about AGF being the lender of last choice, well, that’s a matter of opinion. I know personally, that AGF stepped in and helped out many a broker at the last moment when they had their financing pulled from one of the larger banks.
    AGF Trust is still a good company. I consider myself to be lucky that I still have my job here. I will continue to support my management staff in anyway that I can, no matter if I agree with thier decision or not. All I can do is just express my concerns, and then move on with life.

  11. Concerned Reader–Where was Moe being blamed for anything with regard to AGF in my posts? I also do not believe in any posts he has been blamed for what has gone on in the world with credit and liquidity, what is being discussed is Moe’s interesting past and this has gone on longer than our recent credit issues in the world. 7 companies in 10 years-good record? IF you really do work for AGF then explain why Moe’s cast of character’s are still in good standing and explain how it is good when he came on board how he let go a bunch of AGF underwriters, the Underwriting Mgr [name deleted] moved to product, on and on and now when there are more packages happening his people are still there? [In my opinion], this is what he does, fires who he does not like and brings his friends in–he did it at BMO-Xceed, Wells, Moneyconnect and now at AGF.

  12. Once again, thanks to all for your comments. Without them CMT would be just a bunch of mortgage news.
    I want to remind everyone, however, that we do not have the time or resources to verify every alledged fact on these forums. Therefore, I’ll just say that what you see here are simply people’s opinions–informed or otherwise.
    To all posters, please be careful about using people’s names in posts and making negative statements of fact about those people without some kind of 3rd-party source (e.g. a media story link, etc.).
    I hate cramping people’s expression but we have to keep things at least somewhat civil and objective.
    Thanks…
    Rob

  13. Dear Vic
    Thanks for the response.
    However, I wasn’t accusing you of anything. If its your opinion that that Moe Forget moves into a company and “strip mines” it, then you are entitled to it.
    As for the Underwriting Mgr, I knowof who you speak. I can’t say she is happy or not happy with her new position. Other than the fact that personally, I can tell that she was very happy and relieved to have it when it was offered to her. She was not demoted, or pushed into that role. The previous holder of that position was promoted to a VP, so they needed to fill the role.
    The main root of my post was the fact that I wanted people to know that there are some true AGF’ers here that work very hard. I’ve been here for quite some time, and work hard for what I do. I do not like hearing people bash my company on a daily basis.
    If you are so opinionate, Vic, why not tell us a little bit about your company and how it is handling the financial crisis. Is it surviving as well?
    Just because Moe Forget was added to this company does not mean that he is the reason for the lay offs. Some of his friends were laid off just as well as some of my friends.

  14. Hello Concerned,
    Thank you for your response. Some of my last post was edited, I mentioned that the former Director was moved over to product and the underwriting manager was let go, both in order to bring over Moe’s people, not sure why you are in denial on this, Tom was brought in as a VP–funny isn’t Tom has been following Moe since-BMO/Xceed, Money connect as an agent, over to Wells as a BDO, then inside with Wells, then over to MoneyConnect with Moe, then over to AGF with Moe (Rob-Tom’s hiring is public knowledge). AS for AGF–in all posts I have not bashed the company only questioned the direction/management, which frankly should be questioned and again IF you work there and have seen a number of people let go, I am sure you are wondering what the future holds for agf.

  15. Not sure if that comment was intended for me, but if it is–what exactly was it that is a partial truth or partial fact? That my friend is all fact, they have worked for all of the companies I have mentioned and have done so in the chain of events that I have described.
    Is Moe hiding Osama–not sure that’s even funny.

  16. Just curious because I dont use them much. Does AGF have any other good products besides “insured second mortgages at reasonable rates.” Thanks

  17. With all the extra time on your hands I suggest you go on a fact finding mission…there are those who know the truth about the history and then are others like you; the dead weight cut loose. Seems to me like your comments simply emphasize that the correct decision was made. Enjoy your time off.

  18. Thank you for the great response Worker. Guess as mentioned you cannot come back with any facts unfortunately–as mentioned I asked you to state something I said as being incorrect, all is 100% true, and you cannot dispute it, it’s okay to admit it. As for your next comment, I have not worked for Moe, I do however have colleagues that have worked with and for Moe and I am very aware of his and Tom’s travels throughout this industry that are well documented–ask them if any of the travels I have stated are incorrect? If truthful they will inform you that it is 100% correct. Worker-keep believing Moe though, in the end you will get your package too.

  19. I KNOW MOE, YOU DON’T, I’M RIGHT, YOU’RE WRONG, WAAAHHHHHHH. Why don’t you two swap phone numbers and go for a Shirley Temple?

  20. Still waiting what is not factual in my statements–you have been spewing a lot of noise with no substance? I have never worked for George Bush either Einstein; and I also know he is a moron.
    Come with facts or stay home.

  21. You are right, I am wrong, I have checked and cannot dispute your facts that is the parties in questions history, I am just a homer who is naive and hope things work out for me. I am talking about topics that I do not have much information on, I just need to believe in Moe because I have no other options, take care.

  22. Yes, that should be the end. Not sure what the debate was–everyone knows Moe cannot hold down a job and has had a lot of stops, it’s public knowledge.

  23. It seems I have missed the fireworks of these posts, I will however add my 2 cents. The subject in question has definitely had a troubled past with 7 jobs in 10 years being correctly stated. Some things I am sure he would admit were errors by himself and some by others, in the end it’s all about making money and providing for your family and at the end of the day he has gotten paid his share of cash–unfortunately it was in terms of being packaged 5 times in 10 years–clearly not good for one’s reputation, I would agree though that this would likely be the end of the line for him, only avenue left would seem to be, to go back to some sort of BFS venture most likely back to brokering once done at AGF.

  24. Apparently there are a lot of people out there that have too much time on their hands to stress over what Moe is doing. Moe is obviously a very smart and influential person or he would not be getting under your skin. Bottom line is Moe is a legend in this industry, he knows his stuff and the companies he has worked for wanted him there because they needed someone that can bring in business and that is what this industry is about….BUSINESS and making smart business decisions. I have been fortunate to work with Moe and he has a lot to offer to any company he goes to, which is obvious or he wouldn’t have been hired but all the large companies that he has worked for. As for AGF, Moe is not the only one making decisions there on who to lay off. All the best to Moe and his future plans.

  25. BMO, IMC, Wells Fargo, Money Connect investors (owners), Canada Trust would all have a different opinion than you Me (poster above) what do you think their feelings on Moe are-since they all got rid of him? (Public Knowledge) Love to hear both sides though.

  26. There is a lot behind the scenes and nobody knows exactly (and it is nobody’s business) on why he is no longer with BMO, IMC, Wells Fargo….
    At the end of the day everyone is entitled to their opinion but judging someones character based on “public knowledge” is not the way to go. People will say whatever they want and news travels fast in the industry, but how much information is made available to “public knowledge” is not always ALL the information. A lot of times only the information people want to hear is what is made available.

  27. What is public is the person has had 7 jobs in 10 years, and has received 5 packages in 10 years, not sure why that can not be accepted and moved on from. Stop trying to defend someone with (that) track record.
    [(Edited)]

  28. First of all, i am not a member of AGF’s workforce nor have I ever been. I am working for one of the B lenders in a strong position in the industry looking into the turmoil.
    Everyone in my company has the similar view of Moe Forget and that is, in order for him to get such a position at AGF after countless of failed ventures, he must have been able to “sell ice to Eskimos” in order to be put into such a position of power at AGF.
    Everyone else in the industry is wondering why Mario would hire such a failed influence. In my opinion, he has proven time after time how a bad lemon can sour and eventually bring down an entire company.
    We have sympathy for you origional AGF staff, and those of the origional staff who have been let go.
    We all hope the Goldring family comes to there senses and gets rid of the cancers that have been allowed to run rampant at AGF recently.
    As Moe and his disciples moves from one institution to another, in my opinion, he further degrades his name and those who follow him. They may be running out of places to go. HR managers and industry leaders grow wary of this kind of thing. Remember Moe only has got maybe a few years more to go, but his followers may have to reside in the industry for many years to come. They will have to eventually at one point join the workforce again and when they do, they may have a surprise waiting for them IMO.
    Lists of names have already been formed…
    Once again, YOU original AGF staff are in all of our thoughts and you for sure have friends out here.
    P.S.
    IMBA and CAAMP have both been informed of the facts and timelines of what happened as close friends of mine used to work for AGF.
    [(Parts of this post have been edited) – Please be careful when making statements of fact regarding people’s character on this forum. Thank you.)]

  29. Once again, nobody knows exactly what the reasons were for Moe leaving the mentioned companies he has work for and whatever packages he has received is nobody’s business. He contributed a great deal to these companies and made them successful while he was there and left them with the resources to continue being successful. Many lenders in the industy have not survived or are suffering with the circumstances in which our industry in under. Are we going to blame Moe too, for all the lenders that have not survived this troubling time? Anyone that has worked for or with Moe knows that he is one of the most respectful and caring people out there. All the best to Moe and AGF through this difficult phase.

  30. Okay, this has to be the thread with the most comments ever. In response to the post above–no one is blaming Moe for the circumstances this industry is in, no one has ever said that. What has been said is he has worked for 7 companies in 10 years and has received 5 packages both factual statements. Poster above states-Anyone who has worked for Moe knows he is one of the most respectful and caring people out there? NOW sorry that is just gamesmanship nonsense, clearly what these posts have revealed is that he has at best as many enemies as friends, do not try to make the man out to be a saint.
    [(Edited])

  31. What Moe did to AGF has spun heads all throughout the industry in my opinion
    Poster – “Me” get your head out of the clouds and look at it for what it is.
    Poster – “Me” you sound like you are his daughter or something…
    ([This post has been edited – Please be careful. This is not the forum for disparaging individuals by name. All such comments will be edited or eliminated. There are legal and ethical reasons for this policy. Thank you for understanding.])

  32. Posts above: I respect your opinions, you are entitled to them, but I am also entitled to my own. It’s disturbing that so many people are so quick to judge. Regardless of how many companies he chooses to work for and how many packages he takes, that is his choice and the companies he has worked for. There are others in the industry living a lavish lifestyle everyday and expensing it to their employer, calling it business development, and at the end of their employment they will receive a package as well and move on to another employer and do the same. Now that is ripping off a company! But none of these individuals are being torn to shreds.

  33. “Me” your last post is interesting, now that you have lost your argument you are comparing the individual in question to others you perceive as milking their company? It’s a lame duck argument, we were not discussing others and you seem to be grasping at straws. Let’s end this and agree that some like the person in questions, some do not, some think he has vision, some do not, but we all agree 7 jobs in 10 years is a lot.

  34. Me2, we finally agree on something, this has gone on for way too long now and you are right some people like him, some don’t, that’s the way life goes. I never felt like I had an argument to win in the first place, my whole point is that he is being made out to seem like he goes to work to purposely destroy and gouge the companies he works for and then walking away with a bonus, that is unfair to acuse him of this, when there are others doing the same (discretely)everyday and getting away with it.

  35. Is easy to blame the economy for what Happen at AGF but it’s simply not true since AGF’s competition had their best quarter yet and while other competitors are still doing great. facts are that the market in Toronto only dropped 4%and out west the marketing is booming. I just have to say that it’s very cruel what happen to the former AGF employees who worked hard and contributeded in AGF’s success over the past past years, it’s cruel to let then go few moths before the Holidays when there are little if no jobs out there. It sounds like those guys don’t have a clue about what success or a winning team looks like.

  36. Why you delete my post Rob.
    All I said was everyone was over it except the last poster too bad so sad, secondly wondered if the person this thread was primarily about was still in charge or not, yes I did call him a turkey.

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