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Paul Taylor HeadshotAfter a 5-month search and a laborious selection process, Canada’s largest mortgage association finally has a new executive leader.

Mortgage Professionals Canada announced today that, effective Monday, Paul Taylor will be its new CEO.

Taylor, 40, comes with ample organization experience. He was formerly the Director of Operations for the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) for 5+ years, and in the association’s management for five years before that. Coincidentally, IBAO is the same group that former CAAMP CEO Jim Murphy moved to last July.

We had a chat with Paul to get his take on some important issues that Mortgage Professionals Canada members are pondering these days. He graciously agreed, and here is that interview:

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CMT: We appreciate your thoughts on these topics, Paul—especially since you’re not officially in the saddle just yet. Let’s start with an “easy” one. What do you feel are the top two or three issues Mortgage Professionals Canada needs to address for its members?

Paul: Our two main priorities at Mortgage Professionals Canada revolve around public relations and government relations. On the consumer-awareness front, our new revitalized Mortgage Professionals Canada brand offers more opportunities than ever before for us to proactively reach out to Canadian consumers and explain the value of using a mortgage broker. In 2014 our Value of a Mortgage Broker Consumer-Awareness Campaign made more than 14 million viewer impressions via online, digital, mobile, social media and print mediums, both nationally and locally. I will be connecting with the media and helping generate articles to put the spotlight on our industry so we can continually demonstrate our value.

When it comes to government relations it’s more important than ever to ensure we’re representing members’ needs, with both the provincial and federal governments and with regulators, in order to continue providing Canadians with access to choice, advice and affordable financing options throughout the mortgage process.

 

CMT: OK. Any idea how long it might take to see further meaningful progress on these issues?

Paul: These two key objectives at Mortgage Professionals Canada are ever-evolving. A lot of meaningful progress has been made over the past year, prior to my arrival, with such things as the launch of our new brand, the consumer-awareness campaign and our involvement in government issues like B.C.’s disclosure rule change discussions. Federally, the board and staff at Mortgage Professionals Canada have already started our work with the new government. We look forward to continued cooperation in Ottawa, and to ensuring that the importance of the broker channel and the mortgage industry remain at the forefront.

We will continue to create/evolve programs and lead discussions to better our industry and educate consumers.

 

CMT: What elements of your insurance association experience can you leverage to help Mortgage Professionals Canada further its goals?

Paul: The pillars of the respective associations’ goals are essentially the same: Provide advocacy for the membership to government, regulators and consumers; develop and provide meaningful education to members and promote overall professionalism of the industry; and continue to ensure value of membership to attract new, and retain existing, members. Throughout the 10 years I worked at IBAO, I spent time in roles managing education, developing and implementing member services offerings to improve membership value, and coordinated and delivered messaging to governments and regulators to promote changes in regulations for the benefit of brokers and their consumers. Mortgage Professionals Canada has a great team of professional association staff already in place who are skilled in their respective roles. My experience will hopefully help the team work together to elevate the existing membership offering in these three key areas.

 

CMT: How has online technology changed the insurance business–e.g., Has technology created disintermediation or compensation/margin compression in the insurance market? Do you see any parallels or key differences with the mortgage business? 

Paul: Insurance brokers, much like mortgage brokers, are entrepreneurial in nature. They are also the sales force of the insurers they represent. Many of the brokers themselves are champions of technology and are innovating daily to capture consumers who may desire a non-traditional purchasing experience, either through web or mobile technology, or through social media and targeted niche purchase groups. Technology is not in of itself a threat or a creator of disintermediation, but brokers do need to experiment with various marketing and sales practices that are non-traditional if they don’t wish to be left behind. Brokers are just as capable of owning space in these areas as insurers, lenders and banks, and, in most cases, they’re better suited to that space and role as the sales presence.

There are more similarities than differences. The nature of the independent advice mortgage brokers provide as part of their overall service is a key differentiator that needs to be vehemently promoted to consumers regardless of the technology involved in a sales or service model. The basic value proposition of the broker needs to remain forefront regardless of any technology implemented to improve a consumer’s overall experience.

 

CMT: True enough. Last question: How closely do you think provincial broker associations and Mortgage Professionals Canada should work together? Or are they sufficiently productive working apart?

Paul: In December we were pleased to announce a formal partnership with the Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association (AMBA) in order to work together to streamline events and collaborate in other areas. This is definitely a step in the right direction. All members benefit when industry associations collaborate and we will continue to explore any opportunity that creates greater efficiencies for the industry.

 

CMT: Thank you Paul.