DLCHiresSta1It didn’t take Sherry Cooper long to bring national media attention to her new firm, Dominion Lending Centres (DLC).

The former Chief Economist at BMO was all over the media Monday after announcing her full-time comeback to the world of economics. DLC’s new Chief Economist will take on a variety of roles—from serving as company spokesperson to delivering speeches at company events to releasing regular analytical reports on the housing market.

We sat down with Sherry yesterday for her take on rates, her career change and challenges facing the broker channel. Here are the highlights:



The mortgage industry’s biggest association announced extensive changes today.

The Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) is restructuring its provincial divisions, reinvesting in communications and online technology, reworking its Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation and rebranding itself (for the second time).

Its stated goal is to strengthen support for the broker channel and better convey its value to consumers and industry stakeholders.

We spoke live with CAAMP Chair Dan Putnam and CEO Jim Murphy about how this all came to pass.

Here is that recorded interview…


Q&A with CanWise Financial’s James Laird

james-lairdAfter spending six years as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Canada’s largest independent mortgage brokerage, James Laird set up his own mortgage company, CanWise Financial, earlier this fall.

Laird’s success has in large part been due to a mastery of leveraging the Internet leads. In the Q&A that follows, he provides some important insights into setting up a broker business for online business.


One-on-One With RiverRock MIC CEO Nick Kyprianou

riverrockAs CEO of one of the newest Mortgage Investment Corporations (MICs) on the block, Nick Kyprianou is looking to carve a niche in what’s becoming a crowded market for MICs.

The former CEO of Equity Financial Trust and President of Home Trust has an edge, however. He’s got experience that few upstart MIC managers have. Nick plans to leverage that and build RiverRock MIC into a go-to alternative lender in the mortgage broker channel.

We spoke with Nick to hear directly from the source how RiverRock is different. He shared his in-depth take on the MIC industry, underwriting best practices and more.


Industry Pioneer: Michael Ellenzweig

Michael EllenzweigIn some way, all mortgage brokers owe a debt of gratitude to Michael Ellenzweig. He has spent almost 40 years advancing Canada’s broker industry, organizing its members and educating its newcomers. And now, after a storied career, he’s retiring.

We’ve never interviewed Michael in the seven years we’ve run this site. But we should have. He’s an incredible advocate for our channel and one of the most respected and straightest shooters in the business. He was inducted into Canada’s Mortgage Hall of Fame for good reason, having done everything from co-founding CIMBL, the predecessor to the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals, heading up CAAMP and the Ontario Mortgage Brokers’ Association, authoring our industry’s textbooks and teaching broker licensing courses to over 6,000 prospective agents.

Only a handful have given as much to our business as Michael, and before he walked off into the sunset we got this chance to speak with him.


One-on-One with IG’s Veselinovich

Investors-GroupAfter Investors Group ended its headline-making 1.99% variable-rate promotion, we did a “post-game interview” with Peter Veselinovich, vice-president of banking and mortgage operations.

Going forward, it sounds like IG will be in and out of the mortgage rate market as opportunities permit. It will not be undercutting all competitors (like it did here) on an ongoing basis.

Here’s Veselinovich’s take on how the promotion went and what to expect from IG – mortgage-wise – for the rest of the year.


Peter Aceto on ING Direct’s Mortgage Strategy

When Scotiabank bought ING Direct Canada in 2012, people wondered about the implications for ING’s mortgage business.

Peter-AcetoScotia is a dominant force in the mortgage business, being one of the country’s top lenders. Would it allow ING’s more borrower-friendly mortgage model to remain intact?

We posed this question to Peter Aceto, ING Direct Canada’s CEO. Out of all banking industry executives, Aceto is possibly the most in touch with consumers. Case in point: his blog and his Twitter feed.

Here’s how he and ING Direct plan to approach the Canadian mortgage market going forward.


One-on-One With Invis-MI’s Cam Strong

Invis-MIEvery now and then we get a chance to delve into a brokerage firm’s model and see how it ticks. The inner workings of Invis-Mortgage Intelligence are of particular interest, for three reasons:

  • Its unique online lead partnership with Kanetix (industry watchers want to know how that’s been performing)
  • Its Access desk (where small brokers get “big broker” volume discounts)
  • Its management (The company has a relatively big organizational chart—and one that’s been in a state of flux in recent years.)

CEO Cam Strong was gracious and candid enough to speak to us about all of these points, including our big question—conversion ratios on Invis-MI’s online mortgage leads.

Here is that chat…


Trez Capital’s Michael Nisker on Public MICs

MICsIf you’re an investor in a publicly traded mortgage investment corporation (MIC), there are changes on the horizon that could impact your investment. They range from new regulatory restrictions to the effect of rising interest rates.

We recently asked Trez Capital Managing Partner Michael Nisker about each of these trends. The interview that follows may prove useful if you are in, or considering dabbling in, the high yielding public MIC market.


One-on-One With Timbercreek’s Andrew Jones

Mortgage investment corporations (MICs) lend to borrowers that banks generally don’t touch. For that additional risk, they charge higher interest rates. Those above-average rates, in turn, help MIC investors earn mouth-watering yields (high single digits or greater).

Andrew Jones - Managing Director, Debt Investments - Timbercreek Asset M...But there’s a lot to consider when investing in MICs. For tips we spoke with Andrew Jones, Managing Director, Debt Investments at Timbercreek Asset Management (which runs two public MICs). Among other things, he explained the differences between public and private MICs (very relevant for investors), MIC performance when rates increase and risks to watch when investing in these things.

Here’s that interview in full…