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Open Mortgage further bolsters exec team, creates new C-level position

Austin, Tex.-based multi-channel lender Open Mortgage on Tuesday announced the establishment of a new C-level executive leadership position of chief revenue officer, and the appointment of mortgage industry veteran Scott Harkless to become the first person to serve in the role.

Harkless’ appointment comes on the heels of the recent establishment of a new president position at the company, allowing Open Mortgage Founder and CEO Scott Gordon – himself a member of RMD’s 2021 Changemakers class – to focus on other growth efforts. Harkless will report directly to Joe Stephenson, the recently-appointed president of the company. His duties will include overseeing all sales functions within the company, including wholesale and retail in both the reverse and forward divisions.

scottharkless_openmortgage
Scott Harkless

“Scott’s extensive experience, demonstrated leadership and proven track record in the mortgage industry make him an ideal fit for this new position at Open Mortgage,” said Stephenson. “With his addition to our talented senior leadership team, we will leverage Scott’s impressive industry executive expertise and background to further grow and energize our retail and wholesale platforms. In this way, he will be instrumental in expanding our footprint in target markets where Open Mortgage can make a greater impact in the local community.”

Harkless most recently served at leading reverse mortgage lender American Advisors Group (AAG), joining that company in 2018 and serving in positions including sales director of its central division, VP of its east division and finally as VP of enterprise partnerships. Prior to joining AAG, Harkless served for more than 11 years at Bank of America as a senior VP after serving the prior 3 years as a civil attorney.

“Open Mortgage’s dynamic and innovative culture has created an unrivaled entrepreneurial environment where loan originators feel valued,” said Harkless in a statement. “With its growing retail and wholesale footprint, focus on purchase and uptrend in reverse lending, the company is well poised for future expansion. As I take the mantle to lead this growth engine to the next level, I’m committed to delivering the culture, infrastructure and process that energizes that pathway.”

In a recent interview, Joe Stephenson described for RMD the company’s outlook on the 2022 reverse mortgage market.

“Our outlook is very positive,” Stephenson says. “Lending limits have increased, the [MMI] Fund is stable and the need for this product continues to grow as people look to strengthen their retirement strategies. Open Mortgage is well-positioned for market growth as the infrastructure through multiple distribution channels exists.”

According to Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsement data compiled by Reverse Market Insight (RMI), Open Mortgage stands as the seventh-largest reverse mortgage lender in the country with 2,316 loans in 2021.

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