Bull Bear Report Dec 10 2010

Foundation Financial to Hire Loan Officers and Underwriters

By shareen pathak

While the recession and the recent foreclosure mess battered other mortgage lenders, Foundation Financial Group has weathered the storm and is expanding.

The 12-year-old nationwide mortgage company is looking to double in size hiring loan officers, underwriters, compliance officers and up to 400 sales professionals next year, from entry-level to division general manager roles. It currently employs just over 300 people.

"We're doing well because we're conservative," said Paul Scott, CEO of Foundational Financial Group. "We didn't do well when times were good but once the mortgage meltdown happened, the industry fell back to what we'd been doing the whole time, which was conservative lending."

On Jan. 1, the company plans to introduce more financial services, including wealth management, tax advisory and loan servicing, along with continuing to grow it mortgage-lending units. "We're as financially sound as any company can be," said Scott, who said revenue was approximately $420 million this year.

The hiring will be spread out across five offices -- Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Raleigh N.C., Savannah, Ga., and Jacksonville, Fla. Foundation also plans to open a new office in downtown Rochester, N.Y., in the first quarter next year, which will service the Northeast.

Scott said the company is already interviewing for division GMs for future offices in Illinois and Texas, with openings slated for May and November next year.

There is a management training program for younger candidates, which pays about $26,000 annually, and offers training and testing to fast-track employees to a team leader positions that come with a substantial salary raise. The company hires one employee for each region for that program, and there are always slots open, said Scott, since "they all move ahead pretty quickly."

Scott said that the key to impressing hiring managers at the company is to be happy with your lot, even if you think you're overqualified for the position.

"In today's economy, we're fearful that we'll get people who think they're better than their job and have a negative attitude," he said. "We want people who will come in for a fresh start and work my way up and be happy about it."

Write to Shareen Pathak

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