Common Securitization Solutions welcomes two leaders 

Fintech Common Securitization Solutions (CSS), a fintech joint venture owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced the appointment of industry veterans Juanita Russell as chief financial officer and Jina Hong as chief audit executive.

“CSS is thrilled to welcome Juanita and Jina, two exceptional leaders, to our executive management team,” said Tony Renzi, CSS’s chief executive officer. 

“CSS is at a critical moment in our history and we need talented leaders who can help us lay the foundation for our expanded capabilities and future growth,” he continued. “Juanita and Jina both have the proven leadership experience and profound business expertise to help guide our company through our post-conservatorship strategy and our work to support a competitive mortgage market.”

CSS enables the issuance of Uniform Mortgage Backed Securities (UMBS) from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and operates the nation’s largest securitization platform that processes more than $200 billion in mortgage securities each month, according to the company website. Fannie and Freddie created CSS to design, build and launch the Common Securitization Platform.

As CFO, Juanita Russell takes on broad leadership responsibilities. She will provide direction and management for CSS’s finance and accounting teams, and will play a critical role in strategic planning, funding, and capital investment processes, CSS said in a press release. 

Russell brings to CSS priceless expertise gained during her more than 25 years of financial services experience. It includes 21 years at MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. where she rose through the ranks serving as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 2011 to 2018. Among other achievements, while CFO at MERSCORP she led the sale of the company, navigating a two-year M&A process.

Russell is a Certified Public Accountant. She has a BS in Accounting from the University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business, and an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School. 

In the CAE role, Jina Hong is in charge of company-wide oversight for all internal audit-related activities, including “responsibility for evaluating and improving the effectiveness of governance, risk management, and control processes.” She also will support the Board of Managers in its oversight role.

Hong has 20 years of audit experience. She brings to CSS a wide range of audit expertise spanning capital markets, investment banking, finance, and corporate services, as well as audit strategic change initiatives, across continents, including in Asia and Australia. 

Most recently, she served as Head of Global Audit Methodology for HSBC in New York. Prior to that, she held internal audit leadership positions at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs in New York, and internationally with Lehman Brothers Japan, Credit Suisse Singapore, and ANZ Bank Australia.

Hong is a Certified Public Accountant and a Management Accountant. She holds a BCom degree from the University of New South Wales.

FormFree promotes Cindy Snow to COO 

FormFree has promoted industry award winner and NEXT alumna, Cindy Snow to the position of chief operating officer (COO). In her new role, she “will craft efficient systems that elevate FormFree’s performance,” the fintech said, in addition to directly overseeing business operations, product management, business intelligence, integrations and customer support.

Snow joined FormFree in May 2019, as a product manager.

Soon after, she advanced to director of product, the company said, taking on complex responsibilities, facilitating partnerships and product updates that enhance lender speed, pull-through rates and operational security. 

Notably, FormFree credits Snow for significant contributions “at a time of accelerated growth.” 

Examples include launching initiatives that led to a surge in user adoption throughout 2019, and a 65% year-over-year increase in AccountChek verification reports. To date FormFree’s patented reports represent over a trillion dollars in loan verifications, according to the company website.

“Since day one, Cindy has created operationally excellent processes that have helped FormFree deliver top-tier service to our 1,000-plus mortgage lender customers,” said Brent Chandler, founder and CEO of FormFree. “Her collected and methodical approach to complex challenges has earned her the respect of the entire organization, and I know she will excel in a position of executive leadership.”

Her employer is not alone in noticing Snow’s professional drive and contributions to the marketplace. Earlier this week, Snow received HousingWire’s 2020 class of HW Insiders Award, which recognizes “the mortgage industry’s unsung heroes who made critical contributions in unprecedented times.”  

“FormFree engages my full professional skill set, which both gratifies and motivates me,” said Snow. “I’m excited to have a hand in FormFree’s mission to revolutionize the credit decisioning landscape.”

–FormFree is a NEXT Mortgage Events sponsor.

SimpleNexus names board member as president

Digital mortgage lending platform SimpleNexus, LLC has appointed former Elle Mae executive, multiple industry awards winner, NEXT Powerhouse award winner, and member of the board Cathleen Schreiner Gates as company president.   

The fintech started tapping her impressive knowhow gained as a 35-year career technologist – when Schreiner Gates joined the SimpleNexus board of directors in April 2020. 

“Cathleen’s wealth of experience successfully scaling innovative software companies to new heights makes her an invaluable addition to the SimpleNexus senior leadership team,” said Matt Hansen, founder and CEO of SimpleNexus. “She will play an important role helping us deliver increased value to our customers and expanding SimpleNexus’ market footprint.”

Schreiner Gates brings to SimpleNexus a unique blend of executive management expertise and leadership driving growth at early-stage and global software organizations, the fintech said. 

Most recently, she served as EVP of sales and marketing at software-as-a-service mortgage industry giant Ellie Mae. During her tenure, SimpleNexus said in a press release, Ellie Mae spent six consecutive years on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and negotiated a $3.7-billion purchase by private-equity firm Thoma Bravo. 

Schreiner Gates also is the founder and CEO of independent consulting firm Trifecta.

Multiple mortgage industry organizations have recognized her accomplishments. The list includes #NEXTPowerhouse Award honoree; winner of the HousingWire magazine, Vanguard and Women of Influence award; recipient of The Mortgage Professional America, Elite Woman in Mortgage nomination; and recognized by The Sales Lead Management Association, 20 Women Leaders in Business.

“Helping emerging companies grow into their full potential has been a career-long passion of mine, I am thrilled to join SimpleNexus as president,” said Schreiner Gates. “I look forward to helping SimpleNexus transform the mortgage technology landscape with its innovative, from-anywhere digital mortgage platform.”

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