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first_imgHome / Daily Dose / Varma Penmatsa Talks Fannie Mae and Fintech The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago  Print This Post About Author: Radhika Ojha Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Previous: Federal Banking Agencies Address “Too Big to Fail” Next: Government & Mortgage Servicing’s Best & Brightest Convening in D.C. Editor’s note: This issue originally appeared in the April issue of DS News.New mindsets are impacting the innovation space as it looks beyond technology. Varma Penmatsa, who is responsible for providing effective product and technology solutions through customer engagement, design thinking, innovation, and agile delivery at Fannie Mae, spoke to DS News on why it was important to engage customers to build and implement effective digital servicing products and what gives him the satisfaction of a job well done.What role does customer engagement play in providing efficient and effective technology?Our customers are at the center of everything we do at Fannie Mae, and customer engagement is key to driving innovation. We engage with our customers early and often, through our customer co-development panels that help us receive direct and continuous feedback, test and build products, and ensure that we are delivering the right capabilities that address their pain points.I’m part of Fannie Mae’s Digital Products organization, which won the 2019 Business Intelligence Group award for leading innovation in the industry. A key tenet of our digital operating model is Test & Learn—we design and pilot with customers to directly address their business needs, before we scale the new capabilities for full market availability. This process ensures that we have an opportunity to get customer feedback with minimal initial investment and then can easily pivot if needed, and without significant impact on resources. Test & Learn is now part of our organizational DNA and we have seen substantial improvement in our speed of delivery and success of the product adoption by the customers.Please give some examples of the projects driven by innovation that you have been engaged in recently.Fannie Mae introduced “Simplifying Servicing” in early 2017, a multiyear initiative with the focus on innovation across the entire servicing life cycle, to help address key pain points and reduce costs for our customers.We have delivered several innovative capabilities to date that have been well received by ourcustomers and are working on more. Ask Poli, launched in 2018, is our self-learning tool that provides fast and accurate answersto Fannie Mae’s Selling and Servicing Policy/Guides. Historically, lenders searched for policy guidance on fanniemae.com, Google, or other websites and struggled with long, confusing answers and more links. Now, Ask Poli not only gives them the most accurate answers immediately, but it also leverages Natural Language Processing (NLP) so that answers are shared in easy-to-understand terms. Ask Poli’s artificial intelligence (AI) helps it continuously learn through the inputs provided by users, though we also actively monitor the tool to ensure that the responses are in line with our policies. Since the launch, we have received more than 600,000 selling and servicing queries, giving us tremendous real time insights and helping us to respond to customer needs quickly. We are now working on increasing distribution channels and expanding content to address more complicated scenarios.In late 2017, we launched a new faster, simpler servicing claims experience that lowers servicer costs and effort by providing data transparency and document-free submissions on most claims. This capability offers one-to-two day decisions and simplified policies for our customers on claims reimbursements.Loan Servicing Data Utility (LSDU), launched in 2018, is a suite of self-service tools providing near real-time view for servicers into Fannie Mae loan data and exceptions. This capability enables servicers to reconcile their loan and cash positions with us throughout the month, increasing self-service and reducing operational time and cost. We are also enabling this capability with APIs such that customerscan build direct integration and automation from their current processes.We have recently launched a new tool to simplify the Mortgage Insurance (MI)/MI termination process for the servicers and borrowers. This innovative capability combines Fannie Mae’s automation and standardization of valuations with digital experience for the customers, enabling servicers to receive MI termination qualification decisions and valuation results from Fannie Mae’s Servicing system (Servicing Management Default Utility/SMDU) and APIs. This simplification will also enable servicers to reduce risk and increase their self-service to borrowers as part of their digital transformation.What impacts do you see on resources due to artificial intelligence (AI) and automation?Our goal when we deploy AI and/or automation capabilities is to create efficiencies or capacity for our teams, such that they can focus on high value delivery for our customers. When we use AI (like Ask Poli) in our capabilities, we augment with human driven processes that ensure the tool’s learning is meeting our policy and/or business guidelines. This is key for us to manage towards a goal of achieving higher automation maturity without introducing risk.What does a typical day look like for you at Fannie Mae and what’s the most rewarding part about your job?On any given day, you would find us focusing around two areas. The first is customer engagement, where we talk to the customers daily to solve a problem they’re facing or to get their feedback on whether they are deriving the expected value from a capability we have co-created with them. The second aspect of my day revolves around empowerment. My job as a leader is to ensure that I’m empowering my team to be able to innovate and think outside the box as they engage directly with the customers to build solutions. Delivering value to our customers has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my job at Fannie Mae. It is very satisfying to see customers getting real value using the innovative solutions we’ve been able to provide them that directly solved their pain points. Sign up for DS News Daily Tagged with: Fannie Mae Loan Servicing Servicers Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and copy-editor, and a reporter for DS News. She is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha, also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Share Save in Daily Dose, Featured, News Varma Penmatsa Talks Fannie Mae and Fintechcenter_img Subscribe Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago April 2, 2019 5,480 Views The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Related Articles Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Fannie Mae Loan Servicing Servicers 2019-04-02 Radhika Ojha Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days agolast_img read more

first_imgABC NewsBy MAX GOLEMBO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — There are nearly three dozen wildfires burning in the United States Wednesday morning and most of them are in Arizona where the many evacuations are being ordered. The biggest fire in the nation is called the Bush Fire and it is 64,513 acres, making it the biggest wildfire so far this year. The fire is 0% contained and evacuations have been issued for several communities.The Mangum Fire is 29,689 acres and is only 3% contained. About 230 people were evacuated and the north rim of the Grand Canyon is closed. In Durango, Colorado, the East Canyon Fire continues to burn with 2,703 acres and it is currently 0% contained. Additional evacuations are now in place and, on Sunday, 15 homes had to be evacuated. The Big Horn Fire near Tucson, Arizona is 15,805 acres and is now 40% contained with evacuations in place. Elsewhere, the Avila Fire in San Luis Obispo County remains at 400 acres and is now 50% contained with all evacuations now lifted.Eight states from California to Kansas are under Red Flag Warning Wednesday morning, mostly for gusty winds up to 45 mph and very dry conditions. It is very dry Wednesday in the West, especially in Colorado and New Mexico where relative humidity could be as low as 6%.The long range forecast is showing dry, hot and windy conditions will continue, especially in Arizona, so fighting these wildfires will not be easy for firefighters.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

first_imgShare via Shortlink Full Name* In 2019, Corcoran’s parent company, Realogy, filed a wide-ranging lawsuit accusing Compass of “predatory” recruiting. (Martinez was not mentioned in that lawsuit, which is ongoing.) Compass now has 18,000 agents and did over $91 billion in sales volume in 2019. Earlier this month, it filed confidentially to go public, as The Real Deal first reported.To satisfy his noncompete with Corcoran, Martinez was director of sales and business development in Miami and D.C., according to his LinkedIn. He later held the same role in New York City. In 2016, he moved to San Francisco to launch that market, and he moved back to his hometown of Miami in 2018 and began working as an agent.In December, he represented Karlie Kloss and Joshua Kushner in a $23.5 million purchase of a waterfront mansion in Miami Beach.On social media, fellow agents recalled Martinez as a caring and effective manager who was generous with his advice. “I am absolutely devastated,” Leonard Steinberg, Compass’ chief evangelist and a fellow early recruit, wrote in an Instagram post.“He was a coach, confidant, and close friend to many,” Reffkin wrote in an email to Compass managers on Wednesday. “His entrepreneurial spirit was always on display.”Contact E.B. Solomont Message* Gene Martinez (Compass)Gene Martinez, a longtime New York City sales manager who was one of Compass’ earliest recruits, died Tuesday night. He was 60.Compass CEO Robert Reffkin informed managers of Martinez’s sudden death in an email Wednesday. Reffkin said Martinez played a “critical” role in helping Compass launch offices in New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, where he was the firm’s first regional president. “We would not be the community we are today without him,” he wrote on Instagram.The cause of death was a stroke, sources said.When Martinez joined Compass in 2015, he was one of the startup brokerage’s first 50 employees. He came from the Corcoran Group, where he spent 16 years and rose to become manager of its Soho office.In fact, Martinez’s move to Compass became a flash point in the startup firm’s rivalry with established players.After he and several other ex-Corcoran managers and agents joined Compass, Corcoran sued the firm, alleging it had “brazenly” raided its offices and poached talent.The lawsuit was settled, but a copy of Martinez’s contract, which was submitted as evidence in the case, shed light on Compass’ recruiting tactics, including lucrative signing bonuses and other perks.Read moreCorcran sues Compass for brazen recruitment Inside a Compass job offer Compass files confidentially for IPO center_img Email Address* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink TagscompassObituariesResidential Brokerageslast_img read more

first_imgWeb in crisis Online info portals are equally struggling with some 300 jobs lost in the US since the pandemic started, according to a Poynter media study. The Vice Media group is to fire 55 US-based and 100 foreign-based staff, according to a note sent by the group’s CEO Nancy Dubac to employees, which was published by US media.Beyond the problems caused by the health crisis, she also accused media tech platforms for “not just taking a larger slice of the pie, but almost the whole pie,” threatening online news streams and thousands of journalists’ jobs.Info and entertainment site Buzzfeed announced in late March it was cutting salaries by between five and 25 percent and would also end coverage of news in the UK and Australia.For some media, the coronavirus crisis is a chance to speed up the transition to a more stable, subscription-based publishing model.That is the case of financial news provider Quartz, whose Japanese owner Uzabase says it plans to cut some 40 percent of staff, mainly advertising posts. No escape for broadcastBroadcasting has not escaped the crisis cull. In the United States, NBCUniversal has lopped 20 percent off top salaries, says the Wall Street Journal.In France, TF1 television put one third of its staff on partial unemployment in April while BFMTV/RMC have just unveiled plans to slash use of freelancers and consultants amid fears there could also be non-voluntary redundancies among staff.Some nine in 10 independent radio stations in France had also furloughed staff by the end of last month, according to a study by their SIRTI union with around one third set not to bring them back before September.  First press victims  In France, several newspapers, including Le Parisien, have placed staffers on partial unemployment, notably in services where the virus has forced coverage to be stripped right back.Sports daily L’Equipe, which publishes a paper seven days a week as well as a website, has been particularly hard hit, furloughing staff as most of the world’s sporting competitions lie idle. Regional daily Paris-Normandie, already struggling to stay afloat, has been placed in judicial liquidation.In Britain, The Economist magazine has said it is laying off 90 people in support roles while The Guardian is furloughing 100 non-editorial staff in response to tumbling ad revenues. Media redundancies, partial layoffs and managerial wage cuts are on the rise as advertising markets implode, despite customers showing an ever stronger appetite for information on the coronavirus crisis. Staff with Italy’s state news agency ANSA meanwhile held a 48-hour strike to protest at an emergency plan to make a string of cuts.US media have likewise not been immune to the market consequences of the crisis.Conde Nast, publisher of the likes of Vogue, Wired, or New Yorker, has announced it is laying off 100 of its 6,000 staff and furloughing another 100.Fortune magazine has laid off 35 staff — around one in ten — while cutting managerial salaries by 30 percent.According to a New York Times analysis, the pandemic has seen 36,000 media workers either laid off, furloughed or forced to take a wage cut in a sector which had already endured years of belt tightening.The Los Angeles Times — which according to internal correspondence published by the New York Times, has lost more than one third of its advertising revenues and expects that soon to rise beyond half — is slimming its support payroll by around 40. Topics :last_img read more

first_img Share HealthInternationalLifestylePrint Zika-hit nations should allow access to contraception, abortion: UN by: Associated Free Press – February 5, 2016 Share Tweet Sharecenter_img 224 Views   no discussions A pregnant woman gets an ultrasound at the maternity of the Guatemalan Social Security Institute (IGSS) in Guatemala City on Tuesday.GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) – The United Nations on Friday urged countries hit by the dangerous Zika virus to let women have access to contraception and abortion.The UN human rights office said the South American countries now urging women to hold off getting pregnant over Zika fears had to offer them the possibility of controlling their fertility.“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters.Many of these countries are conservative Catholic and have very restrictive abortion and contraceptive laws.An exploding number of cases of Zika virus — believed to cause a condition called microcephaly in which babies are born with abnormally small heads — have prompted several countries and territories in Latin America to warn women to avoid getting pregnant.But UN human rights chief UN rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said this warning meant little in countries that ban or heavily restrict access to reproductive health services like contraception and abortion.“The advice of some governments to women to delay getting pregnant ignores the reality that many women and girls simply cannot exercise control over whether or when or under what circumstances they become pregnant, especially in an environment where sexual violence is so common,” Zeid said in a statement.“In situations where sexual violence is rampant, and sexual and reproductive health services are criminalised, or simply unavailable, efforts to halt this crisis will not be enhanced by placing the focus on advising women and girls not to become pregnant,” he said.Instead, he insisted that governments must “ensure women, men and adolescents have access to comprehensive and affordable quality sexual and reproductive health services and information, without discrimination.”This, his office pointed out, includes contraception — including emergency contraception — maternal healthcare and safe abortion services.“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” Zeid said. Sharing is caring!last_img read more