Jan./Feb. 2022 Issue

Editor’s Note: BlackFin Group Takes MBA’s Home For All Pledge

BlackFin Group, a management consulting firm serving the Banking and Mortgage Industries, will sign the Mortgage Bankers Associations Home for All Pledge to promote minority homeownership; affordable rental housing; and company diversity, equity, and inclusion. MBA announced the new initiative last October at its Annual Convention & Expo.

“The Home for All Pledge represents a long-term commitment by MBA member companies and employees to promote and ensure greater racial equity and inclusion in housing,” said Kristy Fercho, MBA Chairman, and Executive Vice-President and Head of Home Lending at Wells Fargo, when the program was announced. “The time is now for the industry to collaborate on developing policies and best practices to close the racial homeownership gap, remove the barriers to sustainable and affordable housing, and support strategies to increase diversity within our organizations.”

By signing the pledge, industry participants commit to aligning with the MBA’s efforts to (1) foster public policies and industry practices that promote and sustain minority homeownership and affordable rental housing; (2) support market-based solutions through MBA’s place-based CONVERGENCE programs; and (3) champion diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplaces and our industry. Setting policies will be the easier part, according to Keith Kemph, CEO of Blackfin Group. The harder part will be aligning the organizations people, processes and technologies to implement those new policies.

“Change is never easy for companies operating in the financial services space,” Kemph said. “For this initiative to be successful, lenders will need support as they implement their new policies. BlackFin Group offers an experienced team of professional consultants and project managers who can assist them in creating lasting change that will not only help the industry meet the MBA’s goals for homeownership, but also make the lender more profitable in the process.”

BlackFin Group will design and implement frameworks and offer strategies, methodologies, and change management support that will allow industry firms who take the MBA’s pledge to achieve meaningful results. To achieve the goals the MBA has outlined will require lenders to set proper goals, and then create appropriate policies, processes, procedures, and practices. BlackFin will support the industry in this effort.

“I was in the audience when Kristy Fercho, MBA Chair and Head of Home Lending at Wells Fargo, announced the “Home for All” initiative at the MBA Annual. As a first generation immigrant, this initiative hits very close to home for me,” said Suha Zehl, BlackFin Group’s Chief Innovation Officer. “I remember my parent’s struggle, then my own, to find affordable housing, to purchase that first home, and to provide for the family. It encourages me that our industry is coming together and collaborating to, as Kristy put it, ‘promote and ensure greater racial equity and inclusion in housing.’”