Mortgage company’s Richmond ranks stand firm amid mass exodus in D.C.-area

(From left) Joe Dunn, Andrew Siddon and Chad Loube will lead George Mason Mortgage while a new CEO is found.

Despite an ongoing wave of mass departures that has thinned its ranks in Northern Virginia and Maryland, a bank-owned mortgage company is holding strong in Richmond.

George Mason Mortgage, a subsidiary of United Bank, has watched dozens of its employees leave in recent weeks after being poached by West Coast-based competitor CMG Financial, which appears to be making its initial push into the Mid-Atlantic.

But there’s no such exodus out of George Mason Mortgage’s Richmond-area office. Its nearly four dozen employees remain intact, despite many having been courted by CMG.

Among them is Joe Dunn, a veteran local mortgage executive who started GMM’s local office in 2013.

Dunn said as of last week around 135 of GMM’s more than 300 employees have left since CMG’s poaching began last month. That includes both support staff and loan producers and CEO Bill Landon, who’s now president of CMG’s Mid-Atlantic operations.

“In Richmond we haven’t lost anybody,” said Dunn, who also has turned down a generous overture from CMG. “The amount of money they’re throwing is crazy. They’re offering a lot of money to producers to come over.”

Messages left for Landon and emails sent to CMG corporate were not returned.

GMM’s local office is in Innsbrook at 4401 Waterfront Drive.

Dunn said he and others in town chose to stick with GMM to continue with the team they’ve built in Richmond and to continue the brand’s strong performance in the region.

“I wish them well. The people that left are all friends and I know they will be successful wherever they go,” Dunn said. “My decision was really based on the brand that my team and I have built in Richmond and the products and leadership that the bank offers to GMM. In the end, building a brand over nine years is hard work.”

The local office, based out of Innsbrook, is the company’s top performing branch based on the total number of loans originated out of the 14 branches it had before the poaching started.

While some of its offices in Northern Virginia might produce a larger dollar amount because of the higher real estate costs in that part of the state, the Richmond-area office originated around 250 loans last month.

It closed 2,367 loans in 2021 totaling roughly $693 million, he said.

For Dunn, who has always been a closer, the recent departures from GMM have led to a new, temporary role. For now, he and Chad Loube out of Maryland and Andrew Siddon in Northern Virginia have been appointed as co-executive vice presidents to oversee GMM while the search for a new CEO plays out.

“I didn’t really want to walk away from that and I really believe in the leadership of the bank and working with Andrew and Chad to shepherd us through this,” he said.

Dunn said the local group at GMM is also beginning to see the benefits of United Bank’s increased presence in the Richmond area thanks to its acquisition last year of Henrico-based Essex Bank.

“We’re owned by an almost $30 billion bank that is completely committed to the mortgage industry,” Dunn said. “With the market changing, being affiliated with a bank-owned mortgage company has a lot of advantages.”

The changes at GMM come amid rising interest rates, which have taken mortgage rates up to and above 5 percent for the time in years. That’s having an effect on loan volume, including refinancing and purchases. With rates expected to continue to rise, Dunn said the downsizing brought on by CMG may prove timely for GMM.

“I know this sounds crazy, but the good news is a lot of mortgage companies are laying off people, so we feel like we’re more right-sized now than we were before because there is a decrease in volume,” he said.

And the company’s Richmond market may continue to further buck that trend, as it’s planning to opening a second local branch next month in Hanover.

“We are very positive and working toward increasing market share and improving an overall great brand,” he said.

(From left) Joe Dunn, Andrew Siddon and Chad Loube will lead George Mason Mortgage while a new CEO is found.

Despite an ongoing wave of mass departures that has thinned its ranks in Northern Virginia and Maryland, a bank-owned mortgage company is holding strong in Richmond.

George Mason Mortgage, a subsidiary of United Bank, has watched dozens of its employees leave in recent weeks after being poached by West Coast-based competitor CMG Financial, which appears to be making its initial push into the Mid-Atlantic.

But there’s no such exodus out of George Mason Mortgage’s Richmond-area office. Its nearly four dozen employees remain intact, despite many having been courted by CMG.

Among them is Joe Dunn, a veteran local mortgage executive who started GMM’s local office in 2013.

Dunn said as of last week around 135 of GMM’s more than 300 employees have left since CMG’s poaching began last month. That includes both support staff and loan producers and CEO Bill Landon, who’s now president of CMG’s Mid-Atlantic operations.

“In Richmond we haven’t lost anybody,” said Dunn, who also has turned down a generous overture from CMG. “The amount of money they’re throwing is crazy. They’re offering a lot of money to producers to come over.”

Messages left for Landon and emails sent to CMG corporate were not returned.

GMM’s local office is in Innsbrook at 4401 Waterfront Drive.

Dunn said he and others in town chose to stick with GMM to continue with the team they’ve built in Richmond and to continue the brand’s strong performance in the region.

“I wish them well. The people that left are all friends and I know they will be successful wherever they go,” Dunn said. “My decision was really based on the brand that my team and I have built in Richmond and the products and leadership that the bank offers to GMM. In the end, building a brand over nine years is hard work.”

The local office, based out of Innsbrook, is the company’s top performing branch based on the total number of loans originated out of the 14 branches it had before the poaching started.

While some of its offices in Northern Virginia might produce a larger dollar amount because of the higher real estate costs in that part of the state, the Richmond-area office originated around 250 loans last month.

It closed 2,367 loans in 2021 totaling roughly $693 million, he said.

For Dunn, who has always been a closer, the recent departures from GMM have led to a new, temporary role. For now, he and Chad Loube out of Maryland and Andrew Siddon in Northern Virginia have been appointed as co-executive vice presidents to oversee GMM while the search for a new CEO plays out.

“I didn’t really want to walk away from that and I really believe in the leadership of the bank and working with Andrew and Chad to shepherd us through this,” he said.

Dunn said the local group at GMM is also beginning to see the benefits of United Bank’s increased presence in the Richmond area thanks to its acquisition last year of Henrico-based Essex Bank.

“We’re owned by an almost $30 billion bank that is completely committed to the mortgage industry,” Dunn said. “With the market changing, being affiliated with a bank-owned mortgage company has a lot of advantages.”

The changes at GMM come amid rising interest rates, which have taken mortgage rates up to and above 5 percent for the time in years. That’s having an effect on loan volume, including refinancing and purchases. With rates expected to continue to rise, Dunn said the downsizing brought on by CMG may prove timely for GMM.

“I know this sounds crazy, but the good news is a lot of mortgage companies are laying off people, so we feel like we’re more right-sized now than we were before because there is a decrease in volume,” he said.

And the company’s Richmond market may continue to further buck that trend, as it’s planning to opening a second local branch next month in Hanover.

“We are very positive and working toward increasing market share and improving an overall great brand,” he said.

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Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
1 month ago

Its a Dunne Deal! I haven’t met a better person or a better salesman in all my years in Richmond. I’m pleased he’s staying here to lead GMM.

Matt Merica
Matt Merica
1 month ago

CMG is going to feel a real sting when this market shows just how “strong” some of these “producers” are when rates are high, inventory is low, and the easy-money, low-rate days bite the dust in earnest in the next 30-45 days.