EVOLVE MORTGAGE SERVICES
“CLIENT ENDORSEMENT QUOTE”
Paul Anselmo – Chief Executive Officer
“It was T&T’s hospitality and T&T IFC’s vision that solidified the decision to set up shop here.
We really want to expand our team here. This is a very talent-rich country.”
Evolve Mortgage Services
Evolve Mortgage Services (Evolve) is a U.S.-based company with its head office in Frisco Texas, USA. Evolve is a leading provider of outsourced mortgage solutions with the company’s roots going back over 25 years. The company’s experience is unequalled in the industry and the firm has helped hundreds of clients dramatically grow and scale their mortgage productivity.
Evolve’s services include:
- Origination Services – provides back-office support for clients by processing, underwriting, verifying, and providing disbursement instructions on mortgage loans in both the primary and secondary markets.
- Closed Loan Services – compliance reviews, credit reviews, document management and investor loan delivery.
- Technology Services – price engine, underwriting systems, closed loan due diligence and outbound trade.
Some of Evolve’s clients include Bank of the West (PNB Paribas), City National Bank (Royal Bank of Canada), Merchants Bank of Indiana, Lakeview/Bayview Loan Servicing, and others.
Prior to 2018, Evolve ran its back-end processing operations in India. While this arrangement worked in several areas, they experienced issues with respect to:
- The time zone difference (India is 10 hours and 30 minutes ahead of Texas)
- The language barrier, and
- Inconsistent levels of internet penetration
The Trinidad & Tobago International Financial Centre
The Trinidad & Tobago International Financial Centre (T&T IFC) was created with the all-encompassing mandate of developing the Financial Services Sector in Trinidad & Tobago.
To this end the mission of the T&T IFC was to “attract and facilitate foreign direct investment in the Financial Services sector, that would enhance the growth and diversification of the economy by creating sustainable employment and generating foreign exchange.”
To complete its mission one area of focus was to establish Trinidad and Tobago as a player in the global BPO industry by positioning the island as the ideal location for Finance & Accounting, Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (F&A BFSI) nearshoring.
These activities would create a symbiotic business relationship whereby companies would benefit from unique advantages this location would offer and the local economy would benefit from the creation of high value jobs, knowledge transfer, foreign direct investment, and diversification of the Financial Services Sector.
THE INVESTMENT FACILITATION PROCESS
The T&T IFC’s BPO team engaged Evolve in 2017 to promote T&T’s unique advantages as a near shore operator.
What specific solutions could Trinidad & Tobago offer to Evolve?
- Location – T&T is in the Western Hemisphere and thus has a time difference of one (1) hour with Texas.
- Infrastructure – International firms benefit from connectivity to major metropolitan cities, a reliable and affordable electricity supply, and the most robust ICT infrastructure in the Caribbean (which would allow employees to work remotely if needed).
- Incubator Space – The T&T IFC is equipped with incubator space for incoming businesses. This space if offered at a reduced rate for a limited timeframe as companies establish operations locally.
- Human Capital – With a workforce of over 660,000 persons, 98% literacy rate and over 40,000 IT and Finance & Accounting professionals, T& T provides a well-educated, English-speaking talent pool – who can be competitively compensated when compared to North and Latin America
- Reputational and General Factors – Trinidad and Tobago has a rich culture, cuisine and festivals which is appreciated when considering work life balance, especially in comparison to major metropolitan cities.
Evolve’s Visit To Trinidad & Tobago
After a series of meetings, Evolve’s CEO Paul Anslemo agreed to an in person visit to get a firsthand view of what T&T had to offer.
The T&T IFC worked with several stakeholders to create a productive and successful inward mission that would showcase the benefits of doing business in Trinidad & Tobago. This included a packed itinerary of business meetings and cultural activities as Mr. Anselmo’s visit coincided with T&T’s Carnival celebrations.
His itinerary included meetings with:
- Local HR and Recruitment Agencies
- Legal Firms and BPO providers
- Local real estate companies
- Government officials including the Minister of Trade and Industry, Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee Scoon
- Local financial institutions
- Telecommunications providers
- Officials at the local universities
He also visited local business centres such as Fijitsu’s Data Centre and BHP’s SSC operations
Right-Sourcing Assessment Framework
Evolve officially registered its business in Trinidad in June 2018 and began operations that same year. Since then, their operation has grown from 12 to 55 persons in a 2.5-year period.
Feasibility for Core Process Nearshoring
“Our reliable processes and platforms allow lenders and servicers to focus on their core competencies, knowing their loan quality needs are fulfilled. With domestically and internationally performed services and variable cost structures, we view each relationship as a true partnership and take the most pride in seeing our clients succeed.” – Gregg Meyer, President Evolve.
Establishing operations in Trinidad & Tobago gave Evolve the opportunity to access both financial services professionals and IT professionals working in tandem to ensure seamless mortgage solutions are delivered to their customer base. Achieving this required a rigorous knowledge transfer process (training) to ensure the standards set by the US head office were maintained despite location.
Evolve was pleased with the assistance of the Trinidad & Tobago International Financial Centre and the local recruitment firms. The high cadre of professionals in T&T has helped to facilitate the growth of its T&T backend operations, resulting in an 80% increase in HR capacity over the two-year period 2019 to 2021. In May 2021, Evolve celebrated a milestone of over 50 hires.
Impact/ Financial Return
Work-life balance is a key element in today’s workplace. Evolve’s model in the U.S. consisted of a work-from home system where employees would report to the office when necessary. This model was implemented in T&T. Evolve has employees from all parts of both Trinidad and Tobago. They believe that this arrangement reduced provides greater flexibility, reduces commute time, promotes a more balanced family life, and adds to each person’s level of productivity.
Information Technology personnel within the company have been exposed to new technologies which allows for a significant transfer of knowledge and skills.
Low Operating Risk
The establishment of our nearshore office in Trinidad is part of Evolve’s global forward-thinking strategy to effectively compete with traditional offshore companies. It offers enormous scope for new and replacement talent if necessary. This advantage has been realized as Evolve continues to move more of its operational responsibility from India to Trinidad & Tobago.
They believe that the local workforce has a natural cultural affinity that allows ease in training and adapting new processes when necessary.
Currently Evolve has a ranges of jobs functions at the T&T location including:
- Vice President Operations
- Compliance Auditor
- Senior Developers
- Systems/Business Analysts
- Support Engineers
- Quality Assurance Systems Analyst/Solutions Developers
THE IMPACT OF COVID-19
The Covid-19 pandemic has created an increased interest and demand for online processing solutions for the housing industry – such as those offered by Evolve. It has pushed many clients to seek out mortgage solutions that would allow them to operate virtually. This has inadvertently created a shortage of IT professionals in the US as companies are placing greater focus on creating online/mobile solutions and expanding their IT operations.
With an increased demand for Evolve’s services and shortage of skilled labour in the US they turned to the local market to fill some of their resource capacity.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 Evolve hired over 20 persons (as of April 2021) and they plan to hire more staff. They also plan to transfer some more of their responsibilities to the T&T office to handle.
The company continued to make strides and has achieved several note-worthy accomplishments.
- In 2020, Evolve completed Closed Loan Due Diligence on over 126,000 loans which represented $31.5b in loan volume. It also provided underwriting services on over 65,000 loans representing $16.5b in loan volume.
- In December 2020, Evolve Mortgage Services, LLC acquired Veptas, Inc. This technology platform allows Evolve to streamline appraisal orders and facilitate adherence to appraisal independence requirements.
- In March 2021, Signia Documents an Evolve Mortgage Services Company was recognized by Housing Wire as a top innovator in mortgage. The company was among the list of 2021 HW Tech100 Mortgage honorees “leading the way toward a more innovative and efficient housing market.”
According to CEO Paul Anselmo, “The Covid-19 pandemic has not changed the way business is conducted but really brought to the forefront our motto of ‘Forward Thinking Seamless Solutions’.”