MReport July 2020

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32 | M R EP O RT FEATURE M ortgage industry vet- eran Frank Pallotta is now running for the U.S. House of Representatives for the 5th District of the state of New Jersey. But the road that took him to the point where he was ready to throw his hat into the political arena was a long and storied one, leading through several decades of work within the financial services sector. From 1990–1995 he was the VP of Goldman Sachs, working mainly within the mortgage sector of the business. He then moved on to become a Director of Credit Suisse, tapped to run the Institutional Mortgage Banking Salesforce. After his eight years at Credit Suisse (and DLI), he spent the next five years as the Managing Director and Co-Head of the U.S. Residential Business for Morgan Stanley. Pallotta said his career can be attributed to being in the "right place, right time." He said he began his career at Goldman Sachs working in corporate credit, but former Goldman Sachs execu- tive Mike Mortara tagged him to work within the mortgage sector. Pallotta said Mortara told him, "We want somebody who thinks like you. We're going to build up our mortgage area at Goldman, and we want you to be a part of it." "I was fascinated. I loved all the moving parts of the mortgage industry," Pallotta said. During his experience work- ing through the Great Recession, Pallotta said many in govern- ment said everyone deserved a home. Pallotta, however, suggests that homeownership is a major responsibility, and the economic weight of that responsibility needs to be seriously considered. "It should be available to those who are willing to work for it. Homeownership is a privilege," Pallotta said. "It's not a right. And just like anything else in life, if it's given to you and you don't work for it, or if it's being given to you and you don't understand the economics around what has been given to you, then it's doomed to failure." Stable Housing for Veterans P allotta said one of the first issues he wants to address is the challenges facing veterans, es- pecially those who struggle with homelessness. "Our veterans have been left behind on a lot of fronts," he said. "We know that 22 veterans a day commit suicide. Veterans are living and dying on the streets. So, one of the plans I would want to work on is collaborating with the private and the public sectors to come up with a plan to help veterans across the board, and that's housing education." In 2018, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reported that 38,000 veter- ans were without stable housing. However, a report from November 2019 revealed that the number of homeless veterans fell 2% in 2019. Pallotta said it is important to him that he put veterans in a posi- tion to have stable housing, espe- cially those who are challenged. "These are people that spilled their blood for us, and they're coming home and living on the streets, but at the Southern border, we're talking about letting illegal immigrants come in," he said. "My view has always been, we look to the U.S. first." He continued by saying, "I think when you put a roof over someone's head, their entire world changes. That's what I would look to do first. I would look to lead- ers in housing, look to leaders in finance to come up with a plan to make sure that not one veteran is living on the streets." Lessons From the Long Road to Washington T he spirit of serving was instilled early on in mortgage industry veteran Frank Pallotta's life. Pallotta's mother was a nurse, and his father—a Korean War veteran— worked as a toll collector. Pallotta said that during his childhood in Queens, New York, through Catholic School and then attending college at St. John's University, he was taught to give back. "That turned into, in my mind, the idea that you have to serve. I was the first generation that wasn't called to a draft, but I never took that lightly," Pallotta said. Recalling what he called the "back nine of my career," Pallotta told MReport that he often thought about service in the context of former colleagues from Goldman Sachs who left the firm, many at the peak of their careers, in order to go give back to their communities. "I was at Goldman when Hank Paulson was running things. I was at Goldman when Bob Rubin and Steve Friedman were there," he added. "They left, again, at the peaks of their career, and two of them served as Treasury Secretaries. They left to serve Trading Mortgage For Politics With more than 20 years' experience in the mortgage industry, Frank Pallotta looks to use his expertise to help the people of New Jersey. By Mike Albanese

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