December 2016 - Getting Serious About Diversity

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16 | TH E M R EP O RT COVER STORY T ypically, wherever there is smoke, there is fire. And wherever there is fire, there is Phyllis Caldwell moving in to help. When Caldwell is asked why she has always run "toward the fire" throughout her career, she considers it a compliment. She simply does not back down from a challenge, whether it's working in the Obama Administration to clean up the housing industry after the crisis or taking the helm at Ocwen Financial Corp. to help the company reclaim its leader - ship role in the mortgage industry following a string of legacy issues and regulatory problems over the last couple of years. "I run toward the fire because I like to solve problems, but I'm generally an optimistic person," Caldwell told MReport in an exclusive interview. "When you get through the fire, you come out on the other end, and things will work out." As the female African-American Non-Executive Chair of the Board for a publicly-traded non-bank mortgage servicer with a portfolio containing more than 1.4 million loans nationwide—making Ocwen one of the country's largest non- bank servicers by loan volume— Caldwell knows that her work will be scrutinized more closely than that of her male counterparts. And to her, that's okay. "I don't think it's bad or unfair," she said. "I think it just is in the way that when you see change or see things that are different, people look at it and scrutinize it differently." At the same time, she said Ocwen has been welcoming of the change since she took over as Chair of the Board in March 2016. A finance and economic advisor by trade, Caldwell's position with Ocwen's Board of Directors is the latest of several key leader - ship roles she has filled over the last three decades—President of Community Development Banking with Bank of America, CEO of the Washington Area Women's Foundation, and Chief of the Homeownership Preservation Office for the U.S. Department of Treasury (in the years immediately after the crisis), to name a few—that put her un - der an intense microscope. "I do think there's scrutiny, but I don't think it has necessarily been bad," Caldwell said, "and I don't think it has changed the way in which I would choose to lead, in part because in my own background as an executive in a large, public company, and then in the Treasury Department where you have a lot of public scrutiny. I'm also used to being in roles that are scrutinized whether it's gender or not." Caldwell took over as Chair of the Board at Ocwen during a critical time in the company's his - tory. When she was elected Chair in March 2016 after serving as a Director on the Board for a year, Ocwen was only a little more than a year removed from a $150 million settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services that resulted in the departure of Ocwen's founder and executive chairman, William Erbey. The changes at Ocwen appear to already be paying dividends. In the third quarter of 2016, Ocwen reported a net profit of $9.5 mil - lion—the first profitable quarter for the company in more than a year. "First and most important, my role is to both lead the board as it oversees and supports the gover - nance of Ocwen's management and the company's drive for change across the organization," Caldwell said. "Second, I see the board as part of a new Ocwen. Starting in 2015, Ocwen's management team has really been on a path to put legacy issues behind it and embrace a culture of compliance, diversity, inclusion, and service excellence. Our board is actually coming together as an independent group with diverse backgrounds. We're setting the tone, I think, for a stronger, more responsive, and more diverse Ocwen." With Caldwell as Chair of the Board, Ocwen's focus for the future includes resolving the com - pany's legacy and regulatory issues and ending various monitorships in a timely manner; investing in FIRE As the Chair of One of the Country's Largest Non-Bank Servicers, Phyllis Caldwell Drives Support of Ocwen's Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives By Brian Honea Straight Into the

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