Fired mortgage specialists not welcome in broker channel?

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Debate has ensued about whether the broker channel should welcome laid-off bank employees, with some brokers believing those who failed to make the cut there will make second-rate agents here.

 “We all know (the banks) have hundreds of analysts and people who crunch numbers all the time and I’m pretty sure they would be part of the process in determining who to keep and who not to keep,” Independent Broker, Paolo Di Petta told “I’m pretty sure they would have kept all the good people and shuffled them around if they needed to into different positions.”

Of course, not everyone can be painted with the same brush. It’s all a matter of evaluating each potential hire on an individual basis.

“I’m sure a few really good agents snuck out, maybe they didn’t like the deal they were getting,” Di Petta said. “So there might be a few out there it really just depends on how much diligence a broker wants to do when looking at a person they are hiring.”

The Bank of Montreal cut 1,000 jobs in the personal and commercial banking sectors, which includes its mortgage specialists. The news has sparked debate among brokers, who are divided on whether the broker channel should welcome laid off bank employees to join its ranks.

One industry player would welcome the former bankers… as long as he feels they are up to the task.

“If they’re professionals, yeah. The question is always: Are you self-disciplined enough to manage your time and to approach people, that’s always the hardest thing,” Layth Matthews of RateMiser Mortgages told “I think that people who work for institutions often want to make a go of self-employment and the transition from being a mortgage specialist to being a mortgage broker is probably one of the easier jumps because you’re pretty much doing the same thing.

“It’s just that you’re now having more lenders to work with, more competitive rates, more flexible terms.”

And Matthews believes the transition would be an advantageous one for former bank specialists, at least as far as compensation is concerned.

“I’m sure that the bank specialists are used to getting a fraction of the participation that we get in the mortgage business,” Matthews said. “There’s a big difference between one per cent and whatever they get.”

  • Ron Butler on 2013-12-11 1:21:09 PM

    The truth is we don't really know, when you talk to bank executives in the know they have a different take on these recent moves and I don't think there is any point in repeating what I have been told.

    We don't know how these changes will work out, some of these folks will turn out to be stone brokerage geniuses like Mr. Contento's group and some will struggle with the different dynamics of being mortgage brokers without that famous logo at the bottom of your email. I wish all of them well.

  • Bryan Jaskolka on 2013-12-12 5:54:13 AM

    I don't think there's any reason that brokerages should be hesitant to hire these individuals, especially if they've gone through any firm's application and interview process successfully. I also don't see the point in bringing up a point, such as what one has been told by bank insiders, but not repeating what was said. Anyone can say they have an 'inside scoop' if they're not willing to come out with what was said.

  • Ron Butler on 2013-12-12 6:45:40 AM

    There are at least of couple sides to every story. Sometimes we in the broker community see it all as black and white. I never suggested they should not be hired, I welcome them, I meant no offence to the people who joined our channel I was simply pointing out that the bankers sometimes have a different view. I don't know which side is right so there no point in giving details. I think it's fair to say our channels are different, some newcomers thrive, others don't, I think that is just rationale.

  • Elfie Hayes on 2013-12-12 11:58:14 AM

    Lets face it folks, we are all working to make a living and provide for our families. Many of the folks who have been laid off chose this industry to make their living from. When 1000 heads roll due to over hiring there have to be good people that are willing to work hard to support their families. Those of us with the type of office that support their need for training and mentoring will benefit. To me having someone who has been in the industry long enough to want to stay, makes me want to hear about their desire to succeed and to play a role in it.
    Our office is growing and we welcome any inquiries.

  • Paolo Di Petta | on 2013-12-12 3:23:35 PM

    I just wanted to say, I'm always looking to add good agents. I'd be willing to bet BMO did what they could to hang on to the high volume producers, but I'm sure a few have left.

    If any Ontario ex-BMOers want to get in touch with me to chat about joining, you can reach me at

  • Paolo Di Petta | on 2013-12-12 3:23:42 PM

    I just wanted to say, I'm always looking to add good agents. I'd be willing to bet BMO did what they could to hang on to the high volume producers, but I'm sure a few have left.

    If any Ontario ex-BMOers want to get in touch with me to chat about joining, you can reach me at

  • ex BMO on 2013-12-13 10:44:34 AM

    “I’m pretty sure they would have kept all the good people and shuffled them around if they needed to into different positions.”
    But on second thought, the rest of you who aren't 'good people ', come join me. Have you ever been through a downsizing Paolo? Get over yourself. Someone gracious like Elfie will do far better selecting and hiring.

  • Paolo Di Petta | on 2013-12-13 11:00:28 AM


    The numbers don't lie: If it was highly profitable for them, they wouldn't have gotten out of it. I doubt all 1,000 of the people cut were bad, but I doubt many were the top producers.

    In a downsizing, an employer usually does everything they can to keep the very best and most profitable employees. BMO has the data and ran the numbers. They didn't randomly fire people. This isn't a game of eenie-meenie-miney-moe. They look at stats all day in all other areas of their business - why wouldn't they do it here?

    As for how you interpreted my last comment - I don't want those who "aren't good people". I want those who left even though they were offered a chance to stay - they know they deserved better, and I want to give it to them. I'm also interested in those producers who were good, but that just barely didn't make the cut - I'm sure they're talented, some of the circumstances may have been our of their control. That's understandable.

    Is it sad that 1,000 people lost their jobs? Absolutely - my heart goes out to them and their families. But to act like all 1,000 were great at it is a little disingenuous. If they were, BMO wouldn't have needed to make the cut.

  • Cory Kierstead on 2013-12-26 10:22:04 AM

    I think valid points were raised on both sides of the coin for this discussion.

    Having been previously employed by one of the big 5 in a senior management position I believe it is easy for great talent to slip through the cracks.

    While I agree the majority of those that were unfortunately shown the door were considered "non performing", it is important to remember that each of the major institutions has a different scorecard for measuring success.

    These scorecards can change on a dime depending on what is happening at the top of the organization. One simple tweak to a measurement or qualifier can see a top performer drop in the rankings and alternatively someone previously considered a dud is suddenly seeing the light.

    Cultural differences and management styles between different teams and organizations can also see someone failing under one roof yet excelling under another.

    Best advice is don't judge a book by its cover and give everyone the same opportunity. If they fail your interview process keep them moving, however you may find your next star among that BMO carnage.

    Agents looking for an opportunity feel free to contact me.

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