About 140 golfers teed up at the fourth annual Community Trust Invitational on Friday—a sign of the lender’s growing influence.
“It has grown every year,” said Community Trust’s President & CEO Chris Humeniuk. “The first year we did this, we were about 45 to 50 golfers, and today we’re 140 golfers. It’s a great opportunity to get together with all of our partners.”
Long hailed as one of the best courses in the entire country, TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley played host to Community Trust and its partners, including a slew of agents and brokers.
One reason the lender throws the Invitational every year is because of its modest beginnings. Once a small lender, Community Trust’s brain trust realized that it needed to develop strategic partnerships. Four years ago, it had $700mlm in assets under administration, and that number has swelled to $3.5bln today.
“We’ve been growing our lending book, both our residential and commercial books, and on the investment services side we’ve grown from about $40mln in syndicated mortgage under administration to about $600mln, and our securitization program has grown tremendously over that period of time as well,” said Humeniuk.
Humeniuk added that this year’s Community Trust Invitational is perhaps a little more meaningful because of the tumult created by B-20. He says the new rules highlight the importance of brokers.
“The reality is we’ve always valued our relationships with our brokers. I think it has more meaning in a year like this to say ‘thank you’ to our brokers to work with us through this period, but we’ve always valued our broker partners for helping us build our business, and helping us to grow as a company, as well—the feedback we get from them, the opportunity to work with them, to network with them at an event like this today, and for me to get face-to-face time with the brokers today is invaluable.”
Lisa Abbatangelo, Community Trust’s vice president of operations, alludes to the importance of relationships in the mortgage industry. In fact, she wouldn’t be surprised if guests discussed deals on the green or subsequently over lunch and cocktails.
“This is supposed to be about fun and appreciation on a beautiful course, but deals do come up from time to time,” she said. “I think that it’s important for mutually beneficial relationships, so just as the brokers stand by us, we stand by them side by side.”
Deren Hasip, a mortgage agent and the founder of Mortgage Scout, says Community Trust is one of his brokerage’s most vital lenders because it helps borrowers in a variety of ways.
“They also get into the investment side of the equation, so it’s an opportunity to get exposure to other elements Community Trust has to offer,” said Hasip. “What I particularly like about Community is the fact that we can help clients on the self-directed side in transferring consolidating assets and using the retired registered investment portfolio to create lending opportunities for clients. They do a really good job in helping our customers create opportunity for investments.”
Hasip added that, while his golf game could use a little work, he nevertheless had a great afternoon mingling with some of Community Trust’s internal partners, and that putting faces to names abets smoother transactions.
Elan Weintraub agrees.
“We work with a lot of people through the phone, through email, and we don’t always see them,” said the broker and Mortgage Outlet director. “Today, we get to see them and connect with them, have a little fun and, frankly, ask them for some of their policies and maybe send them some files tomorrow. Having the relationship makes it that much easier to pick up the phone, send an email or text or whatever it is, and get an answer.”