BuildingNY:NYStories – Melissa Cohn: FM Home Loans

♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪ >> PATTERSON, NEW JERSEY, UPPER MONTCLAIR EUROPE TO PICK UP A SADDLE

COOKIES FOR JAMES TAYLOR RIDING ACADEMY SMITH GOLDMAN SACHS CITIBANK

I'M GOING TO BE A MORTGAGE COMPANY — I'M GOING TO CREATE A MORTGAGE BUSINESS I'M GOING TO CREATE A DYNASTY I'M GOING TO CREATE MANHATTAN MORTGAGE I HAVE THE LADY RESPONSIBLE FOR CHANGING THE MORTGAGE BUSINESS, MELISSA COHN, THANKS FOR BEING HERE >> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME

>> WE HAVE TWO INTERESTING FAMILIES LET'S START WITH MOM'S SIDE >> MY MOTHER'S GRANDFATHER, MY GREAT GRANDFATHER WAS A BIOCHEMIST WHO WAS BORN AND RAISED IN GERMANY IN 1923, HE WAS ACTUALLY ASKED TO GO TO JAPAN AND HELP FOUND A MEDICAL PART OF A MEDICAL SCHOOL THERE NEAR NAGASAKI MY FAMILY SPENT THREE YEARS IN JAPAN

MY GRANDMOTHER LEARNED JAPANESE AND CAME BACK WITH ALL OF THE SHOES AND TOYS AND CLOTHING THAT WE ALL LEARNED TO WEAR AS A CHILD THEN WHEN THEY CAME BACK TO THE UNITED STATES, MY GREAT GRANDFATHER WENT TO THE ALBERT EINSTEIN MEDICAL CENTER WHERE HE BECAME FRIENDLY WITH ALBERT EINSTEIN >> THE PICTURE THAT WE HAVE OF ALBERT EINSTEIN IS WITH WHO? >> WITH MY GRANDMOTHER >> YOU SAID TO ME THAT YOUR GRANDPARENTS IN GERMANY REALLY — THEY WERE IN THE RETAIL BUSINESS >> THEY HAD A SMALL DEPARTMENT STORE

MY GREAT GRANDFATHER WAS OBVIOUSLY A VERY SUCCESSFUL MEDICAL DOCTOR IN FACT, THE REASON HE WENT TO JAPAN WAS THAT EVEN THOUGH HE WAS GIVEN HONORS AND POSITIONS IN GERMANY, THEY WOULDN'T PAY HIM ANY MONEY BECAUSE HE WAS JEWISH >> WHEN DOES HE COME HERE TO AMERICA, YOUR GREAT GRANDFATHER? >> HE CAME IN ABOUT 1927, I BELIEVE >> THEY MOVED TO THE UPPER WEST SIDE, NEAR CENTRAL PARK? >> THE UPPER EAST SIDE MY GRANDMOTHER WHEN I WAS BORN WAS ON WEST 78th STREET

>> SO NOW LET'S GO TO DAD'S SIDE, YOUR FATHER'S SIDE TELL ME ABOUT THEM >> MY FATHER'S FAMILY, MY GRANDMOTHER CAME TO THIS COUNTRY IN THE VERY EARLY 1900s THERE WAS A FIRE IN PATTERSON THAT DESTROYED ALL OF THE RECORDS OF THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IT HAPPENED IN I BELIEVE THE '30s

NO ONE REALLY KNOWS EXACTLY WHEN MY GRANDMOTHER WAS ACTUALLY BORN MY GRANDFATHER'S FAMILY EMIGRATED HERE JUST BEFORE HE WAS BORN HE WAS BORN AND RAISED IN PATTERSON, WHICH WAS A FASCINATING TIME TO GROW UP AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 20th CENTURY >> THE SILK COMMUNITY OF THE WORLD >> HE WAS AN ATTORNEY

HE REPRESENTED A LOT OF INTERESTING CHARACTERS >> HIS FATHER AND HIS UNCLE WERE ATTORNEYS I READ ALSO >> THEY WERE >> HE WAS THE SECOND GENERATION AND HIS UNCLES

YOU WERE TELLING ME YOUR GRANDFATHER REPRESENTED SOME INTERESTING CHARACTERS? >> INTERESTING CHARACTERS WAS VERY INVOLVED IN, LET'S CALL IT THE POLITICS OF PATTERSON ENJOYED A GREAT LIFE THERE HE ACTUALLY PLAYED FOOTBALL WHEN HE WAS YOUNGER JOINED AND STARTED HIS LAW FIRM AND MY FATHER JOINED HIM WHEN HE GOT OUT OF LAW SCHOOL

IN FACT, MY GRANDFATHER LIVED UNTIL 1979 AT WHICH TIME MY FATHER HOOK THE HELM OF THE LAW FIRM >> I THINK THE LAW FIRM WAS FOUNDED IN 1923 THEY WERE THE PILLARS THEY STAYED IN PATTERSON FROM '23 UNTIL THEY MOVED TO — >> THEY MOVED TO SADDLE BROOK >> YOUR FATHER, HE WAS A BIG SAILOR

TELL ME ABOUT THE SAILING BECAUSE IT RELATES TO HOW HE MEETS YOUR MOTHER >> MY FATHER WHO WAS BROUGHT UP AS A VERY WASPY JEW LEARNED TO SAIL THEN OFF TO GEORGETOWN AND HARVARD HE LOVED TO SAIL HE HAD A SAIL BOAT CALLED THE DARK WIND

IT WAS 32 FEET LONG >> HE TOOK FROM NEW YORK CITY — >> DOWN TO MASSACHUSETTS WHERE MY MOTHER WAS VISITING HER GRANDPARENTS, MY GREAT GRANDFATHER WAS WORKING AT THE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTE MY PARENTS MET ON THE DOCK >> THE STORY I READ IS THEY MET ON A BOAT, RIGHT? >> THEY ACTUALLY MET ON THE DOCK MY DAD WAS ON THE BOAT

MY MOTHER WAS ON THE DOCK >> SHE GOES ON THE BOAT WITH HIM, RIGHT? AND THEN SHE MEETS HER FAMILY AND SHE GOES BACK TO NEW YORK CITY ON THE BOAT >> I'M NOT SURE SHE CAME ALL THE WAY BACK I KNOW MY FATHER INVITED HER TO BE CREW FOR A TRIP TO NANTUCKET I BELIEVE THEY MADE IT ALL THE WAY BACK TO NEW YORK

THAT'S A LITTLE BIT FUZZY IN MY MEMORY >> NOW THAT WE'VE TOLD MOM AND DAD'S SIDE, TELL ME ABOUT YOU YOU ARE THE OLDEST OF FIVE, RIGHT? >> OLDEST OF FIVE >> BORN IN PATTERSON AT THIS TIME >> I WAS BORN IN PATTERSON

>> TELL ME ABOUT GROWING UP AND HOW YOU GOT INVOLVED WITH THE COOKIE BUSINESS AND THEN THE RIDING ACADEMY >> WELL, I WAS BORN IN PATTERSON WHEN I WAS, I BELIEVE, A LITTLE LESS THAN THREE, MY PARENTS WENT TO MOVE THEY HAD ME IN THE BASKET ON THE SIDE OF THE STREET THEY GOT IN THE CAR AND THEY WERE SO EXCITED ABOUT MOVING, THEY FORGOT ME

I GUESS I WAS LEFT ON MY OWN FROM A VERY EARLY AGE AND MEANT TO DO THAT FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE WHEN I WAS YOUNG, MY MOTHER'S PARENTS — THERE'S A PICTURE OF MY GREAT GRANDPARENTS IN BERLIN PARK THAT I HAVE I WAS ENAMORED WITH ENGLISH HISTORY, WITH HORSES MY GRANDFATHER DECIDED THAT IT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR ME TO BE INVOLVED IN RIDING IN FACT, THEY TOOK ME TO LONDON TO BUY ME MY FIRST SADDLE

AND MY FIRST RIDING JACKET, WHICH IS IMPORTANT AND I FELL IN LOVE WITH HORSES WHEN I WAS YOUNG, MY PARENTS BUILT A HOUSE IN MARTHA'S VINEYARD I SUMMERED THERE FROM THE TIME I WAS VERY YOUNG UNTIL AFTER I GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE

I, OF COURSE, DECIDED THAT I WANTED TO MAKE MONEY SO WHEN I WAS ABOUT 9 YEARS OLD, JAMES TAYLOR'S BROTHER HAD A GENERAL STORE THROUGH THE COMMUNITY CENTER WHERE I SPENT TIME GROWING UP, I MET A WOMAN NAMED JUDY WHO WAS BAKING PIES AT THAT TIME FOR THE GENERAL STORE SO I SAID, CAN I HELP? CAN I BE A PART OF IT? I LEARNED TO BAKE BROWNIES I WAS VERY SMART

I GOT MY MOTHER TO GIVE ME THE MONEY TO PAY FOR ALL THE INGREDIENTS SHE PAID FOR THEM FOR A WHILE BEFORE SHE CAUGHT ON I WAS JUST POCKETING ALL THE MONEY FOR A NUMBER OF SUMMERS, I BAKED BROWNIES AND SOLD THEM >> THAT'S THE COOKIE BUSINESS WHAT ABOUT THE RIDING ACADEMY? >> MY PARENTS WERE VERY GENEROUS AND GAVE ME A PONY AT AN EARLY AGE

I DECIDED I NEEDED TO MAKE MONEY, MAKE THIS WORK SO I WOULD ACTUALLY TAKE MY PONY AND I WOULD TEACH OTHER PEOPLE LESSONS ON MY PONY I STARTED MY OWN LITTLE RIDING ACADEMY >> WHO WERE YOUR STUDENTS? >> JUST LOCAL KIDS THOSE WERE THE DAYS WHEN WE USED TO BE ABLE TO HITCHHIKE AND GET AROUND VERY INDEPENDENTLY

I TOOK ADVANTAGE OF IT >> SO LET'S FORGET MARTHA'S VINEYARD THE FAMILY MOVED FROM PATTERSON TO UPPER MONTCLAIR YOU WENT TO PRIVATE SCHOOL >> I DID

>> I HEAR THE ENTREPRENEUR IN YOU BUT YOU ALWAYS SAID YOU WANTED TO BE A PHYSICIAN, I THINK WHAT WAS THE CONFLICT? >> THE CONFLICT WAS ORGANIC CHEMISTRY >> THAT'S LATER ON THE CONFLICT — BUT WHEN YOU WERE A KID, IT SEEMS YOU WERE A ENTREPRENEUR AND FOLLOWING YOUR FATHER AND GRANDFATHER THAT WERE ALL ENTREPRENEURS

YOU SAID TO ME, SOMETIMES IN THE HOUSE OR — YOUR FATHER WAS A LITIGATOR HE WAS A LITIGATOR THERE WAS AN ARTICLE ABOUT HIM IN HIS OBITUARY TALKING THAT HE WAS LIKE THE KING LITIGATOR THEY HAD TO SHUT HIS MOUTH AT TIMES THE JUDGE SAYING, IT'S ENOUGH, MR COHN, ENOUGH

>> HE WAS ALWAYS REALLY WELL PREPARED >> TELL ME ABOUT YOUR SUMMERS WERE THEY ALWAYS THERE OR DID YOU GO ANYWHERE ELSE? >> FOR ONE SUMMER I WAS ACTUALLY SENT TO MAINE TO GO TO SLEEP AWAY CAMP HAVING ALL THE BENEFITS AND BEAUTY OF THE VINEYARD I OF COURSE DECIDED THERE WAS ANOTHER GRASS IS GREENER SOMEWHERE ELSE I WENT WITH MY FRIENDS

WE WENT TO SLEEP AWAY CAMP FOR ONE MONTH WE CAME BACK MY PARENTS SAID, YOU ARE DONE >> WHERE DID YOU GO TO HIGH SCHOOL? >> I WENT TO A SCHOOL CALLED THE MONTCLAIR KIMBERLY ACADEMY I STARTED AT THE KIMBERLY SCHOOL WHICH IS AN ALL GIRL SCHOOL WHO MERGED WITH THE MONTCLAIR ACADEMY WHICH WAS ALL BOYS

MY NINTH GRADE BEGINNING HIGH SCHOOL CLASS WAS THE FIRST YEAR OF THE MERGER >> YOU GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL WHAT YEAR? >> 1978 >> IT'S 1978 HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO GO TO SMITH? >> I VISITED A NUMBER OF COLLEGES WITH MY MOTHER, WHO TOOK ME MOSTLY

EVERYWHERE I WENT, IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE BOYS ALL ABOUT THE MEN YOU WOULD GO TO BROWN AND THEY RAN THE FRATERNITIES YOU GO TO PRINCETON AND THEY RAN THE DINING HOUSES >> SOCIAL CLUBS

>> SO WHEN I WENT TO SMITH, IT WAS A SCHOOL FOR WOMEN RUN BY WOMEN AND I JUST SAW IT AS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR ME TO LEARN TO GROW AND TO BE ABLE TO TAKE MY ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT WITH MY DESIRE TO BE A DOCTOR AND SEE WHERE I COULD GO WITH IT I HAD MUCH GREATER — THE OPPORTUNITIES WERE LIMITLESS WHEN I WAS AT SMITH I THOUGHT BY GOING TO A COED SCHOOL I WOULD BE CHASING AFTER TRYING TO GET ON TOP OF BREAKING THE GLASS CEILING >> LOOKING AT IT, YOUR MOTHER WAS AN INTERESTING ENTREPRENEUR

SHE WENT TO BRONX SCIENCE HIGH SCHOOL THEN LATER ON IN LIFE, SHE WENT TO BECOME A LAWYER >> SHE DID >> SHE PASSED THE BAR WHEN YOUR PARENTS MOVED TO THEIR NEW HOME IN 1981 THE APPLE DIDN'T FALL FAR FROM THE TREE

AT SMITH YOU SAID ORGANIC CHEMISTRY WAS THE KEY >> I WAS IN AWE OF MY GREAT GRANDFATHER WHEN I WAS GROWING UP I ALWAYS WANTED TO FOLLOW IN HIS FOOTSTEPS IT WOULD BE AMAZING TO HAVE A THEORY NAMED AFTER YOU THAT DIDN'T WORK SO WELL

WHEN I WAS STRUGGLING WITH ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, I TOOK ECONOMICS AND HISTORY I GOT As EASILY I DECIDED THAT I SHOULD PROBABLY FOCUS ON SOMETHING THAT CAME MORE NATURALLY TO ME ECONOMICS AND HISTORY, A LITTLE BIT OF ART HISTORY >> DURING THE SUMMERS AT COLLEGE WERE YOU WORKING OR DOING ANYTHING? >> I WAS IN A VINEYARD

I WORKED AT A RESORT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF MARTHA'S VINEYARD WHERE I WAS THE TENNIS SHOP GIRL I WAS A LIFEGUARD >> YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN RUNNING THE RIDING ACADEMY >> THERE WERE NO HORSES THERE I KEPT ON RIDING AND KEPT ON TEACHING PEOPLE

I WOULD ALSO TAKE PEOPLE FROM TOURISTS FROM THE VINEYARD TO NANTUCKET FOR A DAY TRIP TO SEE WHAT NANTUCKET — WHICH IS SUCH A DIFFERENT ISLAND — WAS LIKE >> IT'S 1982 THE YOUNG LADY IS GRADUATING YOU HAD TWO OPPORTUNITIES YOU SAID ONE WAS TO GO TO WORK FOR GOLDMAN SACHS

ONE OF THEM WAS TO WORK IN THE RETAIL OPERATIONS AT CITIBANK TALK TO ME ABOUT GOLDMAN SACHS AND CITIBANK >> I'M A HANDS ON PERSON WHICH IS WHAT I LOVE SO MUCH ABOUT WHAT I DO, BECAUSE I GET VERY INVOLVED IN PEOPLE'S LIVES THE THOUGHT OF GOING TO GOLDMAN SACHS WAS MORE ABOUT SITTING IN FRONT OF A COPIER THAN IT WAS DEALING — >> DID YOU HAVE AN OFFER? >> I NEVER REALLY GOT THAT FAR MY GRANDMOTHER WAS A CLIENT THERE AND WAS A BIG HELP

MY INTERESTS WERE NOT THERE I WAS MORE INTERESTED IN BEING INVOLVED WITH PEOPLE >> THIS WAS A SMITH GRADUATE TO WORK IN THE RETAIL BRANCH WHERE THEY HAD ROBBERIES? >> IT GOT ME TO WHERE I AM TODAY >> I KNOW

TELL ME ABOUT HOW DID YOU GET THE JOB? THERE WAS CORPORATE TRAINING PROGRAM AND THEN THERE WAS THE RETAIL BRANCH OPERATIONS WHICH WAS HUGE IN THE '80s CITIBANK HAD A GREAT OPERATION HOW DID YOU END UP IN THE RETAIL OPERATION OF CITIBANK? >> I DECIDED THAT I WANTED TO DEAL WITH PEOPLE ONCE AGAIN WHEN YOU GO INTO A COMMERCIAL CORPORATE BANKING PROGRAM, YOU DON'T GET TO DEAL WITH PEOPLE WHEN YOU ARE RIGHT OUT OF COLLEGE

YOU SIT BEHIND AND COPY AND THROW THINGS AWAY, GET LUNCH THE OPPORTUNITY AT CITIBANK IN THE RETAIL ALLOWED ME TO GET INVOLVED IN BRANCH OPERATIONS, LEARN HOW DAY TO DAY REAL BANKING HAPPENED >> WERE YOU A TELLER? >> I WAS NEVER A TELLER >> COME ON I WAS A TELLER

>> I WAS RIGHT NEXT TO YOU I SAT ON THE PLATFORM AND I HELPED PEOPLE OPEN UP CHECKING ACCOUNTS I LEARNED A LOT THE WOMAN THAT I WENT TO WORK FOR AT CITIBANK IS NOW AN ATTORNEY WHO IS A CLOSING ATTORNEY IN REAL ESTATE SHE USED TO COME IN EVERY DAY IN THESE HOT PINK DRESSES WITH LOTS OF LAYERS AND LOTS OF BIG JEWELRY

ME BEING A SMITH COMING FROM MONTCLAIR WAS IN MY SUIT AND MY FLOPPY BOW TIE I LEARNED THAT THAT WAS NOT THE REAL WORLD >> HERE IS THE QUESTION HOW DID A SMITHIE END UP ON 108th STREET IN HER FIRST APARTMENT IN A WALKUP WITH A GAY GUY AS A ROOMMATE? >> MY PARENTS WERE NOT HAPPY IT WAS OF MY OWN DEVICE

MY PARENTS ENCOURAGED ME VERY MUCH TO MOVE DOWN TO A MORE APPROPRIATE NEIGHBORHOOD I ENDED UP ON 84th BETWEEN YORK AND EAST END BUT I ALSO MADE A BUSINESS OF IT BECAUSE I ALSO HAD A FOURTH FLOOR WALKUP WHICH WAS A RAILROAD FLAT WITH A JUMBLE OF ROOMS I ENDED UP SUBLETTING MY ROOMS I NEVER TOLD MY PARENTS THAT

>> YOU WERE AIRBNB >> I WAS >> YOU WERE CO-LIVING? >> WE WORKS OR WE LIVE WE LIVE SO IT WAS WE LIVE YOU WERE SAYING TO ME THAT YOU WORKED ON 86th STREET AND LEXINGTON AVENUE WHERE CITIBANK WAS

AT THAT TIME, I DON'T THINK THE GIMBEL STORE HAD OPENED YET IT WAS CLOSE TO OPENING BECAUSE THE TRAIN STOP OVER THERE, IT WAS A GREAT GETAWAY SPOT FOR ROBBERIES >> THAT'S CORRECT THERE WAS A SUBWAY ENTERENCE FROM ALL FOUR CORNERS

NOT LONG INTO MY TENURE THERE WE HAD A ROBBERY I PROMPTLY FLEW UNDER MY DESK, SAT THERE READY TO CALL MY MOTHER AND SAY MAYBE I'M NOT SURE I WANT DO THIS >> HOW MANY ROBBERIES DID YOU — >> I WENT THROUGH THREE >> AND YOU — WHAT DID YOUR PARENTS SAY? >> I THINK I ONLY TOLD THEM ABOUT ONE

>> OKAY >> SO MOM, SORRY >> MOM WILL KNOW WHEN SHE WATCHES THE SHOW YOU ARE AT CITIBANK AND WHAT HAPPENS? HOW DO YOU PROGRESS FROM THE PERSON HANDLING — OPENING UP ACCOUNTS TO GETTING INVOLVED WITH RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGES? >> I WAS VERY LUCKY

THE MAN THAT RAN THE BRANCH THAT I WAS HIRED INTO, HE KNEW I WANTED MORE THAN JUST TO HELP PEOPLE OPEN CHECKING ACCOUNTS TOLD ME MORTGAGE LENDING WOULD BE THE WAVE OF PROFITABILITY IN THE FUTURE IN THE BANKING WORLD >> RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE? >> RESIDENTIAL >> IT WAS A DIFFERENT WORLD AT THAT TIME >> WHEN I GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE, MOST MORTGAGES WERE ONE YEAR ADJUSTABLES

I REMEMBER THE RATE THE FIRST YEAR I GRADUATED WAS 16% IN THOSE DAYS, PEOPLE STILL BOUGHT PEOPLE STILL TOOK MORTGAGES CHECKS AND BALANCES AND WHERE OUR ECONOMIES WERE BUT PEOPLE NEEDED TO GET FINANCING

REAL ESTATE IN NEW YORK WAS — JUST STARTED GETTING MORE AND MORE EXPENSIVE >> WHAT HAPPENS AT CITIBANK? >> THEY BROUGHT IN A REGIONAL DIRECTOR WHO ALSO TOLD ME THAT MORTGAGE LENDING WAS TO BE FOCUSED ON THEY STARTED A MORTGAGE CENTER SYSTEM AT CITIBANK WHERE I WAS BASICALLY GIVEN THE JOB TO HELP ESTABLISH MORTGAGE — RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE OPERATIONS FOR THE TEN BRANCHS NORTH OF 57th STREET WORKING WITH DEVELOPERS THOSE WERE THE DAYS WE COULD ACTUALLY GET DEVELOPERS TO WRITE A CHECK TO A BANK TO MAKE SURE THERE WAS MORTGAGE MONEY AVAILABLE FOR BUYERS

>> I THINK YOU SAID TO ME ONE OF THE — I THINK IT WAS WHEN YOU STARTED YOUR NEW BUSINESS, YOU DID A MORTGAGE ON 90th >> WHEN I WAS AT CITIBANK IT WAS 200 EAST 90th STREET THERE I WAS IN MY FLOPPY BOW TIE AND MY — >> DID YOU STAY AT THE BUILDING? >> I SAT ON SITE MET WITH PEOPLE AS THEY CAME IN TO PURCHASE

>> YOU ARE AT CITIBANK YOU ARE RUNNING — YOU ARE INVOLVED WITH THE TEN BRANCHS FOR THE MORTGAGE OPERATION HOW DOES THIS COMPANY CALLED GILBERT SOMETHING GET INVOLVED? >> IT WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST MARKETING AND SALES AGENTS FOR NEW CONDOMINIUMS IN NEW YORK CITY THEY HAD A PROGRAM INTERNALLY WHERE THEY WOULD MAKE EVERYONE WHO PURCHASED A CONDOMINIUM THROUGH THEM MAKE APPLICATION FOR THE MORTGAGE TO MAKE SURE THAT THAT BUYER WAS A REAL BUYER AND NOT JUST TRYING TO HOLD THE APARTMENT OFF THE MARKET FOR A PERIOD OF TIME >> DID THE PERSON HAVE TO PAY AN APPLICATION FEE? >> WHEN I GOT THERE, THERE WAS NO REAL PROGRAM

THEY WERE REFERRING IT OUT TO BANKS WHEN I GOT TO GILBERT, I HELPED THEM START A COMPANY CALLED MORTGAGE PLACEMENTS WE TOOK WHAT WAS A COST CENTER TO THEM AND TURNED IT INTO A PROFIT CENTER MEANING THAT I WENT OUT AND GOT BANKS — BOSTON SAFE DEPOSIT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST I BROUGHT IN UNDER MY TODAY'S MORTGAGE BROKER MODEL >> AT GILBERT? >> WHEN I WAS AT GILBERT

WE GOT BANKS TO AGREE TO LEND MONEY, LET ME ACT AS THEIR AGENT TO GET MORTGAGE APPROVALS FOR THE BUYERS OF OUR VARIOUS CONDOMINIUMS >> AND THE BANKS ALSO PAID YOU A COMMISSION >> INITIALLY THEY DID NOT BUT WE EVOLVED VERY QUICKLY IN TO THEM PAYING US A COMMISSION BECAUSE IN ORDER FOR ME TO BE COMPETITIVE, I CAN'T BE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN IF YOU WENT TO THE BRANCH NEXT DOOR WE GOT THE BANKS TO RECOGNIZE THE FACT THAT WE WERE DOING A BIG SERVICE THERE WAS A VALUE TO THE BUSINESS THAT WE DID

WE DID ALL OF THE PRE-UNDERWRITING FOR THEM, GATHERING DOCUMENTATION, HELPED SETTING UP APPRAISALS, SETTING UP CLOSINGS GOT THEM TO AGREE THAT THEY WOULD PAY US A FEE IN EXCHANGE FOR SENDING A LOAN TO THEM >> IF I LOOK AT THIS, '82 YOU GRADUATE AND START AT CITIBANK YOU SPEND THREE YEARS AT CITIBANK? TWO? >> TWO YEARS >> TWO YEARS

THEN YOU GO TO GILBERT >> CORRECT >> THEN WHAT HAPPENS AT GILBERT THAT YOU CREATE AT YOUR KITCHEN TABLE THIS ENTITY CALLED MANHATTAN MORTGAGE? >> I WAS SUCCESSFUL IN WHAT I DID IN ADDITION TO BEING ABLE TO DO MORTGAGES IN THE CONDOMINIUMS, I WENT TO REAL ESTATE FIRMS JOAN SCHLANK IF YOU REMEMBER BACK THEN, WAS THE FIRST BROKER I EVER WENT TO AND THEY STARTED SENDING ME BUSINESS NOT JUST THROUGH THE GILBERT SALES CONNECTION

I STARTED MAKING COMMISSIONS THEY DECIDED ABOUT 18 MONTHS INTO MY TENURE THAT I WAS MAKING TOO MUCH MONEY THEY TOOK AWAY MY VERY SMALL BASE SALARY I SAID, I DON'T REALLY NEED THEM TO DO THIS FOR ME I'M GOING TO GO OUT AND START MY OWN COMPANY

>> THIS IS 1985? >> CORRECT >> 1985, THE ENTREPRENEUR, THE COOKIE LADY WE'LL CALL YOU, OKAY, THE COOKIE LADY DECIDES TO START WHAT'S THE STORY ABOUT THE KITCHEN TABLE? >> IT WAS ACTUALLY MY DINING ROOM TABLE WHEN I LEFT GILBERT AND STARTED MY NEW COMPANY, THE LICENSING MODELS WERE LOOSER THAN THEY ARE TODAY I STARTED THIS COMPANY CALLED MANHATTAN MORTGAGE WITH A WOMAN THAT I HAD WORKED FOR — WITH AT GILBERT

>> TWO THINGS WERE YOU MARRIED AT THIS TIME? >> I WAS >> SO WHAT DID YOUR HUSBAND SAY ABOUT YOU — BECAUSE HE WAS — HE WENT TO — >> HE WENT TO AMHERST >> HE WAS A LAWYER? >> HE WORKED ON WALL STREET >> WHAT DID HE SAY ABOUT THE ENTREPRENEUR BEING — >> I THINK THAT HE REALIZED THAT WAS PART OF MY PACKAGE

>> THE GOOD, BAD AND INDIFFERENT >> EXACTLY YOU GET IT ALL I JUST DID IT >> YOU GREW FROM ONE LITTLE OPERATION TO AN ENTITY — YOU SOLD IT IN 2012

OVER THAT PERIOD OF TIME, HOW DID YOU GROW THE BUSINESS SO LARGE? >> WHEN I STARTED THE COMPANY, I REALLY BELIEVED FIRMLY IN RELATIONSHIPS OUR BUSINESS AS YOU KNOW IS VERY MUCH A RELATIONSHIP BUSINESS I WORKED VERY HARD TO GO OUT TO REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE OFFICES AND GET THEM TO ENCOURAGE TO SEND THEIR CLIENTS TO ME WITH THE THEORY THAT I DIDN'T REPRESENT JUST ONE BANK AS MANHATTAN MORTGAGE, I HAD THE ABILITY TO REPRESENT NUMBEROUS BANKS AT ONE POINT, ALMOST 100 BANKS

INSTEAD OF HAVING TO SHOP AROUND, I USED THE ANALOGY — >> YOU WERE THE AMAZON LADY >> A TRAVEL AGENT FOR MORTGAGES >> BUT ALSO THE FULL HOUSE — >> EXACTLY I WAS THE ONE STOP SHOP AS I DID MORE BUSINESS, I GOT MORE BANKS INVOLVED

I REALLY GREW ORGANICALLY MY FIRST EMPLOYEE WAS A WOMAN THAT I HAD WORKED AT THE REAL ESTATE SIDE GILBERT SHE'S STILL OUT THERE DOING MORTGAGES TODAY WE JUST GREW ONE AT A TIME >> WHAT HAPPENED IN 2012? >> 2012 — >> DODD-FRANK

>> DODD-FRANK STARTED REARING ITS UGLY HEAD BANKS WERE HAVING AN ISSUE AS TO WHICH CHANNELS THEY COULD LEND THROUGH, BECAUSE THERE WAS A KNOW YOUR CLIENT ISSUE AT THAT POINT MORTGAGE BROKERAGE, UNFORTUNATELY, SORT OF TOOK THE FALL MANY OF THE BANKS STARTED — >> YOU WERE STILL INVOLVED WITH IT TODAY YOU ARE WITH FM MORTGAGE

>> THAT'S CORRECT >> YOU ARE RUNNING A SIMILAR BUSINESS TO MANHATTAN MORTGAGE >> VERY SIMILAR WHERE WE STILL DEAL WITH A LARGE NUMBER OF BANKS AS BROKERS WHERE THE BANK ACTUALLY CLOSES THE MONEY THE BENEFIT I HAVE WHERE I AM TODAY IS THAT WE'RE ALSO A BANK WE CAN APPLY, APPROVE AND CLOSE LOANS IN OUR NAME, WHICH OFTEN CAN HELP GET THE DEAL DONE MUCH FASTER

>> YOU HAVE TWO DAUGHTERS >> I DO MY OLDER DAUGHTER SARAH SHE WORKS AT STRIBLING WHERE SHE'S WORKED FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS >> ON THE RELOCATION SIDE

>> SHE WORKS IN THE RELOCATION AND REFERRAL NETWORK MY YOUNGER DAUGHTER SAMANTHA WHO IS IN THE PROCESS OF BECOMING A YOGA INSTRUCTOR >> THEN YOU AND BILL HAVE BEEN TOGETHER HOW LONG? >> ALMOST 10 1/2 YEARS >> YOU STILL RIDE? >> I STOPPED RIDING THE YEAR MY DAD DIED >> YOU ARE STILL INVOLVED WITH HORSES? >> I STILL LOVE HORSES

I'M STILL INVOLVED I STILL SPONSOR AT THE HAMPTON CLASSIC EACH YEAR >> YOU ARE INVOLVED WITH WOMEN'S RIGHTS HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THAT GOING BACK YEARS AGO? >> FROM CHILDHOOD IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT WOMEN — WE WERE SECOND CLASS CITIZENS AS I WAS A YOUNG ADULT

REALLY BRINGING TO THE FOREFRONT THAT WOMEN ARE IMPORTANT, THEY MATTER, THAT WE'RE EQUAL I WAS INVOLVED IN A NUMBER OF CHARITIES OVER THE YEARS DEALING WITH SPECIAL DEVELOPMENT CHILDREN, HOUSING FOR HUMANITY, HABITAT DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS RECENTLY WITH A WOMAN WHO I HAVE KNOWN FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS WHO IS INVOLVED IN PR WE HAVE GOTTEN INVOLVED AND I CREATED CERTAIN INITIATIVES, THE FIRST BEING LADIES WHO LAUNCH

I GOT TOGETHER A GROUP OF WOMEN AND WE HAVE HAD TWO LUNCHEONS ANNUALLY WHERE WE TALK ABOUT THINGS WE NEED TO DO TO HELP PROMOTE WOMEN IN BUSINESS >> THE BEST THING WAS THE COOKIE BUSINESS, THE RIDING BUSINESS, THE FACT THAT YOU DID TERRIBLE IN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, BECAUSE YOU DID A GREAT JOB IN CREATING A GREAT BUSINESS AND BEING UNIQUE IN THIS COMMUNITY THANKS FOR BEING HERE >> THANKS FOR HAVING ME ♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪