David Peskin to purchase ownership stake in HighTechLending

David Peskin to purchase ownership stake in HighTechLending

David Peskin, formerly from Senior Lending Network and Reverse Mortgage Funding (RMF), has purchased an ownership stake in top 10 reverse mortgage lender HighTechLending (HTL) and will lead the company’s new pursuits alongside co-owner and COO Erika Macias.

Peskin spoke to RMD about the move. He shed light on why now was the right time to move into an ownership role at the lender, what he hopes to accomplish and the place the reverse mortgage product will continue to play in the company’s pursuits.

The move to HighTech

In early 2023, Peskin and Eric Ellsworth joined HighTechLending initially as president and EVP of reverse sales, respectively. Their arrival came around the same time as the sudden and unexpected death of Don Currie, the company’s founder and longtime president. Currie had sought to bring both men in and work alongside them, Peskin explained.

David Peskin, president of HighTechLending.Looking to the future

The closure of RMF was a major shock to the reverse mortgage industry, and when asked about his thoughts on the situation as he takes a leading role at another company he said he is primarily focused on the future.

“I ran the origination side of the business, and was heavily focused on growing our origination platform,” he said. “We had a great team there, and did a great job building an outstanding origination platform. I know people loved working for us, so we’ll build the same culture.”

But Peskin also has a passion for the reverse mortgage market that brought him back into the fold, he explained.

“I’m a big believer in this market, and a bigger believer in solving seniors’ cash flow problems,” he explained. “Because of that, I’m focused on the future, and setting out what I intended to do even before RMF: giving people as many options as possible so they can access their home equity for a safe and secure retirement.”

The question of forward integration

A core takeaway for him is that his previous company was exclusively focused on one product, while HighTech has more product offerings available for its professionals to use.

“One reason I’m excited to purchase HTL is that [at RMF] we only offered reverse mortgages,” he said. “HTL offers a whole suite of products. We think that if you want to properly provide the older homeowners an opportunity to access the equity in the home, you’ve got to offer more than one product. It can’t just be reverse mortgages, it has to be a suite of an overall solution to the customer [that allows them] to let them pick what the best product is for them. And that’s a very big difference.”

A rise in forward mortgage companies are interested in entering the reverse mortgage space.

“Over time, people can learn both products, especially with the use of technology,” he explained. “But I don’t see how you can do [either] without having proper internal support. That’s why it’s so important to have a great support team that knows the diversity of products.”

Older people have a well-documented preference to remain in their homes, but the sentiment around tapping home equity remains low, he recognized.

“I know there are studies saying people don’t want to access the equity in their home, but at the end of the day for a lot of older homeowners, if they want to remain in their home they’re going to have to access their equity. But a reverse mortgage may not be the right product for them.”

Communicating to the industry

Peskin doesn’t expect to make any major changes to HighTech once the deal to buy Currie’s shares is finalized, outside of bringing more people into the fold, he said. He wants the industry to know that the company will be looking to go where older clients feel they need to, which includes a broader product mix than strictly reverse mortgages.

“You’ve got to look at it realistically,” he said. “You need to ask, ‘what do these customers need based on their current situation?’ And if I’ve got products to serve them today, or five-to-ten years from now, then I can build a business around that. I don’t think you can just look at today, you’ve got to look at how to help our loan officers be successful in growing their business.”

The only way to do that, he said, is with products that can meet the needs of both clients while emphasizing the strengths of employees.

“Loan officers need a good diversification of products, and the ability to offer those products,” he said.

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