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New Mortgage CEO at Chase

Kevin Watters has just 2 years' experience in mortgage lending

Dec. 18, 2012

By Mortgage Daily staff

The nation's second-biggest residential lender, JPMorgan Chase & Co., has a new chief executive officer for its home loan business. The executive has just two years' experience in mortgage lending, though he has been at the bank for more than a decade.

An announcement Tuesday indicated that Kevin Watters is being named CEO of mortgage banking at the financial services behemoth.

Watters replaces Frank Bisignano, who took over the unit in February 2011. Bisignano became co-chief operating officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co. in July.

Including time at Bank One, which was previously acquired by Chase, Watters has been with the New York-based company for 13 years.

While at Chase, he ran mortgage origination and led the customer experience across mortgage banking. He moved to mortgage lending from business banking in June 2010 and oversaw production from the retail, consumer direct, correspondent lending and rural housing channels.

photo of Kevin Watters
JPMorgan photo of Kevin Watters

Walters obtained a bachelor's degree from Lehigh University and an MBA from the University of Virginia.

The mortgage business now falls within the consumer and community banking division. Watters will report to the co-CEO of the division, Gordon Smith.

In today's announcement, Bisignano said Watters was one of the key architects of a return to profitability for mortgage banking.

His new boss also praised him.

"Under his leadership, we have achieved record revenue and net income in mortgage originations, improved our market share, and perhaps most important, greatly improved our customers' experience at Chase," Smith said in the news release. "He's a great leader, colleague and culture carrier."

Watters takes over a business that had $147 billion in residential production last year -- making it the second-biggest mortgage originator behind Wells Fargo & Co. This year, Chase is on track to exceed $170 billion.

Chase serviced $815 billion in mortgages for third parties as of Sept. 30, while it owned an additional $181 billion in residential loans.

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