I’ve known Mike Matheson professionally for years, but I finally got an opportunity to work with him earlier this year when a common client required we produce a nightly XML export out of Backshop in the C-MISMO data standard.
Mike, who sold a technology company to Midland and has a successful consulting company, Solve Development, has probably spent more time promoting C-MISMO than just about anyone.
After “brainstorming” on how to fix the industry, we both agreed that getting better information flows is a critical component and, along with the CMSA, C-MISMO and the MBA are leaders in trying to get traction.
I am willing and anxious to join the board of C-MISMO to help get some traction in acceptance of both data and underwriting standards.
Here is Mike’s letter of recommendation:
I got to know Jim while working with a common client going live on Backshop. The client was requiring Jim to create a nightly XML feed from Backshop out to a downstream data warehouse. The client directed Jim that the data structure of this nightly XML feed needed to be MISMO compliant.
I was brought in as an advisor to assist with the structure, and we successfully completed the project in June 2008. The experience not only left me impressed with Backshop, it also became clear that Jim has a unique position and knowledge as a bridge between the business needs and the technology required to make it so. Jim is a recognized innovator in the industry, helping bringing process improvements and standardization to all his clients.
In the past eight years, Jim and his companies have developed a web based loan origination system and earned clients and adoption by leading lenders such as Bank of America, RBS Greenwich Capital, CWCapital, NATIXIS, AIG, Genworth Financial, Hypo International and others. This speaks not only of Jim’s ability to understand the industry data problems and develop solutions, but also of his ability to get others on board with implementing change. In the process he has helped to prove that data structures and commercial real estate underwriting can be standardized.
Currently, Jim and company are working with the rating agencies to use Backshop as the “calculator” to re-underwrite the loans to apply the appropriate ratings for new CMBS issuance. The plan is to have Backshop issuers disclose their underwritings to the rating agencies via an XML transfer that includes cash flows tied out to rent rolls. This disclosure is significantly greater than the current standard of a flat “data tape” excel file with underwritings delivered in non-standardized Excel models.
Also, the firm is in the process of launching three new services. First, a “CMBS investor” site is launching in January 2009 that will bring standardized underwriting tools to investors. The product is essentially Backshop with the CMSA’s IRP data loaded and updated monthly with bond pricing and cash flow analysis from a product called Conquest, which CMBS.com acquired in 2005. In addition to allowing investors to perform “top down” analysis and loss projections, users will be able to perform “bottom up” analysis starting with the rent roll.
Second, a site for mortgage bankers is launching in February where brokers can create packages for financing requests that leverage the standardized underwriting tools used by the lenders. By brokers and lenders using the same calculator, greater efficiency and transparency is achieved.
Finally, CMBS.com is launching a site for primary servicers so they can perform their reporting functions to the master servicers in a more efficient way. The goal is to standardize the format of rent rolls and operating statements so the data can more easily flow through from the primary, to the master servicers, to the trustees, and ultimately to the investors.
As head of CMBS.com, Jim has the experience in standardizing underwriting and data for all participants in the CRE finance process. He has firsthand experience with existing MISMO data standards has already implemented substantial standardization and change to many of the market participants. His current plans are to expand this standardization with investors, brokers and servicers. His expertise and experiences would be greatly beneficial to the governance, adoption and success of C-MISMO. Jim is one of very few people who are truly equipped to help lead MISMO adoption and implementation, and therefore I am nominating him for CMISMO Governance.
For more information on Jim or CMBS.com visit www.cmbs.com or his blog located at www.cmbs2point0.com
Thanks Mike. Transparent standards today!
For more information: www.mismo.org
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Jim Flaherty is CEO of CMBS.com and the creator of the Backshop loan origination system. He is a trained credit professional with experience installing enterprise underwriting systems for commercial real estate lenders, rating agencies and investors.