ICE’s Joe Tyrrell on the Black Knight acquisition
ICE Mortgage Technology President Joe Tyrrell answers frequently asked questions about the Black Knight acquisition.
What do you believe will be the biggest impact for the industry with the acquisition of Black Knight?
In terms of the biggest impacts that this acquisition will have on the industry, I would highlight a few areas. First, it will be the openness and choice that lenders will have, as we at ICE have consistently demonstrated our commitment over the past 20 years to access and transparency in the mortgage industry, which we plan to extend to the Black Knight business.
We are investing in the modernization of MSP, in order to make it easier for lenders and servicers to access their data, interact with APIs and better enable partners to integrate with the Black Knight technology. In addition, we will drive greater integration across all the solutions, to improve the lender’s experience and eliminate unnecessary friction.
Also, we are accelerating our delivery of automation with a focus on cost reduction for the lender, which we expect will ultimately lower the cost of a mortgage for the consumer. We see big opportunities to reduce the cost of origination and the cost of servicing by leveraging increased automation throughout the life of the loan.
It is also important to remember that Black Knight was being approached by a number of entities to acquire them, including private equity firms, as indicated in recent public filings. If ICE was not acquiring Black Knight, they would have been acquired by someone else, who may not be fully committed to serving lenders long-term, or to making investments that enable greater access to data and open networks, but instead focus on a series of immediate changes with a short-term perspective.
ICE, on the other hand, has extensive experience in the mortgage industry, we have publicly stated our intention to invest significantly in a number of the Black Knight solutions, including MSP and Empower, and we are committed for the long-term in serving this industry and lenders specifically.
ICE Mortgage Technology (and formerly Ellie Mae) has talked a lot about automating everything automatable in the mortgage industry. Does anything change in your automation mission if ICE acquires a loan servicing system?
It doesn’t change our automation mission at ICE, but what it does allow, is our ability to accelerate the delivery of value to lenders and homebuyers. Not only is the mortgage process still heavily analog, but it is also highly fragmented, especially from a homebuyer’s perspective. If I am purchasing a home, I have one experience when I am shopping for a mortgage, I have another experience when I apply, then another when I am submitting required documents and then still another once my loan is funded and I am making payments or checking my balance.
Homebuyers are often having to go through this entire process by interacting with multiple systems and interfaces, as opposed to having one consistent experience from start to finish. We see an opportunity for creating a single consumer experience, where a lender can provide every home buyer step and action through an intuitive single consumer engagement solution.