The next chapter for Ellie Mae – Announcing my retirement

Just one month ago, we announced the intent of Intercontinental Exchange, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange and a global leader of financial services, to acquire Ellie Mae. Last week we announced that the acquisition had closed. This is an exciting new chapter in the story of Ellie Mae.

Yesterday, I announced my retirement from Ellie Mae. 

The time that I have spent working with each of you has been the highlight of my career. In the 18 years since I first walked through the doors at Ellie Mae, I’ve watched so many of you learn and grow.  You’ve risen through the ranks, taken on new roles and helped to drive the company’s success. In addition, we’ve supported one another personally.  We’ve welcomed new babies, watched kids go off to college, experienced marriages, graduations, anniversaries, and celebrations. We’ve also seen one another through times of great loss and sorrow, always coming together with a spirit of kindness and respect that brings me great pride when I call you teammates. 

We have been through so much together.  From our early days of literally handing out copies of Encompass, lender by lender, to weathering the mortgage crisis of 2007 and great recession that followed. We’ve dealt with the onslaught of new regulations, the shift from a broker-centric market to a banker-centric market, going public, going private and now becoming part of one of the largest companies in the world.  It is such an amazing story, how this little-known website company (with about 75 employees and $5 million in revenue when I joined) has grown to become the most recognizable name in a trillion-dollar industry.  We did all of this as a team. One Team. One Score. One Star.  I attribute this tremendous success to the talented family of Ellie Mae teammates that embraced our mission and came to work every day ready to make a difference.

The mission and the people. That is what this has always been about for me. 

Along the way, we have made so many lasting changes in this industry. With our unique strategy in Encompass of focusing on the user instead of the paper, we created personas to help our lenders be more effective and efficient than their competitors. We pioneered “success based pricing” to truly become our client’s partner in success. We made compliance a competitive advantage that has enabled our clients to safely navigate every regulatory change without skipping a beat. We modernized our platform by introducing APIs and microservices, essentially changing all four tires and the engine, while the car was driving down the freeway at 90 MPH. We saw the fruits of our NG labor by successfully deploying the largest lender in the industry on our completely web-based, task oriented architecture.

These have been amazing accomplishments, and we couldn’t have done it without the passion and dedication of our Ellie Mae family. As we move forward, into another new adventure, I truly believe that the best is yet to come. With our Ellie Mae AIQ solutions, we will again move the industry forward by turning documents into automation quality data. We will evolve the traditional forms-centric processes into task-based workflows for retail and wholesale lenders, just as we have done in the correspondent channel. With Simplifile and MERS, we will create the industry’s only true end-to-end eClosing solution, from initial disclosures to eRecording and straight through to eRegistration. Additionally, with the help and expertise of ICE, we are poised to unlock the power of our data and become the leading provider of information in the mortgage industry.  

While my personal chapter with Ellie Mae comes to an end, the story of Ellie Mae continues. As we turn the page there are big opportunities ahead, with an entire industry looking to us to automate everything automatable. We will help lenders run and grow their businesses, while forever changing the way that lending gets done. We are not just uniquely positioned to realize the vision of a true digital mortgage, but we are the only ones who can make it a reality.

To get the job done, it will require a renewed commitment to excellence, as you have all shown me many times before. To lead our Ellie Mae team to the next level, I am excited to announce that Joe Tyrrell, our Chief Operating Officer and someone who I have known and trusted for 18 years, will take over the helm as President of ICE Mortgage Technology, effective today. Ellie Mae, Simplifile and MERS will now report to Joe. I have passed the baton to Joe, and now I can move on knowing that you are in excellent hands. 

With Joe leading the organization, and with the addition of MERS and Simplifile, as well as the support of ICE, we will absolutely achieve our North Star of automation. I also take great comfort in knowing that the special culture that we have created, will continue to flourish under Joe’s leadership along with our incredible group of teammates. We will continue to truly care about our customers and one another and we will continue to focus on giving back and always assuming best intentions. I will be supporting Joe in an advisory role through the end of Q1, so I won’t be too far away, but I know that our team is in great hands.

I want to finish by thanking Maya for all she has done as an amazing and loyal confidant, assistant and friend. She has kept me sane and organized over the last 7 years. I want to sincerely thank every Ellie Mae teammate, past and present, for your support and contributions to the organization, and, more importantly, for your friendship. I’d like to thank our lenders for your partnership and belief in our mission. I am so grateful to my wife Rae, and my children for supporting me during the many late nights, working weekends and all the constant travel. I am really looking forward to spending more time with them. Finally, I am forever thankful for Sig Anderman, our founder, and my mentor and friend.

Thank you for letting me add my chapter to the Ellie Mae story. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Sincerely,

Jonathan



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