Stephen Nicolo serves as the architect behind a growing force in the fintech market: an open-API enterprise platform that’s reshaping the $13 trillion servicing market.
Stephen understands the future of mortgage servicing technology must be built on sound financial footing; in an environment where every detail is highly regulated, he built an investment framework that allows Sagent to identify and pursue partnership opportunities that benefit the firm, its clients, and the mortgage ecosystem at large. Every month, Sagent’s next-gen servicing platforms streamline over 1 million homeowner interactions, process over $1.15 billion in one-time payments, and facilitate 49,000+ recurring automated payments, 45% of which happen on a mobile device.
Given his profound impact at Sagent, it seems only fitting that Stephen Nicolo has been named a winner of HousingWire’s 2023 Finance Leaders award.
According to HousingWire:
These execs have been faced with navigating a complex and rapidly-changing landscape that includes the rollercoaster ride of low inventory, rising mortgage rates and shifting regulations. Despite these challenges, the winners of the 2023 HW Finance Leaders awards have demonstrated exceptional leadership, determination and peak financial acumen all while driving their organizations’ success.
Read on to learn more about Stephen’s impact at Sagent.
Stephen’s Impact at Sagent
As Sagent works hand-in-hand with its servicing customers to evolve its three core platforms synced by real-time data, the company relies on Stephen to manage both incremental finance investments with existing stakeholders, including a leading private equity firm, and outside dealmaking with strategic partners and acquisition targets.
Over the last 12 months, Stephen solidified Sagent’s sound financial position through the development of detailed expense management processes while pursuing and modeling key M&A opportunities in the marketplace, most notable of which was Sagent’s landmark deal with Mr. Cooper to create the mortgage industry’s first cloud-native homeowner-first servicing platform.
In 2022, Stephen and his team finalized a complex, multi-year deal in which Sagent traded an equity stake for intellectual property rights related to Mr. Cooper’s technology platform for mortgage servicing. While the close of the deal validated Stephen’s financial model and marked a key milestone ongoing development of Sagent platforms, it also represented the beginning of an extended integration process that saw over 200 engineers joining Sagent.
The two firms united with a common goal: to replace an aging industry infrastructure by incrementally building cloud-native, homeowner-first pathways and ultimately enable action based on real-time data sync for servicers, customers, regulators, and partners. Stephen ensured a seamless transition and continues to work hand-in-hand with the Mr. Cooper team to build a profitable platform for innovation for Sagent’s servicing customers.
Over the last 12 months, Stephen and his finance team have also:
- Partnered with internal product and customer success teams on operations, compliance, and specialty projects and identified opportunities to position, price, and sell these new and existing products to the wider marketplace.
- Developed a financial framework for incremental investment into existing product and engineering teams while modeling the business impact of outside partnership and acquisition opportunities.
- Supported a real-time budgeting model that enables expense management across the organization and allows for rapid innovation within an existing, profitable framework and an eye to quarterly targets.
- Maintained a culture of accountability by working closely with compliance teams and providing transparent, detailed financial reporting to key investors.
How Stephen Personifies Sagent’s Core Values as a Finance Leader
As he led a seamless integration of the Mr. Cooper technology team, Stephen exemplified Sagent’s core values:
- Relevant: Stephen understands financial decisions aren’t made in a vacuum — they must always serve the needs of the customer and the wider interests of the business. By building toward Sagent’s strategic vision with in-the-trenches tactical insight, he combines aspiration and execution for timely client service.
- Relentless: Stephen embraces the complexity of the mortgage ecosystem and tirelessly empowers rapid fintech innovation within deep compliance and regulatory frameworks. By pinpointing areas of friction and allocating the human and financial resources needed to alleviate them, he keeps Sagent accountable to its servicing customers and homeowners themselves.
- Reliable: When helping clients and colleagues tackle the most pressing challenges, Stephen maintains an authentic, humble mindset. As America’s biggest banks and lenders look to Sagent for support and guidance throughout all market cycles, they can count on Stephen’s deep subject matter expertise and strategic guidance.
Stephen helps keep Sagent profitable at scale by holding the company to a diligent expense management framework, all while encouraging rapid innovation by providing internal teams with the resources they need to best serve clients and achieve wider business goals.