How one wholesale mortgage executive reached the top

Today, she serves as senior managing director at Pennymac Loan Services LLC. overseeing a team of 70. “The broker and non-delegated correspondents segments is what we call our TPO [third party originations],” she said in describing her role. “I drive channel strategy on revenue for that.”

In her role, she drives solutions for brokers and non-delegated correspondent clients, helping them grow their business while ensuring a “great client experience,” she said. “And just create more revenue for the customers in that segment,” she added.

Establishing a business in the midst of a pandemic

It may sound like an easy trajectory, but her path was met with challenges – something to be expected of a business that was hatched just prior to the global COVID-19 pandemic. “We’ve definitely seen some challenges in building the TPO business,” she said. “We launched in 2018 and were still a nascent business at the time of the pandemic. So we were still building systems and building our team and there were some interesting moments in the market surrounding risk and volatility. We were dealing with all this while we’re still building and other companies were moving in and out of the market daily.”

That relentless drive would yield dividends: “The broker community really leaned on us at the time as a stable source of liquidity for the channel,” she said. “And then with that came the responsibility of optimizing capacity and maintaining that day to day. It was really a growth experience navigating through that being a young business, navigating a global pandemic and everything that was going on in the financial markets at the time.”

The hard work has paid off: By some measures, Pennymac TPO is now the nation’s third-largest wholesale lender – a status Nichols played an instrumental role in reaching. She’s come a long, long way from making copies.


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