Blair Cowan, TD Bank
No. 2 HELOC Volume (2014)
By Victor Whitman
In the mortgage business, the location often
determines what sort of loans ;ow through the door.
That’s certainly true for Manhattan-based originator
Blair Cowan, who works in the ;ve boroughs and
high-priced suburbs around New York City.
Cowan, a mortgage loan o;cer at TD Bank’s o;ce
on 444 Madison Ave., can see St. Patrick’s Cathedral out the window and is a block from Rockefeller
Center, where the giant Christmas tree is lit up for
the holidays starting in November.
New York’s rapidly rising home values have translated into a big demand for jumbo loans, construction loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs),
and Cowan’s numbers re;ect that.
In 2014, Cowan tallied $9.8 million in HELOC originations, ranking him second in the nation on Scotsman
Guide’s annual Top Originators list. Cowan’s overall
volume of $47.4 million came from just 68 closed
loans, an average of $697,000 per loan.
The New York City market is unique for its size and
high prices across all areas of the city, but some of
the boroughs, such as Brooklyn, have seen an even
greater explosion in home values. Cowan says the
market for HELOCs bounced back fairly quickly, and
TD Bank has been aggressive in extending lines of
credit. Some other big banks in the city are still reluctant to do HELOCs, he says, which has helped
reduce the competition.
Victor Whitman is chief reporter of Scotsman Guide Media.
Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Certain banks, the big U. S. banks in our market, haven’t come back to it fully, or they alienated enough
clients in the last downturn by removing home equities [and] turning o; the line access,” Cowan says.
“These are all the things that happen with a ;nancial
downfall. I am sure clients just got a bad taste and
chose not to continue a relationship with the bank.”
Cowen says he prefers working on the more complex deals, and his background in ;nance supports
that. Initially, he got into the mortgage business
right out of college in 1990.
After a two-year stint as a mortgage originator,
Cowan went back to school and earned a Master
of Business Administration and worked for several
years as a corporate ;nance analyst. In 2003, however, he returned to mortgage banking and has
been doing loans ever since.
He says his ;nancial knowledge has been a
pathway to longevity and success in his career.
His background enables him to explain complex
deals in simple terms or get deep down into the details with clients, many of whom work on Wall Street.
“There are plenty of clients that have a lot more
acumen than I do ;nancially, but I know when I am
on the phone with that client, I am generally the
expert on mortgages,” Cowan says. “They may be
a bond trader making a million a year. I try to use
that and try to provide information in as detailed or
general a context as they like. That is really it.”
For the sixth consecutive year, we
compiled the industry’s most comprehensive list of the nation’s top
mortgage originators. The rankings
include not only the originators who
closed the most dollar volume and
the most loans, but also the leaders
in niche areas, like Federal Housing
Administration, U.S. Department of
Veterans A;airs and U.S. Department
of Agriculture loans as well as home
equity lines of credit.
View Scotsman Guide’s
Top Originators 2014 at
Enter Scotsman Guide’s
Top Originators 2015 at
Deadline: January 29, 2016