For the seventh year in a row,
we compiled the industry’s most
comprehensive list of the nation’s top
mortgage originators. The rankings
include not only the originators who
are closing the most dollar volume
and the most loans, but also the
leaders in niche areas, like Federal
Housing Administration, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U. S.
Department of Agriculture loans as
well as home equity lines of credit.
View Scotsman Guide’s
Top Originators 2015 at
By Rob Crow
Ben Cohen, a native of Toledo, Ohio, always had a
certain drive about him.
When he was 12, he was a paperboy. Four years later, he created his own auto-detailing business. That
drive also pushed him as a competitive swimmer
all the way through college. After graduating with
a business degree specializing in management-information systems, the drive helped Cohen find
success as a technical architect for an IT company.
After traveling the world in that position for several
years, Cohen became comfortable building relationships, putting customers first, maintaining communication and delivering on promises. He wasn’t as
comfortable, however, being told on a daily basis
where he needed to be, and when.
“I always had the drive. I just needed the opportunity to control my own destiny,” Cohen says.
A meeting with the head of a mortgage company led Cohen to take a leap of faith and leave his
high-paying tech job for one in the mortgage industry. More than a decade later, thanks in large part to
his drive, Cohen’s decision has paid off handsomely.
Cohen, now senior vice president of mortgage
lending at Chicago-based Guaranteed Rate, has become one of the nation’s top mortgage originators.
In Scotsman Guide’s Top Originators 2015 rankings,
Cohen placed ninth on the Top Dollar Volume list,
with $256.4 million in closed loans. That marked a
Rob Crow was online content editor for Scotsman Guide Media.
For questions regarding this article, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
$102.5 million increase over his 2014 volume, good
enough for a 10th place showing on the 2015 Top
Volume Gain list.
Cohen says there were several reasons for his strong
showing in the rankings and for him topping a
quarter-billion dollars in originations last year for
the first time.
“As I continue to be in this business longer and
longer, I meet more and more people,” he says. “But,
honestly, I’ve got to attribute a lot of it to my team.
… My team is everything to me, and I couldn’t be
where I am without them.”
In the office, that team includes an operations group
that gives Cohen more time to sell and develop relationships with borrowers. Outside the office, the
team begins with his wife, Teri, with whom Cohen
has three young sons.
Cohen also credits that team with allowing him to
find a balance between his work life and his personal
life — although, even when he and his family go on
vacation, Cohen’s drive doesn’t go away.
“I travel a lot, but I work everywhere I go. Unfortunately, that’s just the price you pay if you want to be
really good at what you do and originate a lot of volume,” he says. “I joke with everybody that I don’t like
to miss a phone call, because when I do, they just call
the next person on the list.”
Ben Cohen, Guaranteed Rate
No. 9 Top Dollar Volume (2015), No. 10 Top Volume Gain (2015)