Curriculum Vitae of Stephen D. Morrison, CMB
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, f/k/a Norwest Mortgage Banking (Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Wells Fargo Funding and all mortgage related subsidiaries)
1981-1985 Assoc. Gen. Counsel and Asst. Sec. 1983-1985 AVP.
1985-1998 General Counsel and Secretary 1985-1988 VP.
1986-1998 Board of Directors and Operating Committee
1998-2008 SVP Government and Industry Relations
Morrison’s experience at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage (WFHM) since 1986, when the headquarters was moved to Des Moines, Iowa and the company basically restarted, has been a combination of legal and general business management. On the business side, in 1986-1987 he was responsible for coordination of almost all of the home office support functions such as Human Resources, IT, Communications, and Forms and Supplies, which WFHM purchased from its affiliate Norwest Financial. As WFHM grew each of these functions was developed into a separate area staffed and managed by WFHM personnel. He was also managed the Quality Assurance group (QCMS) located in Minneapolis during three separate periods, 1986-1988, 1990-1991, and 1993, due to various management reorganizations as WFHM grew rapidly. From 1990-1992 he coordinated WFHM’s efforts with respect to Norwest Corporation’s due diligence projects. In 1994 Morrison created from scratch a Fair Lending Department which became a separate business unit in 1996. Morrison was selected to represent WFHM on the Board of Mortgage Electronic Systems, Inc (MERS) in 1995 and was elected as the first Chairman of the Board when MERS was officially incorporated and served as Chairman until 2000. In addition, he was a founder and a director for several years of the Norwest Housing Foundation, a not-for-profit organization created by Norwest Mortgage employees to provide solutions to housing needs in Norwest communities. Morrison’s most recent responsibilities in Government and Industry Relations involved working with industry groups and with state and local legislators and regulators to create a set of legislative and regulatory reforms that were acceptable to WFHM.
On the legal side Morrison managed the legal needs of the growth of WFHM from a $4 Billion Originator in 1989 to the nation’s largest originator in 1997 at $55 Billion. Servicing, which in 1989 had just restarted after a four-year break with $1 Billion, grew to $205 Billion in 1997. WFHM went from a retail mortgage originator in 1986 to a family of over 30 subsidiaries (with Morrison on their Boards) providing real estate lending services such as title, appraisal, credit, flood, tax service and electronic real estate listing information, both to WFHM and to many third party customers. The Legal Department that he shaped and managed went from one attorney in 1986 to twelve attorneys and six paralegals in 1998. During this time Morrison helped negotiate and close several major (over $10 Billion) asset acquisitions such as Prudential Home Mortgage, Directors Mortgage Loan Corp., BarclaysAmerican/Mortgage and Independence One Mortgage, and many smaller purchases and sales of servicing, whole loans, new branch locations, and operating subsidiaries as well as the creation of a blueprint for real estate and title joint ventures.
Before joining Norwest Mortgage Banking, Morrison was with the city’s attorney’s office in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he was primarily legal counsel for the St. Paul Housing Authority. Prior to this, Morrison was in private law practice in Duluth, Minnesota.
Morrison is admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Federal District Courts in Minnesota and all state courts in Minnesota and Iowa. In 1973, he graduated with high honors from the University of Minnesota of Mechanical Engineering and graduated cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1976. Morrison was awarded the designation of Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB) by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America in October, 1999.
Morrison has been a key player in several projects that have had significant impact on the mortgage banking industry. He led the joint trade group task force between MBA, ALTA and AEA to create Uniform Closing Instructions. He was instrumental in the creation of the controversial TOP product as a title insurance substitute. He was a significant participant in the creation and development of MERS. He developed a Mortgage Reform legislative concept and introduced it in 1986 to the MBA, CMC and RESPRO© trade groups. That concept now forms the nucleus for the RESPA Rule finally issued by HUD in 2008. As two time Chairman of the Legal Issues, Regulatory Compliance and Quality Assurance Committee of the MBA he introduced the MBA’s class action lawsuit information sharing process and convinced the MBA to hire Coordinating Counsel to manage the information and help smaller MBA members successfully fight class actions involving the industry.
Morrison served on the Mortgage Bankers Association of America Legislative Committee, Regulatory Compliance Sub Committee (Chairman 1991-1993), Quality Assurance Sub Committee, Financial Institutions Committee (Co-Chairman 1996-1999), Legal Issues Full Committee (Vice Chairman 1997, Chairman 1998-1999 and Vice Chairman 2006, Chairman 2007-2009) and the State and Local Legislative and Regulatory Committee (Chairman 2001-2003). In addition, he represented Wells Fargo Home Mortgage as a Director and Secretary of the Real Estate Services Providers Council (RESPRO) (1994-2008) and as Chairman of the Board of the Electronic Financial Services Council (EFSC) and its successor, the Electronic Signatures and Records Association (ESRA) 2000-2008.