Lower hires Craig Montgomery as chief strategy officer

By Real Estate News

Digital multichannel lender Lower has hired industry veteran Craig Montgomery, previously the chief production officer at CrossCountry Mortgage (CCM), as its chief strategy officer. 

Montgomery “will oversee retail strategy and expand the company’s tech-driven platform, which provides origination teams the resources they need to achieve their goals,” the company said in a statement.  

Montgomery spent the past 11 years at CCM, where he started as director of branch operations in 2013 and became the chief production officer in 2017. During this period, CCM became the 10th-largest mortgage lender in the U.S., with $6.6 billion in origination in the first quarter of 2024, up 14% year over year, according to Inside Mortgage Finance. Before that, Montgomery was a branch operations manager at Nations Lending Corp

“Getting someone with his experience and proven track record is a big win for the company,” Snyder said in prepared comments. 

​​A spokesperson at CCM declined to comment on Montgomery’s new appointment. 

Montgomery’s comments about the new job position highlighted Lower’s entrepreneurial spirit and the support of institutional investors such as Accel, Veritex Holdings and SoFi

Montgomery is arriving at a company that has invested in organic growth — as well as via mergers and acquisitions — to become a top-five national lender. 

In November 2023, Lower announced the acquisition of Colorado-based Universal Lending Home Loans. A month later, Lower added Texas-based Thrive Mortgage. The financials of the deals were not disclosed.

In an interview with HousingWire in April, Snyder said that more deals may come since he plans to acquire another business this year. According to Snyder, if he finds a good company, he’s willing to pay a premium to the owners.

Lower announced in June 2021 that it had raised $100 million in a Series A funding round led by venture capital firm Accel. Another minority stakeholder at Lower is Veritex Holdings, the parent company of Veritex Community Bank. 

According to the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS), Lower had 613 sponsored loan officers and 109 active branches as of Monday. Lower claims that the Thrive acquisition made it the country’s 25th-largest mortgage lender.