CEO of Lending Group Argues for ‘Looking Beyond’ Race and Gender, Focusing on ‘Character’

The chief executive officer of a California lending group is urging industry leaders to ignore policy initiatives that target individuals based on race and sex, dismissing such measures as “baloney” and stressing the need to focus on individual character.

William Tessar, the CEO of Civic Lending Services, told Mortgage Professional America this week that his company has achieved “diversity targets” not by specifically setting out to fill them but by following a philosophy of “get[ting] the best people” when they’re needed.

“You’d better look beyond all the other baloney about ethnicity and gender and age, and just focus on the character of the person and the qualities they bring to the organization,” he said, arguing that “it’s actually rather easy and it’s surprising that more people don’t do it.”

“We do these surveys every quarter, and our diversity and inclusion score is four times higher than the industry benchmark,” he continued. “We scored like a nine/five, which is also twice higher than the previous survey last year about inclusion and diversity.”

Tessar himself “was ranked among the top 15 best CEOs by employees of color and rated the third best CEO for women” in two industry publications recently, MPA reports.