Origins: FAR CMO Chris Moschner on his path into the reverse mortgage business

No set path exists for any professional to enter the reverse mortgage industry. People often find themselves in the business from various other professions. It’s the case for Finance of America Companies  (FOA) Chief Marketing Officer Chris Moschner.

Arriving at FOA following its acquisition of American Advisors Group (AAG) last year, Moschner already had a successful marketing career before joining the industry’s leading lender. He discusses his professional journey and what he finds “intoxicating” about the reverse mortgage business as a marketer.

Marketing beginnings

Most of Moschner’s career has been spent at what he calls “traditional” or “classic” consumer products marketing, he said in an interview with RMD. He spent most of his career at the multinational consumer goods conglomerate Procter & Gamble (P&G) in Cincinnati and continues to operate from there today.

Chris Moschner, CMO at Finance of America Companies, industry-leading reverse mortgage lender.
Chris Moschner

Working for P&G gave Moschner access to marketing assignments for a lot of international and domestic brands, which offered a baseline of classic marketing principles he would take further into his career.

Over the past seven years, Moschner has worked primarily in financial services marketing with a focus on the life and annuity space, he said.

“I worked for two companies, one called Bright House Financial, where I was on the ground floor launching that brand as it spun off from MetLife,” he said. “And then I found my way over to another life insurer called Protected Life, where I was the chief marketing officer. There was nothing frankly wrong with those roles, and I was enjoying them very much, but then my phone rang about [two years] ago.”

Leaping into reverse mortgages

That phone call was from AAG, and Moschner spoke with the lender’s founder and CEO to discuss the possibility of jumping into the industry’s leading reverse mortgage lender. After a good conversation, Moschner found himself really taken with the reverse mortgage product category, he said.

“I find this category intoxicating from a marketer’s perspective,” he explained. “It’s the combination of the opportunity ahead of us that we all know, where the [demographic has trillions] in equity. You’ve got this retirement crisis, you’ve got a solution hiding in plain sight, yet massive customer inertia.”

Beyond those dynamics, Moschner sees the issues that the industry has had connecting with older borrowers as, fundamentally, a marketing problem he thinks he could affect positively for his company and the wider sector.

“It comes down to the idea that if there’s a solution that people aren’t understanding, then it’s just a matter of this idea that we either haven’t given them the right insight or tapped into the right need, used the right language or made them the right offer,” he said. “I believe we can use some of those things that I’ve learned across my career to make a positive impact not just for Finance of America, but for the category in general.”

Move to FOA

Moschner served in his role at AAG for roughly five to six months before one of the biggest moves of industry consolidation came into view: FOA’s acquisition of AAG.

While FOA and its reverse-specific subsidiary Finance of America Reverse (FAR) had been a major, leading player in the space for some time, the AAG acquisition would see them become the dominant player virtually overnight.

“I have now, since April, been leading the combined marketing entity of the two,” he said. “I’ve overseen how we’ve really brought these teams together, and [most of the past year] has really been about integration. Putting two teams together, putting our processes together, putting our technology stacks together, all of that is really how I got here.”

New opportunities, moving the needle on reverse mortgages

While being acquired by another company relatively soon into his AAG tenure was not on his “career roadmap,” Moschner sees a real opportunity to expand the business now that much of the initial dust from the acquisition has settled, he said.

“Now that we’re here, I think this is such an incredible gift,” he said. “[We’ve] brought together the power of the AAG marketing model and the performance marketing model that we have with FAR’s product portfolio, which [we plan on] expanding. I think that is going to be a ‘secret sauce,’ and now that we’re here I’m even more excited about what’s ahead.”

While AAG offered FAR’s proprietary reverse mortgages through a correspondent partnership in the past, being a single entity allows the companies to leverage the marketing muscle that AAG has built over its existence with the product catalog maintained by FAR. On top of that, with the macroeconomic environment slowly improving, Moschner’s optimism has grown, he said.

“And again, as a marketer, I believe we can impact change, and I believe we are one of the big levers that are going to really unlock this category going forward.”