Insight grows from Experience

In the wake of the global financial crisis, Washington, Wall Street and world markets have merged.  Financial services firms need the right blend of knowledge, judgment and reach from their partners.

The Collingwood Group is a team of seasoned professionals who have been deeply engaged in business and financial management, domestic and international secondary markets, federal procurement, risk and loss management, mortgage origination and servicing, property management and disposition, technology development and marketing, capital markets and capital raising activities, and communications and public policy.

The range of the team’s experience is extraordinary.

Collingwood Executive Management

Washington DC Business Portrait for Collingwood

Tim Rood is the Chairman of The Collingwood Group, which he co-founded in 2009.  Mr. Rood was co-founder and managing director of the firm’s predecessor company, Capital Financial Solutions.  The Collingwood Group’s primary focus is in the financial services sector, and the firm offers advisory and consultative services combined with access to decision makers, financial sponsors, corporate boards, and senior industry executives.

Mr. Rood brings more than two decades of mortgage industry and entrepreneurial experience to The Collingwood Group.  He advises organizations to optimize the business opportunities and to mitigate and manage the risks in and around Washington, DC. Mr. Rood is a sought after and regular contributor to various national media outlets including CNBC, Bloomberg Television, FOX Business News, Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the American Banker.

Click here for most recent TV appearances:

The Collingwood Group YouTube Channel

Prior to co-founding Capital Financial Solutions and then subsequently, The Collingwood Group, Mr. Rood was a senior executive of First American Corporation and also served in senior leadership roles within Fannie Mae’s eBusiness Division.   During his tenure at Fannie Mae, Mr. Rood consulted Fortune 100 executives from insurance, financial services, and banking industries on the strategic and economic opportunities and challenges associated with residential and commercial mortgage enterprises.

Brian Montgomery is Vice Chairman of The Collingwood Group, which he co-founded in 2009. From 2005 to mid-2009, Montgomery served as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and FHA Commissioner. He was responsible for the oversight and modernization of the insurance fund’s $600 billion portfolio, HUD’s regulatory responsibilities to the housing mission of the GSEs, and the manufactured housing industry. Montgomery came to HUD and FHA from the Executive Office of the President of the United States.


Brian O'Reilly is President of The Collingwood Group, which he co-founded in 2009. O’Reilly was co-founder and managing director of the firm’s predecessor, Capital Financial Solutions. Earlier he was Fannie Mae’s Director of Automated Underwriting and Risk Management Solutions, where he managed several customer-facing technologies and the development and launch of the company’s anti-fraud solution. Before joining Fannie Mae, O’Reilly served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel to Mortgage Capital Investors and practiced law with several international law firms.

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Thomas P. Cronin, CMB is Partner and Managing Director of The Collingwood Group. Most recently, he served as Senior Managing Director of Clayton Holdings, Inc., responsible for the areas of industry, corporate and government relations. Cronin has more than 35 years of mortgage banking experience. At Clayton Holdings, Cronin focused on the performance and oversight of mortgage products and securities focusing on benefiting investors, private issuers, mortgage servicers and all effected government sponsored enterprises and regulators. Prior to joining Clayton, Mr. Cronin was a managing member of Interactive Mortgage Advisors, LLC (IMA), a company he helped launch in 2001. Cronin also served as vice chairman at Matrix Bancorp.

For over twenty years, Cronin has held leadership posts with the Mortgage Banker’s Association (MBA), the country’s leading trade organization for the mortgage banking industry on whose Board of Directors and Residential Board of Governors he has served. Most recently he was named Fellow of the Society of Certified Mortgage Bankers. From 1999 to 2001, he served as vice president and treasurer for the MBA. Cronin was most recently a member of MBA’s Audit Committee.

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Meg Burns is Partner of The Collingwood Group which she joined in 2014. Burns supports the firm’s Business Advisory and Business Development practices. Prior to Collingwood, Burns served as the Senior Associate Director of the Office of Housing and Regulatory Policy at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). There, she managed various policy and regulatory initiatives involving single-family and multifamily finance and loss mitigation strategies, as well as insurance-related activities of the government-sponsored enterprises. As such, she was actively involved in industry-wide discussions regarding the role of the federal government in addressing the mortgage crisis. Burns previously led FHFA’s Office of Congressional Affairs and Communications, where she was responsible for handling external relations for the agency.

Before joining FHFA, Meg was the Director of the Office of Single Family Program Development for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA). She oversaw all origination policies related to FHA’s single-family programs. Meg managed three divisions, handling valuation, credit policy, and counseling services.

Meg holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Connecticut College and a master’s degree in philosophy and public policy from The George Washington University.

Collingwood Managing Directors

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Tom Booker, III  is Managing Director of The Collingwood Group. Mr. Booker supports the firm’s Business Advisory and Development practice. He has 30 years of experience in securities, technology, product development, solution delivery and outsourcing. Prior to Joining Collingwood, Mr. Booker oversaw the marketing, delivery, policy and teaming activities which involve the Government Sponsored Entities for Corelogic.   Mr. Booker has served as an executive at Fannie Mae and a general Manager at the IBM Company during his career. He has a keen sense for where the markets, lenders, investors, analytics and technology meet to address the business realities and evolving demands of the real estate finance industry.

Karen Garner is Managing Director of The Collingwood Group, which she joined on January 1, 2012, following Collingwood’s acquisition of her firm, GWN Consulting.  Her areas of expertise include risk analysis, FHA lender approval, project management and lender monitoring, and she is adept at conducting training for a variety of private and public sectors, completing studies and writing technical reports based on her knowledge and experience.

Prior to founding GWN Consulting, Garner was a Partner and Project Director at Walker & Co., LLC, where she led the Government Services Practice.  The firm had contracts with the US Dept. of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) which included compliance reviews of FHA’s Single Family claims and Ginnie Mae (as a subcontractor), single family supplemental claims processing, the MIP call center and the FHA Lender Approval’s LASS contract. She also conducted research and prepared studies and procedures for USDA’s Rural Development Single Family Loan Guarantee Program.

Before joining Walker & Co., Garner was a federal government employee, serving 23 years at HUD where she held various management positions in the Quality Assurance Division and the Office of Lender Activities and Program Compliance, and was Director of the Lender Approval Division. During her public and private sector career she has planned and completed on-site compliance reviews covering loan origination, servicing, loss mitigation, claims and Ginnie Mae.  At HUD she also served as the Director of Loan Guarantee for the Office of Native American Programs.

John Garvin is Managing Director of Collingwood Multifamily Services. Prior to joining Collingwood, Garvin held various positions in the multifamily housing sector including Deputy Assistant Secretary of Multifamily Housing Programs at HUD/FHA, where he was responsible for FHA mortgage insurance loan origination; asset oversight and recapitalization of assisted properties; and the administration of Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance contracts. While at HUD he also served as Senior Advisor to the FHA Commissioner, providing policy advice focused on stabilizing credit markets, preserving healthy neighborhoods, and expanding fiscally responsible homeownership.

Garvin was the first Executive Director of the Texas Affiliation of Affordable Housing Providers (TAAHP), representing the interests of multifamily owners, developers, investors, lenders, tax credit synidcators, property managers, and public housing authorities. Prior to joining TAAHP, he served as the Director of Strategic Planning and Housing Resources for the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. He earned a B.S. in Business Economics from Bentley University and an M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Paul Mullings is is Managing Director of The Collingwood Group which he joined in 2015. Mullings supports the firm’s Business Advisory and Risk Management and Compliance practices. He has over 30 years of experience in mortgage banking. Prior to joining The Collingwood Group, Mullings served as Senior Vice President of Single Family Business at Freddie Mac where he provided strong and effective leadership during the unprecedented market and organizational upheavals. Earlier he was Senior Vice President, Manager Mortgage Finance for JP Morgan Chase. In that role Mullings re-established the multi-billion-dollar Private Label Mortgage-Backed Securitization Program and was responsible for the formalizing, strengthening and managing relationships with Government-Sponsored and Government Agencies to significantly improve profitability and streamline loan origination process.

Keith Pedigo is Managing Director of The Collingwood Group. Prior to joining the firm, Pedigo retired from a 38 year career with the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2009, having served the last 22 years of that career in senior executive positions in the Veterans Benefits Administration. Most of Pedigo’s VA career was devoted to the VA Home Loan Program where he served in various positions of responsibility, including 21 years as the National Director of the Loan Guaranty Service. During the last year and a half of his VA career he served as the Associate Deputy Under Secretary for Policy and Program Management in the Veterans Benefits Administration, where he had nationwide responsibility for policy and program management of VA’ benefit programs. Pedigo possesses broad technical knowledge of VA’s benefit programs, with significant knowledge of VA’s Home Loan Program and substantial expertise in the broader housing industry. During his VA career he was the recipient of two Presidential Rank Awards, two Department of Treasury awards for Distinction in Financial Management and the VA Secretary’s Exceptional Service Award. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and a veteran of the US Army.

Collingwood Vice President

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Ericka Bartsch is Senior Vice President of The Collingwood Group.  Prior to joining Collingwood, Bartsch worked for Fannie Mae as the Vice President of the Single Family Credit Operations Division. In this role, she was responsible for leading the credit operations teams in mortgage insurance recoveries and servicer advanced recoveries with the mission to provide liquidity, stability, and affordability to US housing and mortgage markets. Earlier in her career at Fannie Mae, Bartsch held the role of Vice President of Single Family and Credit Finance. In this role, Bartsch assumed increasing levels of accountability as part of overseeing financial activities, including budgets and administrative expenses and assessing financial implications of various single family products. She built dashboards, oversaw various financial disclosures, and forecasted financial results used to manage business.

Bonnie McCloskey is Vice President of The Collingwood Group. Prior to joining Collingwood, McCloskey worked for the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) as a senior policy analyst.  In this role, she was responsible for leading a variety of high-profile policy and technology projects, including the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Uniform Mortgage Data Program.    McCloskey also spent more than two decades with the Federal Housing Administration, serving in a number of positions within the Office of Single Family Housing.   Her work spanned all aspects of the FHA business, from quality assurance and lender oversight, to program development and information systems.  Of note, McCloskey managed all of FHA’s technology tools, including FHA Connection, the Single Family Data Warehouse, and Neighborhood Watch. McCloskey is a graduate of George Mason University in Virginia.

Managing Consultant

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Claressa Johnson is Managing Consultant of The Collingwood Group. Prior to joining Collingwood, Johnson served as the Compliance Manager for Freddie Mac. In this role, she was responsible for managing audits of mortgage servicers that participated in the Making Home Affordable (MHA) mortgage loan modification program, to validate compliance with Department of Treasury requirements. Earlier in her career, Johnson held various roles developing operational audit programs to ensure compliance with applicable regulations. Johnson holds a Masters of Science in Database Systems and Security.

Collingwood Advisors

Jeffrey Cravath is Senior Advisor to The Collingwood Group. In this role he is a key advisor on GSE matters, including business and regulatory issues, as well as potential directions for GSE reform. His primary responsibilities include Collingwood’s Risk Management, Vendor Management and Oversight, and Litigation Support Services practice areas. He is tasked with expanding the firm’s capabilities, as well as advising clients on risk management, compliance, crisis management, business development and strategic planning.

Mr. Cravath is a senior operational, strategic and legal leader, with a diverse career background in all aspects of mortgage finance and real estate development, including 18 years at Fannie Mae, as well as with private real estate and financial services consulting firms. He has extensive experience in creating and developing high functioning teams, setting the strategic direction of business and legal department units, and playing leadership roles in compliance, organizational design, governance, regulatory matters and providing strategic advice. He has extensive expertise handling high profile positions in crises management projects at Fannie Mae, including the company’s response to the sub-prime mortgage disaster, the restatement of its financials, and the Treasury’s Making Home Affordable program.

Mark DeGennaro is the General Counsel to The Collingwood Group, responsible for helping  to build the firm’s hedge fund advisory and principal investment businesses. Prior to joining The Collingwood Group, DeGennaro was a Managing Director of a privately held boutique investment-banking firm based in New York, where he held a variety of positions both on the investment banking side and in executive management, including Managing Partner, Chief Operating Officer and head of the firm’s Restructuring Advisory Group.   Earlier in his career, DeGennaro was an attorney with White & Case in New York where he worked on commercial litigation, corporate control, mergers and acquisitions, securities, bankruptcy and restructuring matters for fortune 500 companies, financial sponsors and lenders.