A.W. Pickel, III

Founder of LeaderOne Financial and Former President of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers

aw pickel - A.W. Pickel, III

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A.W. Pickel, the founder of LeaderOne Financial, one of the prominent mortgage lenders in the Midwest, discusses his experiences working within the residential mortgage field. In the interview, Pickel details the founding of LeaderOne and its transformation from a mortgage brokerage to a mortgage bank. Pickel also discusses his time at the National Association of Mortgage Brokers and his subsequent decision to establish the Kansas Association of Mortgage Brokers. He also delves into his work in authoring the Kansas mortgage banker-broker bill and the main priorities of the bill. Additionally, Pickel describes his roles on the Fannie Mae Housing Impact Advisory Council and the Freddie Mac Loan Prospector Advisory Council. He concludes by discussing his take on the financial crisis, and how it boiled down to the incorrect evaluation individuals’ ability to repay loans.

Date Recorded:
November 20, 2020

Interviewed by:
Darielle Engilman


A. W. Pickel, III served as the president of the Midwestern Division of AmCap Mortgage from 2016 until 2018 when he joined Waterstone Mortgage as their president. At Waterstone Mortgage, his duties led the company through a national rollout that opened branches in several new states. Pickel began his career as a mortgage broker by founding LeaderOne Financial Corporation in 1992. LeaderOne Financial Corporation originated mortgages in the Kansas City area, eventually reaching $1.7 billion annual origination volume. In addition, Pickel served as president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers from 2003 until 2004. He also works on the Freddie Mac IMB Advisory Board and the Mortgage Brokers Association Residential Board of Governors. A. W. Pickel received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Illinois in 1977.

Annotated Bibliography

Lerner, Michele. “Adjustable-rate Mortgages Are Making a Comeback. But Are These Loans Right for You?” Washington Post, May 2, 2019.

This article discusses the resurgence of adjustable-rate mortgages after they earned a bad reputation following the financial crisis of 2008. A. W. Pickel weighs on the advantages and disadvantages of ARMs in addition to the kind of borrowers that mortgage brokers target for ARMs.

Finkelstein, Brad. “A. W. Pickel Joins Waterstone Mortgage as President.” National Mortgage News, June 19, 2018.

This article announces that A. W. Pickel joined Waterstone Mortgage in June of 2018 to allow Eric Egenhoefer to focus on the chief executive position. It also gives a brief overview of Pickel’s prior positions, such as president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers and president of AmCap’s Mortgage’s Midwest Division.

“NAMB Past President A. W. Pickel Named Waterstone Mortgage President.” National Mortgage Professional, July2, 2018.

This article also announces A. W. Pickel’s position as president of Waterstone Mortgage in 2018. In addition, the article provides an overview of his career while also noting that Pickel would manage day-to-day operations and administrative duties. Pickel is quotedsaying he is excited to join the “sustainable and forward-thinking culture” at Waterstone Mortgage.

“Mortgage Industry Leader A. W. Pickel, III Joins AmCap Mortgage as Midwestern Division President.” CUInisght, September 14, 2016.

In this article, the author describes Adams’ speech at a housing conference in Lincoln, Nebraska, in which she attributed the subprime mortgage crisis to the increasing use of interest-only loans and adjustable rate mortgages which were previously reserved for borrowers with immaculate credit.