Patti Adamson: A fountain of mortgage underwriting knowledge
Name: Patti Adamson
Role: Mortgage Underwriter with Bridgewater Bank
Years worked in financial services: 39
Work location: Calgary
Superpower: Keeper of knowledge
Want a history lesson on Bridgewater Bank? Patti Adamson is a great place to start. She’s been with the company for almost 20 years, even before it was called a bank. Patti loves to share her knowledge with her colleagues and mortgage broker partners—she sure has a lot of it!
The path to becoming a mortgage underwriter
Q: You’ve been working in financial services for a long time. How did you get started?
Patti: I got into banking in 1983. I had just finished school and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. My husband worked in the industry and suggested I give it a try. I worked at three banks, CMHC and a mortgage trust company in the first half of my career.
Almost 20 years ago, I accepted a position at Bridgewater Financial, which it was called back then. I’ve been with them ever since.
Q: How do you stay informed about what’s happening in the market, especially in your region?
Patti: Many deals are in British Columbia and Ontario because the markets are hot. Alberta is picking up. We regularly connect with insurers and colleagues to keep up with it all.
Our account manager sends economic updates, and they’re always discussed in team meetings. When you immerse yourself in the business, you know what is happening.
Making the move to alternative lending
Q: How did you come to work at Bridgewater Bank?
Patti: As I mentioned, I’ve held roles in the financial services sector at several places. I never quite found that permanent fit—the place I wanted to stay. After many years working at banks, the role at CMHC opened a new world for me and introduced me to working with brokers.
From there, I moved to a mortgage trust company and realized I wanted to stay in this line of work. When an underwriter position opened at Bridgewater Bank, I jumped at it.
Q: What’s your favourite part of being an underwriter at Bridgewater bank?
Patti: I like the opportunity to think outside the box and look for solutions. If it makes sense, you can get more challenging alternative lending deals done. The underwriting process has guidelines, but there is more freedom, which keeps it interesting.
On a personal note
Q: Who do you most admire in life?
Patti: My father. He started out with little in life and did not have a lot of help. He worked hard to get where he did in life with his tenacity and work ethic. I think he handed down those qualities to all of his kids.
Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Patti: Austria and Germany. I love European history, so it’s on my bucket list. My husband and I are both museum nuts.
Q: If I had the opportunity to pass through your region, what would be your top recommendations for things to do?
Patti: Kananaskis, Banff and Lake Louise are world-class natural sites. You’d be doing yourself a disservice if you hit Calgary and didn’t visit.
What’s a skill you’d like to learn and why?
Patti: I’d love to learn to play the violin. As a child, I played piano, and I appreciate the work it takes to learn to play an instrument. I may do that in my retirement.
Q: Do you want to share some final thoughts about your job?
Patti: Bridgewater Bank offers great flexibility and trust to get our work done. In a world where people are clamouring for the A deals, we are proud to do business differently. When you can do a bit of problem-solving to help get a deal done, clients are grateful to get the mortgage and that someone took the time to look at their story.