Welcome to our Compliance Superhero Series! Every month, we’ll highlight a compliance professional who is doing excellent work and ask them about their background, their thoughts on the industry, and any hidden superpowers they have. I’ve reached out to Marvel about adding them to the next phase of the MCU, but in the meantime, you can get to know them here. This month, we’re highlighting Ghafton Owens, a Compliance Analyst at Guild Mortgage and a nominee for the 2023 Compliance Powerhouse Award. The interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
Welcome! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Guild Mortgage.
Hello! My name is Ghafton Owens, and I’m a Compliance Analyst at Guild Mortgage. I help ensure all of the marketing we send out is fully compliant with both industry laws and our own internal standards.
What was your path to the compliance space?
My path was untraditional. I have a customer success background, but I actually had no experience in the compliance industry when I started — I was like a puppy learning how to walk! My motto is “you learn something new everyday” and I’m still learning and growing. That mentality keeps my ambition fresh.
What’s your biggest piece of advice for a successful compliance program?
Listen more than you speak. We were given two ears and one mouth, and I try to listen twice as much as I talk. Also, the questions you ask are as important as the answers you get: if you’re not getting a good answer, you might not be asking the right question. Do your due diligence and research alternative ways to ask the question moving forward.
What tools – software or otherwise – are most important for your work?
Using PerformLine really allows me to be more fluid with our social media reviews. Especially with so many new members of the Guild team, it helps them get up to speed quickly, and brings everything we need into one platform. And of course, a search engine is key! If you don’t know something, a quick search can save you so much time.
What compels you about the work that you do?
My never-give-up attitude. I am hard on myself, so if there is an obstacle or task that seems difficult, I will push beyond my limits to accomplish it. There are always new challenges to dive into!
What’s your secret superpower?
I’m secretly good at public speaking. I don’t do it often, as most of our communication is via email, but when I need to, I’m great at relating to my audience. People need care and realness, so if you can give them that it makes communication so much easier.