Advisory Board

Tom Follain, CFA

Tom specializes in developing information technology-based tools and applications for portfolio analysis. He has implemented data warehousing solutions that provide portfolio managers with dynamic reporting and analytical capabilities. In addition, Tom has led financial model validation efforts, comprising the evaluation of model operational and functional soundness, development of model documentation, and establishment of appropriate controls environments. Prior to co-founding FI Consulting, Tom worked for both the Audit, Assurance and Business Advisory Services and Management Consulting Services divisions of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.


Michael J. Lea, Ph.D.
Dr. Lea is an internationally known authority on housing and mortgage finance. Dr. Lea currently serves as principal of Cardiff Economic Consulting, a firm that analyzes domestic and international mortgage markets and institutions. From 2000 to 2004, Dr. Lea served as Executive VP for Global Market Development at Countrywide Financial Corporation, a worldwide provider of housing finance system and institutional development consulting services. From 1991 to 1999, he was President of Cardiff Consulting Services, a specialist in housing finance markets and institutions analysis. From 1987 to 1991, he was Senior VP of Finance and Capital Markets at the Imperial Corporation of America in charge of asset-liability management,.

Dr. Lea was Chief Economist at Freddie Mac from 1983 to 1987. He served as a staff member for the President's Commission on Housing and was a Brookings Institution economic policy fellow at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1980 and 1981. He taught at Cornell University, San Diego State University, the University of California, San Diego, and the Wharton International Housing Finance Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 


James R. Follain, Ph.D.
Dr. Follain has more than 30 years of experience as a financial economist. His work has focused on measuring and managing the risks of lending and investing in mortgage and housing markets, and the associated public policy and government regulations. Dr. Follain was the Senior VP in the Mortgage Valuation division of Fidelity Hansen Quality where he developed new products to expand Fidelity’s business lines to mortgage valuation. From 2003 to 2004, he served as a Senior Economist at the Monetary and Financial Studies Section of the Research and Statistics Division of the Federal Reserve Board where he worked on mortgage provisions of the Basel II Accord. From 1998 to 2003, he was the Senior Director of Capital Management and Policy at Freddie Mac where he monitored credit risk associated with single-family mortgages.

Dr. Follain served as a tenured professor of economics at Syracuse University and the University of Illinois. He was President of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association in 1989. He began his career at the Urban Institute and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco studying housing, tax, and deregulation policies. He received a B.A. from the University of San Francisco and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Davis.

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