Transforming organizations through skillful alignment of people, process and technology.
The Hilltop Companies

Executive Leadership

The senior management team at The Hilltop Companies averages  over 25 years of industry experience.  These leaders are former occupants of the C-suite and other senior executive management positions at some of the largest financial services organizations in the country.  Our senior management members are industry vanguards who reside at the summit of market trends and innovation.  As engaged thought-leaders, having significant banking, capital markets, real estate and/or government financial sector agency experience, our senior management team helps to design, transition and transform our clients. Contact us to help your organization capture new opportunities or solve its pressing challenges in your financial, operational, regulatory compliance or technology areas.

Geoffrey A. Oliver (Jeff) CPA, CFF, CMB is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of  The Hilltop Companies, LLC. Prior to founding the company in 2005, Jeff held senior leadership positions with KPMG, LLP and BearingPoint, Inc. for 29-years. Jeff has served financial services, real estate, and government agency  clients in the accounting, regulatory compliance, audit and consulting areas throughout his career.  He is a noted industry expert, a frequent conference speaker and has a large network of senior industry contacts.

Nigel Brazier is a managing director and has nearly 20 years of experience in the mortgage finance market.  Nigel has held senior leadership positions at GE Mortgage, Select Portfolio Services (Fairbanks Capital), Fannie Mae and Vantium Capital.  Prior to his mortgage experience, Nigel worked at GE for 12 years in numerous capacities covering over 20 specific business lines around the globe.  He has extensive experience in Finance, Business Development, Mergers & Acquisitions, Risk management, Quality management and Operations management.  Nigel has been a consultant for the past three years, aiding mortgage finance clients and their executives with regulatory compliance needs, OCC consent orders, MSR strategy & acquisitions and risk management needs.  Nigel has strong ties to the industry and brings a broad perspective to our financial services client’s needs.

Don Davis is a managing director and has 25+ years in mortgage loan servicing and specializes in the Default area and servicing regulatory compliance.  Don has had senior positions at Wells Fargo, 1st Nationwide, Foster Mortgage  and Ben Franklin Savings.  He also has been involved with various servicing technology providers providing technology solutions to both residential and multifamily customers.  Don has recently been involved in the OCC Servicing compliance Consent Order work.  He is very familiar with the servicing advances and foreclosure claims recovery area.

Iliana Ghanem is a managing director and a highly accomplished mortgage finance executive having held numerous senior leadership positions for 28+ years. She has created, built, and led high performing customer facing organizations, led complex strategic initiatives, developed enterprise-wide strategies and created organizational effectiveness and process improvement blueprints for the companies where she has been employed. Iliana served as Vice President for Freddie Mac’s Single Family business for 23 years, where she led every customer segment, from the largest originators nationally to community banks and credit unions. She was responsible for all business matrices and mission critical priorities, including; market share, profitability, resource management, and operating costs. Iliana served as the architect and builder for new segmentation models as well as for designing new business channels and serving as the lead and spokesperson for culture change and employee engagement.  We welcome Iliana to our team and look forward to having her as a strong addition to our bank and mortgage industry team. 

Dan McLaughlin is a managing director who has been redesigning business processes and integrating new technologies in the mortgage banking industry for more than 30 years. Dan is a founder of MERS and was the architect of the MERS® System, the MERS® Commercial System and the MERS® eRegistry.  He designed the business processes and procedures under which MERS operates. He has extensive knowledge of eMortgage concepts, eNote adoption strategies and developing and operating mortgage loan registries. He is experienced in cyber security risk assessment and remediation solutions, SSAE 16 reports and the Shared Assessments Program.   He serves as Managing Director for The Hilltop Companies and President for Hilltop iSolutions. Dan spends the majority of time on client engagements for Hilltop Advisors, Hilltop Government Solutions and Hilltop iSolutions.

John Mendonca is a Managing Director. He is a retired KPMG audit partner who has practiced accounting and auditing for more than 37 years. His experience includes providing financial statement audits, audits of internal controls, initial public offerings, performing fraud assessments, and due diligence services. His clients have included real estate, technology, services and manufacturing companies on a global basis. Over the years he has also provided professional audit services in accordance with PCAOB requirements, U.S. GAAS, GAAP and IFRS. He has also served as an auditor for the Mortgage Bankers Association. Other clients have included IDI Development, several hotels, architect Dewberry & Davis, and other major companies including MCI/WorldCom, DRS Technologies, CareerBuilder, General Electric, Intelsat, Time Life, Simplexity LLC, Nortel Government Solutions and Wyle Laboratories, Inc. John will assist with all specialty audit services, fraud assessments, litigation support and other accounting services.

Liz Hale is a senior director who has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry.  Liz has held senior management positions in Consumer and Commercial Banking, focused primarily on Branch Operations and Consumer Lending for super-regional and mid-sized banks, with experience in Branch Operations, Consumer Lending, enterprise-wide program deployment and regulatory compliance.   She has extensive experience in the Secondary Mortgage Market, concentrating primarily on Single Family Operations and Process Transformation, with an in-depth knowledge of GSE processes, risks, controls and regulatory challenges.  She has focused throughout her career in the areas of:  Finance, Risk management, Operations management, Project and Program management, Process transformation and re-engineering and Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement.  As a Certified Scrum Master she is able to blend her industry expertise with appropriate project management techniques which ensure timely and quality delivery to clients.   Liz has a deep understanding of the issues and challenges facing the Financial Services industry, and brings a broad perspective to our clients which takes into consideration the changes in the regulatory and risk environment, emerging technologies and market shifts.  Liz spends the majority of time on client engagements for Hilltop Advisors, and Hilltop Government Solutions. 

Karl Kieffer is a Director. He is a certified project management professional (PMP) with over 14 years of “big four” consulting experience in the federal and commercial sectors. He has successfully managing numerous audit readiness, financial statement review, and capital market projects. He has also been involved with many banking regulatory and third-party vendor compliance projects. Karl has significant internal control and risk management experience, designing and implementing compliance frameworks, as well as project management, program design, and performance measures. In addition, Karl brings his CFPB expertise to Hilltop’s regulatory audit team. He was recently involved in redesigning and structuring an examination process and audit questionnaires for a federal regulatory agency assisting their examiners in evaluating compliance with CFPB rules and regulations.

Troy Knowlton is a director who has over 20 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry with particular focus on the GSE’s. Before joining Hilltop, Troy was a Director within Fannie Mae’s National Servicing Organization, Single Family Finance and Data Warehousing groups. Troy brings a broad skill set with an emphasis on leveraging data and analysis to achieve financial and business results.

Manny Lakshman is a Director. He has over 22 years of experience in Financial Services industry and the Federal government regulatory oversight of banks etc.   Manny has significant regulatory compliance and audit skills from working with the FDIC as an Asset Management Specialist and as an Examiner–in-charge for the Office of Credit Risk Management and Lender Oversight at the Small Business Administration.   Manny will add depth to Hilltop’s regulatory compliance audit team that help banks, lenders, loan servicers, credit unions and other financial services companies comply with the OCC, FDIC, Fed, CFPB, HUD, SBA and other federal regulatory agencies.   He has helped both bank (AML and BSA compliance) and mortgage (CFPB, HUD, GSEs, etc) entities with regulatory challenges and compliance.