Craig Focardi will speak at Real Estate Connect July 28-30 in San Francisco.

Craig Focardi worries about death, taxes and funding his own retirement–not necessarily in that order. He is a respected consultant in the mortgage industry, and he holds a master’s degree in applied economics. But he once packed one of his daughter’s dolls in his own suitcase, and he spent one day of his last vacation watching the Queen of England return to Buckingham Palace.

Focardi, a senior analyst in TowerGroup‘s Consumer Lending and Bankcards practice, advises clients in Europe, North America and the United Kingdom on business, process, strategic and technical topics related to mortgage origination, servicing, securitization and risk management.

Prior to joining TowerGroup, he was a financial services consultant for Wells Fargo, IMX Exchange and other clients. Before that, he held positions as VP of Marketing for Tuttle Decision Systems, director of business development and marketing at database vendor Mortgage Information Corp., and VP of Marketing at IndyMac. His nine years at PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. included management positions in market research, product development and strategic marketing.

Here are Focardi’s “too honest” answers to some questions from Inman News:

IN: What are your current or childhood nicknames?

CF: “Fo,” short for Focardi. This was mostly a nickname that guys used. It originated on the basketball court, where a teammate would call out to me quickly to save time. This extended to the baseball diamond, when, in ninth grade, I was one of three Craigs playing the outfield. We all used nicknames to avoid running into each other.

IN: Which daily newspaper do you read and which section do you read first?

CF: San Francisco Chronicle, “Business” and “Sports.” Typical guy stuff, but I do eventually read the main section and the Wednesday “Home” section.

IN: What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever packed in a suitcase?

CF: I can’t tell you the most unusual thing. But the second most unusual thing was the stuffed doll my then 4-year-old daughter gave me to remind me of her while I was on a long business trip.

IN: What kind of music do you listen to?

CF: ’70s rock and roll, show tunes and opera.

IN: What style of home do you live in and when did you buy it?

CF: It’s a New England style, barn-shaped house we bought in 1992. We are finally redoing the kitchen this year after completing all the structural upgrades and landscaping for the past decade.

IN: Where did you spend your last vacation?

CF: London, England, last November. Along with the usual sightseeing, it was far easier and cheaper getting tickets to see “The Lion King” there than it would have been in San Francisco. Also, the day we went to Buckingham Palace the Queen was returning there by royal carriage after her annual speech to Parliament. We saw her, marching bands and soldiers from every branch of the armed forces. They were even shooting off cannons in the park.

IN: What personal accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?

CF: My master’s degree and writing a master’s thesis. The research process prepared me for many years of outlining, analyzing, writing and publishing.

IN: What professional accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?

CF: Surviving

IN: How many e-mail addresses do you have?


IN: What worries keep you awake at night?

CF: Death, taxes and funding retirement. The first worry would eliminate the other two worries.

IN: What lesson did you learn in the last year?

CF: I finally learned it is far easier to ask my wife what she’d like for Christmas than it is to try to surprise her with the present of her dreams.

IN: What is your favorite technology device or software application?

CF: The wireless card for my laptop, which enables me to leave the home office and work anywhere in the house or out on the patio.

IN: What is your opinion of Inman News?

CF: A leading real estate media brand that has a fun personality.

IN: What was your top New Year’s resolution and have you kept it so far?

CF: To lose 10 pounds by summer. I’ve lost five pounds so far, but my now 10-year-old daughter says I look the same, and the only thing I’ve lost since New Year’s is more hair.

IN: Are you a morning person or a night owl?

CF: Morning person

IN: What is your worst vice or bad habit?

CF: Being too honest answering these Inman News speaker profile questions. It is like talking to strangers on an airplane. You say things you’d never tell your wife or your best friend.


Send tips or a letter to the editor to or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 124.

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