Executive Team

Remarkable Experience

At National MI, we have assembled a team of seasoned mortgage industry executives who are excited at the prospect of delivering a suite of new offerings with a level of client service that will set new standards for the industry.

brad-2Bradley M. Shuster
Executive Chairman of the Board
Mr. Shuster has served as Executive Chairman of the Board of NMI Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: NMIH) since January 2019. Mr. Shuster founded National MI and served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company from 2012 to 2018. Prior to founding National MI, Mr. Shuster was a senior executive of The PMI Group, Inc. (NYSE: PMI), where he served as Chief Executive Officer of PMI Capital Corporation. Before joining PMI in 1995, Mr. Shuster was a partner at Deloitte LLP, where he served as partner-in-charge of Deloitte’s Northern California Insurance and Mortgage Banking practices. He holds a B.S. from The University of California, Berkeley and an M.B.A. from The University of California, Los Angeles. Mr. Shuster has received both CPA and CFA certifications.

claudia-2Claudia J. Merkle
Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Merkle has served as our Chief Executive Officer since January 2019. As CEO of National MI, Claudia Merkle is responsible for the company’s day-to-day management, financial performance, and long-term growth strategy. She joined National MI in 2012 as Senior Vice President of Underwriting Fulfillment and Risk Operations, and was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief of Insurance Operations in 2013, Chief Operating Officer in 2016, President in May 2018, and CEO in January 2019. Ms. Merkle has played an instrumental role in building and leading National MI’s sales and marketing functions, underwriting fulfillment, risk operations and servicing departments. Merkle was the recipient of the 2017 HousingWire Vanguard Award and HousingWire’s 2016 Women of Influence Award, and was recognized on MReport’s 2015 Leading Ladies List. Prior to joining National MI, Ms. Merkle held executive leadership positions within the mortgage banking and mortgage insurance industries, including senior business development, operations and risk management roles. Ms. Merkle holds a B.S. in management from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania.

bill-2William  J. Leatherberry
Executive Vice President, General Counsel
Mr. Leatherberry serves as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for National MI. He has nearly 20 years of experience in corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, securities law, corporate governance and compliance oversight. Prior to National MI, Mr. Leatherberry served as executive vice president, chief legal officer, general counsel and secretary for Century Aluminum, a publicly-traded primary aluminum company with over $1.5 billion in revenues. Mr. Leatherberry began his career as a corporate associate with the law firm Jones Day. He earned a B.A. in business management and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas. He earned his J.D. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

pat-2Patrick Mathis
Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Mathis currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the company’s Insurance Operations and Information Technology functions. From May 2018 until December 2018, Mr. Mathis served as the company’s Executive Vice President, Operations and Information Technology, and from the company’s inception in 2012 to May 2018, Mr. Mathis managed risk and internal audit for National MI as Executive Vice President, Chief Risk Officer. He has over 25 years of experience in the insurance, mortgage and financial industries, including executive level positions in the areas of risk and credit management. Prior to National MI, Mr. Mathis served as senior vice president, head of credit risk management for PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. (‘‘PMI’’), from January 2009 to May 2012. In that capacity, he managed loss reserving, credit policy formulation and quality control for PMI underwriters as well as for loans underwritten by customers on a delegated basis. Previously, from January 2005 to December 2008, Mr. Mathis served as senior vice president, chief risk officer at PMI Capital Corporation. In that role, he held oversight responsibility for international mortgage insurance subsidiaries in Australia, Europe, Hong Kong and Canada. Earlier in his career, Mr. Mathis held executive roles in credit and insured portfolio management at XL Capital Assurance and MBIA, Inc. Mr. Mathis holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas-Austin.

Adam Pollitzer
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Pollitzer serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for National MI. He oversees the company’s finance, SEC reporting, treasury and investments, and investor relations function. Prior to National MI, Mr. Pollitzer was a managing director in the Corporate and Investment Banking division of J.P. Morgan Securities, LLC, where he led advisory and capital raising efforts on behalf of North American insurance companies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.


Robert Smith
Executive Vice President, Chief Risk Officer
Mr. Smith serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Risk Officer, and oversees Risk Management and Internal Audit for National MI. Most recently, he served as Senior Vice President of Pricing and Portfolio Analytics. He joined National MI in 2012 as Vice President of Pricing and Portfolio Analytics. Mr. Smith has more than 18 years of experience in the mortgage and financial services industry, including previous roles at Washington Mutual and PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. He holds an M.S. degree in Engineering from Stanford University, an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business, and holds a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.


Norm Fitzgerald
Senior Vice President, Chief Sales Officer
Norm Fitzgerald serves as Chief Sales Officer for National MI. He oversees the entire Sales organization, marketing, and business development strategy. Mr. Fitzgerald has over 28 years of experience in sales and operations within the mortgage and banking industry. Prior to joining National MI, Mr. Fitzgerald held the position of Senior Vice President at Mr. Cooper (formerly Nationstar Mortgage), where he built and launched a top correspondent lending channel. His prior experience includes serving as President of Correspondent Lending at PHH, as well as leadership positions with CitiMortgage, Countrywide, PMI Mortgage Insurance Co., and Citizens Bank. Mr. Fitzgerald earned a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts in Boston.

pete-2Mary Lee Sharp
Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer

Ms. Sharp serves as Senior Vice President of human resources for National MI, a position she has held since 2014.  She works closely with the CEO and the executive staff to provide strategic direction on all aspects of human resources and the workplace. Ms. Sharp has over 20 years of experience in senior level positions in human resources. Prior to National MI, she served as EVP of human resources at Financial Engines, an independent investment advisor that provides investment and retirement advice to the employees of some of the biggest companies in the US. Previously, Ms. Sharp served as VP of human resources for Omnicell Inc., a healthcare systems and software solutions provider. Earlier in her career, she held executive positions in human resources at Sybase Inc., a global enterprise software company, and Panalpina Inc., a global transportation and logistics corporation. Ms. Sharp received a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law and a B.A. degree in political science and public affairs from the University of Denver.

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