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Michael T. Donoghue

CEO, Premium Mortgage Corporation

Years in current role: 21

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Each and every customer has a unique set of circumstances and that brings unique and different problems. The satisfaction of solving somebody’s problem gives me a feeling that I cannot imagine living without.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?

While we operate in several states, the bulk of our business is in New York. The regulatory environment in New York is broken and needs repair. We spent an enormous amount of time, effort and money dealing with issues that either did not apply to us or that the regulatory agencies had no real understanding of the business. While those efforts consumed our labor, we had a hard time filling jobs as the labor market is very tough right now and continues to be.

What do you see as the biggest changes in the banking and finance industry in the next 3-5 years?

By all accounts we see interest rates increasing in the coming years and that will no doubt come with more inflation. These two factors will create challenges for lenders as rising rates compress margins and reduce profitability. The inflation on the other hand will constrain housing stock as owners will not be willing to sell and will continue to drive housing prices up.

What is the No. 1 tip you would give to people or companies about planning their finances amid uncertain times?

In 2006-2009 during the financial crisis, we were lucky enough to be better capitalized than some of our competitors that did not make it through. From that we learned that we need to save more for unforeseen events. As a result we keep our leverage ratio at 3-4 times when our peers are at 12-15 times. Being able to survive the 100-year flood is underappreciated and floods come in many flavors. The pandemic is one example of a flood nobody could imagine coming.

What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?

The Boys and girls Club of Rochester has been my charity of choice for a long time. The gap in socioeconomic classes cannot be bridged without effort. While we do make financial donations, we also find the time to participate in events and provide internships, scholarships and other opportunities that can be transformative in the lives of the members of the BGC.

This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 30 Banking & Finance list for 2021. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at


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