A Columbia mortgage banker is one of only three South Carolina companies to make Inc. Magazine’s prestigious 2012 “List of the 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America.” Resource Financial Services ranked an impressive 227th on the list, with percentage of growth listed at 1,600 percent and revenues at $7 million. Understandably, president and CEO Wade Douroux says, “This is something we’re very proud of.”
Wade believes that Resource Financial’s success is based not only on the fact that it has distinguished itself in the financial industry during an excruciating economic climate, but also on the positive working relationships fostered inside the company.
Resource Financial opened its doors in 2008, during what Wade dubs the worst of the financial crisis in our country. “People thought we were crazy.” With just a handful of employees and barely more than 2,000 square feet of office space, Resource Financial began offering loans that were closed faster and at better rates than most banks. Wade calls the rates some banks currently offer “excessive,” explaining that profits are accessible even at lower rates. The combination of low rates and great service was a boon for Resource Financial. The company quickly grew to 70 employees and a new building with more than 6,000 square feet – which it has already outgrown. There are also eight locations – three in South Carolina, four in North Carolina and one in Atlanta – and the company is licensed to handle loans in Virginia and Kentucky. It has become one of the Southeast’s largest independently-owned mortgage banks.
“We focus primarily on mortgage loans, doing them well and quickly,” says Wade. In addition to offering home loans, the company also provides personal, commercial and life insurance services.
Wade further points out that in order to progress in financial services, companies like his own need to understand that just as no two people are alike, neither are any two loans. “Respect, integrity, service and excellence encompass the culture that is cultivated at Resource Financial,” he says.
Perhaps it has something to do with his Southern roots, but Wade says it’s important to establish connections with customers, which is why his company is founded on tight relationships. It all started at the University of South Carolina, where Wade met Jim Bowie; they both pledged the same fraternity and then became roommates.
Wade and Jim became business partners in the 1990s, when Wade started a finance company, which Jim eventually bought into and joined. That company was sold in 2001, but both men stayed on for a time before founding Resource Financial Services in February 2008. Wade says Jim, executive vice president, took an office at one end of the hall, and he at the other. Jim manages many of the loans and Wade oversees day-to-day business. Just one month after opening, they closed their first loan and welcomed employees who had worked with them previously. Wade says he has a great working relationship with Jim, who he calls a friend inside and outside the confines of their company. “A lot of people think we’re brothers. I feel we’re fortunate to have the relationship we do.”
Wade adds that many of the employees who came to work at Resource Financial have worked with them for more than 10 years. His parents are also employed with Resource Financial in its Sumter office. “Yes, that’s a little different, but I’m fortunate to be able to interact with my parents on a daily basis,” he says.
Al and Vicki Douroux had retired from their careers – his was in manufacturing, hers in the insurance industry. Both are in their 60s and decided they did not want to be complacent in their golden years. Al handles the loan side of the office in Sumter, while Vicki uses her skills to oversee the insurance business there. The couple, according to Wade, had never worked together in the past. “Basically, they like what they’re doing, and it helps the company,” says Wade. “And, it keeps them active.”
Wade and Jim hope that future generations will follow in their footsteps as well. Wade has five young children, and Jim has two and counting. Wade says that while landing a spot on the Inc. 500 list is exciting, he wants to make sure Resource Financial Services does more than garner new business as it moves forward. He wants to see the company establish a quality presence in the communities in which it serves. “Most of our employees are involved in their communities in different ways, through volunteer organizations and their churches,” he says. “We encourage them and want them to be involved. But we’re also looking for ways to become more involved as a company.”
Resource Financial has developed a connection with Wade’s and Jim’s alma mater through building a training program at U.S.C. that brings new graduates into the world of financial services. The company also offers summer internships for college students.
Regardless of economic uncertainty, Wade and Jim are optimistic about Resource Financial’s future. Of course, they are hoping to make Inc. Magazine’s impressive list in 2013, but they plan to concentrate on increasing their company’s presence and impact on the Columbia community at large.