The Mortgage Bankers Association of America has started a for-profit subsidiary to help its members grapple with technological changes.

The new unit is dubbed Lender Technologies Inc. and is headed by David Lereah, the trade group's 46-year-old chief economist. "We're 10,000 feet in the air looking down at the mortgage industry," Mr. Lereah said. "We can identify inefficiencies and areas for productivity gains by connecting 'A' to 'B.' "

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