Vicki Beal, a senior vice president in transaction management at Clayton Holdings and an advocate in recent years of stronger due diligence standards for residential mortgage-backed securities, died of stomach cancer on Nov. 25. She was 62.

Beal was "the face of due diligence," said Kathy Kelbaugh, a vice president at advisory and technology firm RiskSpan who worked on RMBS initiatives with Beal.

"Vicki was a big part of 'What should due diligence be?' efforts after the [financial] crisis, and she looked at how it can serve more than the issuer," Kelbaugh said. "It didn't matter if you were an issuer, investor, rating agency or other market participant; she could boil an issue down to its nuts and bolts and tell you what's possible, what wasn't, and what it should be. If you think of due diligence, she's the person you think of in that space."

Beal was a member of the Structured Finance Industry Group's RMBS 3.0 committee and several other committees and working groups run by the Mortgage Bankers Association, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the American Securitization Forum.

"She could hold her own in any Wall Street boardroom, but at the same time she was never rude and never raised her voice, and she knew her business," Kelbaugh said. "'Oh, bless their little hearts' is what she would say if she was angry."

Beal also represented the Shelton, Conn. -based Clayton, and explained the due diligence process, in appearances before the Senate Banking Committee and other policymaking bodies, according to an obituary that ran in the Beaumont Enterprise.

She was previously a vice president at First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Beaumont, Texas, where she served for 18 years as the manager of the residential and commercial loan servicing and real-estate-owned departments. After leaving First Federal, she was a contractor with Coopers & Lybrand and the Resolution Trust Corp.'s regional office in Houston.

Beal had more than 37 years of experience in the mortgage banking industry and had recently moved into a new home she and her husband had built in Louisiana.

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