Senior Analyst, Loan Performance Modeling & Research
Sallie Mae - Reston, VA

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Sallie Mae (NASDAQ: SLM) is the nation's No. 1 financial services company specializing in education. Whether college is a long way off or just around the corner, Sallie Mae turns education dreams into reality for its 25 million customers. With products and services that include college savings programs, scholarship search tools, education loans, tuition insurance, and online banking, Sallie Mae offers solutions that help families save, plan, and pay for college. Sallie Mae also provides financial services to hundreds of college campuses as well as to federal and state governments. Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.

The Senior Portfolio Modeling Analyst will provide support for recurring and ad hoc analysis of Sallie Mae's loan portfolio. The Senior Analyst will be responsible for gaining a thorough understanding of student loan performance and borrower behavior, and applying that knowledge to support analysis that drives the company's portfolio valuation estimates, loan loss reserve, securitization and acquisition analysis, and other key aspects of the company's funding programs and accounting estimates.

The Senior Portfolio Modeling Analyst will be part of a team that is responsible for execution of the analysis, communication of results, ad hoc research, and internal control framework for the Critical Accounting Assumptions (CAA). The CAA process includes analyses of lifetime default rates, two-year default rates, default recovery rates, prepayment rates, consolidation rates, borrower benefit qualification rates, and supporting performance assumptions. On a quarterly basis, the Senior Analyst will update the existing models with new data, analyze the changes in portfolio performance, understand and be able to explain movements in results, and make recommendations to management on whether to retain existing assumptions or update performance expectations.

The Senior Portfolio Modeling Analyst will perform ad hoc analysis in response to management inquiries, and should also independently seek to identify opportunities to perform meaningful supporting analysis. The Senior Analyst will participate in a process of constant research and development to identify and implement model enhancements and deepen the company's understanding of loan portfolio performance. The Senior Analyst will work independently and with other members of the Corporate Finance team to identify and implement model enhancements as business needs evolve.

Key topics for ad hoc analysis include private loan default performance, prepayment performance, and private loan recovery performance. The Senior Analyst will also perform analysis to support projects that arise as a result of new loan products, operational changes and legislative developments.

The CAA process is subject to a rigorous internal control framework, and the Senior Analyst will be responsible for updating and performing secondary review of both quarterly and annual control processes. The Senior Analyst will also help support internal and external audit review of the models by providing the documentation and responding to auditors' inquiries. The CAA models are relatively complex and highly data intensive. The Senior Analyst will develop into a Subject Matter Expert with respect to the processing mechanics of the CAA models and the data feeding the models.

The responsibilities of this position require the incumbent to have strong logic and analytical skills--both quantitative and qualitative. The individual will ideally have a background in finance or economics and command of applications related to modeling and analysis, especially Microsoft Excel, Access and SAS. Background in other financial modeling applications that use SQL or related syntax is an additional helpful qualification. The position requires the incumbent to be able to grasp financial models and take over responsibility for day-to-day execution of the models. The incumbent must have the ability to solve basic programming problems that are encountered in running reports and using analytical tools. The Senior Portfolio Modeling Analyst should have strong communications skills necessary to communicate technical findings to management.

The individual will need to interact internally with colleagues and senior management of the Corporate Finance, Loan Accounting, Credit Risk Management, and Financial Planning & Analysis teams. The individual will interact externally with auditors. The individual must have the ability to think clearly and independently. The individual is expected to build and exercise a thorough knowledge of Salle Mae, its business practices, and historical performance of its portfolio.

  • Bachelor's in Economics, Mathematics, or Finance.
  • 2-4 years experience with SAS required.
  • 4-6 years of related modeling/analytic experience.
  • Experience in SQL.
  • Extensive expertise in Access, Excel and SAS.
  • Strong financial analysis, statistical and modeling skills.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to operate in a fast-paced environment.
  • 2 years minimum within a financial services company.
  • Experience with SAS eGuide.
  • Experience with Visual Basic.
  • Familiarity with internal control requirements and Sarbanes-Oxley audits.
Sallie Mae is a federal government contractor. Should this position support a government contract, now or in the future, the successful candidate will be subject to a background check conducted by the U.S. Government to determine eligibility and suitability for federal contract employment for public trust or sensitive positions.

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Sallie Mae, founded 28 years ago, provides funds for educational loans, primarily federally guaranteed student loans originated under the...