The first five days after the weekend are the hardest. Welcome to Day 1.
Jobs, programs, and companies wanted
“If you are an independent mortgage company or retail production team closing $2M to $50M per month and are looking for an opportunity with a nationwide company focused on growth and branch support, contact Bank of England Mortgage. “Since opening our doors in 1898 in England, Arkansas, our family-owned and FDIC insured bank provides big bank benefits with a community bank feel. We have survived the volatility of the mortgage industry for 119 years using a combination of stability, our flexible and entrepreneurial approach in helping you run your business, and focus on the success of your team. We offer an extensive range of loan products, nationwide lending, the advantage of modern technology and a distinct marketing approach to ensure your success. Tired of changing companies and looking for your forever career home? Contact your regional Bank of England Mortgage representative: West – Randolph Winston, (615) 812-5885, Midwest – Jim Lind, (913) 972-0822, Southeast – Roger Phillips, (205) 910-9339, or Northeast – Chris Copley, (717) 440-3346.”
“Is your company currently supporting its loan officers to reach their full potential with social media and customer relationship management? Starting January 1st, Norcom Mortgage appointed two Digital Marketing Strategists to its marketing department to directly support its thirty-eight branch locations. The two Strategists, Chloe Gummer and Krysia Piechowski, will support Norcom’s branches to grow their business by enhancing brand awareness and recruitment efforts by using multiple social media platforms, online advertising, and mortgage CRM programs. If you are interested to learn more about what Norcom can offer you, please reach out to Josh Gillooly, Director of HR.”
“Resolve to achieve record-level success in 2018. With a focus on continuous expansion and responsible lending, President & CEO Bill Cosgrove is ‘committed to being ALL IN to grow Union Home Mortgage Corp.’s Wholesale business and support broker partners on a national level.’ To fuel its year-over-year growth, UHM is actively seeking experienced Account Executives nationwide, with a current focus on the Western U.S. regions. Ready invest in yourself in 2018? Join a customer-centric organization dedicated to providing world-class service at competitive prices. Contact Jim Wickham, VP, Third Party Origination at (248) 318.8553, via email or on LinkedIn.”
In wholesale news Carrington Mortgage Services takes its next step in expanding its support for the underserved borrower announcing its own proprietary Non-Agency Loan Programs. Carrington began its journey to serve the underserved market four years ago by expanding guidelines and manually underwriting government loan programs for credit challenged borrowers. Today, mortgage brokers working with Carrington can further expand their business with these Non-Agency programs. Programs include credit scores to 500, loan amounts up to $1.5 million with Jumbo financing, no MI required, and expanded ratios. Available on primary, secondary and investment properties. Fixed and ARM programs available. Visit Carrington for more information on Non-Agency programs or call 866-705-9506 to speak with an account executive.
Waterstone Mortgage Corporation, a national bank-owned mortgage lender headquartered in Pewaukee, Wisconsin is looking to acquire small to mid-sized traditional retail, purchase-focused mortgage companies nationwide. Today’s tighter margins and complex regulatory environment motivate many small mortgage companies to seek ways to expand their business, including strategic acquisitions to create additional synergies. Waterstone Mortgage has the strength and stability that mortgage executives seek when considering a sale of their retail business. The lender is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WaterStone Bank SSB (NASDAQ:WSBF), which has assets of more than $1.8 billion. As a Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae-approved lender, the company offers a broad range of products including FHA, VA, USDA, and conventional loans, one-time close construction financing, bank portfolio lending products, jumbo products, and condo financing. It produced $2.5+ billion in origination volume in 2017, 90% of which comes from purchase mortgage loans. For more information, visit info.waterstonemortgage.com/acquisitions.
After a record-breaking 2017, Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions, the leader in the non-QM, is looking to add more than 50 new Wholesale Account Executives across the country next year, starting in Stockton, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Louisville. And not just in sales, AOMS continues to hire underwriters and other operations positions in Atlanta and Dallas. There is no better time to join the nation’s top non-QM lender. If you are interested in learning more, contact John Wise (818.391.4131).
Company & personnel changes
Out of Tennessee comes word that First Community Mortgage (“The Human Mortgage”) is undergoing some organizational changes within its Correspondent Division. “Going forward, Mark Wood will be your dedicated correspondent account executive. All other FCM correspondent sales employees will be included in a division specific reduction in force (RIF)…Kathy Horn and Heather Jones will remain as your primary drivers of the customer experience. Both Kathy, Heather and our correspondent fulfillment team lead with a servant heart. Their commitment to our correspondent fulfillment process will not waiver…FCM is not exiting the correspondent business channel. However, we are implementing some personnel changes in concert with industry demand while continuing to serve as your Lender of Choice.”
First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation (a national mortgage lender based in Virginia and having retail, wholesale, correspondent channels) announced that Andrew Peters, CEO, is leaving at the end of March. The day to day operation of the company, however, will transition to Aaron Samples, effective immediately. After March 31st, Aaron will continue to lead the company in his capacity as President.
Class Appraisal, a nationwide appraisal management company, announced the appointment of John Fraas as the company president. I apologize for the delay in getting this news out, but Fraas comes with strong operations experience… “After achieving 98 percent year-over-year growth in 2016, Class Appraisal is on track to grow another 40 percent in 2017, and Mr. Fraas’ primary responsibilities will include overseeing the day-to-day operations and aiding in the execution of the company’s strategic plans.”
American Mortgage Law Group, P.C. and Arthur J. Prieston, the Chairman of Prieston Capital and AMLG’s Founder, announced AMLG’s restructuring to “a new business model designed to reduce its clients’ legal fees and streamline and personalize the mortgage banking legal services AMLG provides to its clients. Mr. Prieston has adjusted the roles of AMLG’s attorneys to better utilize their individual skills in providing personalized and direct mortgage fraud loss mitigation, litigation, investigation, recovery analysis, compliance, and demand management legal services. AMLG’s seasoned litigators, Jack Valinoti, Tracy Henderson and Evans Prieston, will continue to provide the legal expertise AMLG clients have come to expect over the years.”
In vendor M&A news, anyone who has ever bought or sold servicing, or had their servicing valued, should know that Situs, a provider of strategic business and technology solutions to the real estate industry, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Denver’s MountainView Financial Solutions.
For lenders thinking about buying or selling, Jeff Babcock with the STRATMOR Group writes, “The continuation of a ‘seller’s market’ environment in the M&A market space is causing many buyers to ponder options for overcoming seller resistance to putting their companies in play. STRATMOR has observed a common set of concerns and attitudes which contribute to this resistance. It behooves buyers to consider in advance their specific responses to the following objections.
“Mortgage origination company owner/operators are inherently ‘serial entrepreneurs’ who are reluctant to forego their independence. After running their own show for a long time, will they be happy reporting to a boss? These entrepreneurs have historically demonstrated an ability to overcome market-imposed challenges with management acumen and adaption skills. They believe they can recover and the sustain 2016/2017 earnings for several years to come, especially after implementing technology and marketing strategic initiatives will improve performance ‘next year.’
“We frequently hear that cultural incompatibility with the buyer organization might drive away key producers; ‘big risk that I cannot bring across my originator sales force.’ There is a widespread concern that the buyer will impose material changes to originator compensation and disrupt the seller’s proven successful business model.
“Then there is always the industry scuttlebutt that mortgage company acquisitions fail more often than succeed; ‘the amount of the proposed up-front premium amount is not sufficient to compensate me for the risk of a failed transaction.’ It also frequently asserted that earn outs are usually unachievable.
“Retaining the seller’s current management team is often mentioned as an issue. The buyer’s consolidation of redundant functions will mean elimination of jobs for ‘loyal managers who were instrumental in getting us to where we are.’
The potential financial enhancements which a buyer brings to the transaction (e.g., improved loan sale execution and consolidation cost savings) are crucial to achieve the deal economics, yet sellers express uncertainty about their ability to leverage the buyer’s acquisition synergies. Even the most successful loan officers are often slow to capitalize on innovative sales techniques and robust marketing campaigns introduced by their new owners. In our experience, high quality buyers have found a way to overcome these objections and execute highly successful transactions which have resulted in true win-win outcomes for both buyer and seller.” Thank you, Jeff!
On the depository bank side of things, announcements have continued at a fast pace. The ABA reports from 2010 to 2016 about 44% of banks under $100mm in assets disappeared compared to 18% for banks $100mm to $1B. Meanwhile, banks with assets more than $1B grew 12% over this period. There are now about 282 credit unions and 755 banks with more than $1 billion in assets.
What’s pushing bank M&A? A Deloitte survey of executives worldwide finds the top strategic drivers for M&A deals in order are now technology acquisition (20%), expanding customer base in existing markets (19%), expanding or diversifying products or services (16%), digital strategy (12%) and talent acquisition (9%).
In the last few weeks it was broadcast that in California Heritage Bank of Commerce ($2.9B) will acquire Tri-Valley Bank ($147mm) for about $31.6mm in stock (100%) or about 1.45x tangible book. In Ohio LCNB National Bank ($1.3B) will acquire Columbus First Bank ($333mm) for about $66.9mm in stock (100%). In Illinois Old Second National Bank ($2.4B) will acquire ABC Bank ($350mm) for about $41.1mm in cash (100%), or about 1.19x tangible book. In Kansas Community National Bank & Trust ($956mm) will acquire Heritage State Bank ($140mm), and the Cornhusker State First State Bank ($475mm, NE) will acquire The Nehawka Bank ($15mm, NE).
Events, training, and webinars this week
Register for Plaza’s January 8th webinar: The Fundamentals of Mortgage Process – Session 1: Understanding the Mortgage and How Mortgage Insurance Works.
How is the economy shaking out one year into the Trump administration? Find out during the 2018 Economic Forecast with economics guru Dr. Elliot Eisenberg, and MMG chief market analyst Bill Bodnar on Tuesday, January 9 at 2PM ET – part of the Vantage Production Success Series. Register now for the easy-to-understand webinar, so you can reflect and share what you learn with your partners and clients and position yourself as the go-to mortgage market expert.
Register for Plaza’s January 9th 203(k) Standard and Limited products webinar.
Join the SunWest webinar on January 10th to lean about its Reverse Mortgage training tools.
Register for Plaza’s January 10th webinar to learn about Plaza’s Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation loan products.
Don’t forget to register for the NMMLA’s January 11th luncheon. Guest speaker Greg Lobberegt, CRS is providing a crash course in business plan strategy.
Everyone is talking HMDA…Register for Plaza’s January 11th webinar to review the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), including the New Rule and the data fields that have been added for reporting purposes.
Looking at rates, the 10-year Treasury note yield increased on Friday to finish the week at 2.48 percent despite the weaker than expected employment data. Factory orders for manufactured durable goods increased by 1.3% in November, along with October’s figures being revised upward, pointing to continued strength in the manufacturing sector. Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector expanded for the 96th consecutive month in December according to the Institute of Supply Management’s (ISM) Non-Manufacturing Business Survey.
Looking at this week, there is plenty of scheduled news, probably all of which will suggest that the U.S. economy continues to motor along. There is little of importance today (no 5:30 AM PT numbers), but Tuesday the NFIB Small Business Optimism Index is out, as well as November Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) reports. Wednesday, we receive MBA Mortgage Applications, Import/Export Prices, and Wholesale Trade. Thursday has the December Producer Price Index (PPI), Jobless Claims, and a $12 billion 30-yr bond auction. Friday wraps up the week with consumer prices (CPI), December Retail Sales, and November Business Inventories. We start with rates a shade lower than Friday’s close: the 10-year is yielding 2.47% and agency MBS prices are better by a tick or two.
Do you ever wake up, kiss the person sleeping beside you, and feel glad that you’re alive?
I just did, and apparently will not be allowed on this airline again.
Visit www.robchrisman.com for more information on our industry partners, access archived commentaries, or to subscribe to the Daily Mortgage News and Commentary. If you’re interested, visit my periodic blog at the STRATMOR Group web site. The current blog is, “Servicing: All It’s Cracked Up to Be?” If you have both the time and inclination, make a comment on what I have written, or on other comments so that folks can learn what’s going on out there from the other readers.
(Market data provided in partnership with MBS Live. For free job postings and to view candidate resumes visit LenderNews. Currently there are over 300 mortgage professionals looking for operations, secondary and management roles. For up-to-date mortgage news visit Mortgage News Daily. For archived commentaries, or to subscribe, go to www.robchrisman.com. Copyright 2018 Chrisman LLC. All rights reserved. Occasional paid job listings do appear. This report or any portion hereof may not be reprinted, sold or redistributed without the written consent of Rob Chrisman.)
The first five days after the weekend are the hardest. Welcome to Day 1.