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IndyMac Beefs Up Retail Staff

Up to 850 former American Home retail employees to be hired

August 28, 2007

By MortgageDaily.com staff

IndyMac Bank F.S.B. confirmed it has hired hundreds of former American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. employees and may hire hundreds more.

IndyMac said in a statement today that it has hired over 600 retail lending employees terminated from Melville, N.Y.-based American Home. The new hires will work for IndyMac bank's retail lending group.

"The Company is in discussions to hire additional former AHM employees and anticipates that it will end up hiring 750 to 850 former AHM employees in total," IndyMac added.

Three-quarters of the hires were originators, while the rest were in operations, marketing and recruiting, the announcement said. They specialize in prime conforming, FHA/VA and other agency eligible residential products. Around 83 percent of the hires are in the West.

The Pasadena, Calif.-based company had "offers of employment to a number of people who were formerly with American Home Mortgage and we are hiring some of their former people around the country," a spokesman for IndyMac Bancorp told MortgageDaily.com earlier this month.

The number of former American Home employees IndyMac was hoping to hire was, he said at the time, "in the hundreds."

Today's statement noted IndyMac has entered a license agreement to use over 90 of American Home's offices and is negotiating lease assumptions on the office and buying equipment and furniture.

The new employees are expected to originate $1 billion in residential loans quarterly.

IndyMac said it will pick up another 90 loan officers with its acquisition of Barrington Capital in Newport Beach, Calif., this week.

"These recent moves will bring our total retail lending group workforce to almost 1,500 employees, up from 13 one year ago," Frank Sillman, CEO of IndyMac's mortgage bank, said in the statement. "In this market, we made a prudent trade by cutting out roughly $5 billion per quarter of low margin, Alt-A conduit business to make room for growth in higher margin retail business, and we anticipate the total quarterly loan production of the retail lending group will reach roughly $1.5 billion by the fourth quarter of this year."

Former American Home employees have also found shelter at Countrywide Financial Corp., which is hiring approximately 200 refugees, and Lend America, also based in Melville, is hiring as many former players as it can find.

"While we project that our overall mortgage volumes will be down substantially in the fourth quarter as we and all lenders have tightened guidelines, our fourth quarter mortgage banking revenue margins are presently forecasted to increase," IndyMac Chairman and CEO Michael W. Perry said in the statement.

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