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Strategic Recruiting

Recent executive activity at mortgage bankers and servicers

Aug. 25, 2010


A number of executive announcements were recently made by mortgage bankers and loan servicers, and much of the latest activity occurred at commercial mortgage firms.

Tom Wind left his job as chief executive officer of Aurora Loan Services in May, according to his profile on He stayed on as a senior advisor to Aurora Bank FSB until last month. As of Sept. 30, 2009, Aurora serviced $96 billion.

Wind says he was previously head of residential lending for two years at Lehman Brothers. Before that he was CEO of Chase Home Mortgage, where he also worked for two years. From 1998 to 2002, he notes that he was president of CitiMortgage.

PHH Mortgage parent PHH Corp. announced that Smriti Laxman Popenoe will become executive vice president and chief risk officer on Sept.13. She will report to PHH Corp. President and CEO Jerry Selitto.

Popenoe previously was a principal at the financial advisory firm TriSim Inc. and also spent three years at Wachovia with responsibility for a $130-billion investment portfolio that included agency and non-agency mortgage-backed securities and whole loans. She also worked at Freddie Mac for nine years.

Specialty servicer AMS Servicing LLC said Kevin J. Cooke Jr. was appointed senior VP, sales and business development. He reports to EVP James DePalma and is responsible for the development and execution of Depew, N.Y.-based company's national sales strategy. AMS services residential loans and small-balance commercial mortgages.

Cooke was previously an SVP at MOS Group Inc.

As commercial real estate banking region executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Steven Kenny will lead a team of real estate professionals in New York and New Jersey, a July 15 statement said. Among the unit's clients are people in the real estate development and investment sector. Kenny is a NASD Registered Principal with Series 7 and 63 securities licenses.

Robert Beni Jr. has joined Meridian Capital Group LLC as a VP in its commercial originations group, a statement last week said. He'll support national underwriting and originations and report to Managing director Chad Johnson and Senior Managing Director of Origination and Strategic Initiatives Marty Lanigan. Meridian reported more than $17 billion in 2007 production.

Beni's prior employers include Amboy Bank, Prudential Financial and Mezz Cap -- where he worked with Lanigan.

Michael E. Lewis will lead First Internet Bank's move into commercial lending as VP, an announcement this month indicated. The diversification follows a residential expansion with its 2007 acquisition of Landmark Financial Corp.

Beech Street Capital announced in July that Larry Sneathern has joined the Bethesda, Md.-based company as SVP of loan origination. He'll be responsible for originating multifamily loans across the country at Beech Street, which reports lifetime originations of more than $4 billion. Snethern spent 15 years at PNC ARCS before joining Beech Street.

Mark Santasieri was named SVP and team leader in commercial real estate at TD Bank, a recent press release indicated. He manages a team that originates new business from major real estate developers based in northern and central New Jersey.

photo of Robert Beni
Meridian photo of Robert Beni

photo of Jennifer Caluri-Sullivan
Arbor photo of Jennifer Caluri-Sullivan

The new VP, marketing at Arbor Commercial Funding LLC is Jennifer Caluri-Sullivan, a press release last week said. Her new boss is Arbor SVP Bonnie Habyan. Caluri-Sullivan will direct internal and external corporate events and oversee advertising, Web site design and direct mailings. Greystone & Company Inc. was Caluri-Sullivan's prior employer.

In Birmingham, Ala., Regions Financial Corp. announced that Miguel Alandete was named to the newly created position of SVP, government guaranty lending manager within its business and community banking division. The 22-year veteran will oversee government lending programs in 16 states and serve as a liaison to government organizations including the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Farmers Home Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In Tampa, Fla., HomeBancorp Inc. announced that Charles J. Coury was named VP and manager of the company's Sarasota, Fla., office. Coury reportedly has 27 years' experience in mortgage banking.

Jeremy Daugherty is the new district manager for Prospect Mortgage's southern Nevada region, an announcement earlier this month said. Daugherty reportedly has nearly a decade of mortgage experience.

An expansion of the reverse mortgage lending operation at Total Mortgage Services LLC will be led by Donna Marino, the Milford, Conn.-based company announced last month. Marino has 14 years' experience in residential lending.

Sam Garcia worked in mortgage lending for twenty years prior to becoming publisher of in 2000.

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