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Mortgage Boards Shaken Up

Recent mortgage executive appointments and departures

Oct. 3, 2012

By JORDAN M. LOA Mortgage Daily


While there has been plenty of recent executive activity at mortgage banking firms, the composition has changed for several lenders' boards of directors.

Citigroup Inc. declined to comment on the departure of Jeffery Polkinghorne and Donald Houghtalin. The two were named by federal prosecutors earlier this year in a mortgage fraud case that led to a $158 million settlement and an admission of wrongdoing by Citi. Polkinghorne is leaving after 16 years at the company, while Houghtalin has already left.

Nicholas J. DelTorto has been named president of Inlanta Mortgage Inc. John Knowlton, the former president, announced DelTorto's promotion at Inlanta's annual sales conference at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. Knowlton will be Inlanta's chief executive officer.

Before Inlanta, DelTorto was president, CEO and founder of Amerihome Mortgage Co., a residential and commercial mortgage firm.

Inlanta executive Cindy Laffey was named to the Kansas City Business Journal's class of "Women Who Mean Business 2012." The list reportedly recognizes 25 outstanding women in the Kansas City area for their career accomplishments and contributions to the success of other women in the community.

Carrington Mortgage Services LLC has announced that Mark Allanach will join the Carrington team as the regional vice president of the mortgage lending division. As the regional vice president, Allanach will guide Carrington in expanding its retail operations footprint across the country. The 28-year mortgage veteran comes to Carrington from CitiFinancial Services, where he was the area center director for New England, New York, Delaware and Maryland.

New Penn Financial LLC has announced 18-year veteran Brian Simon as its chief operating officer. Simon's position at New Penn will entail optimizing operations and systems and ensuring all processes within are efficient, effective and supported by the best technology. Before joining New Penn, Simon was integral in expanding Caliber Funding, Freedom Mortgage and Prime Financial.

The new vice president of human resources at Residential Finance Corp. is Rene Lewis. Lewis' 13 years of human resources experience includes time at Signature WorldWide, Red Envelope Inc. and GAP Inc.

Shelley Fryman and Greg Schatz were recently appointed as senior production executives at American Mortgage Network. The expansion program Fryman and Schatz will oversee will extend American Mortgage's presence to the Midwest and East Coast.

Fryman will oversee the North Central Division. In her nearly 30 years of experience, Fryman has held many executive positions with both large and small mortgage companies, including GMAC/Ally Financial and Plaza Home Mortgage.

Schatz, with over 20 years of experience in sales and business development, will oversee the eastern division.

Embrace Home Loans is renewing their expansion plans by appointing Randy Johnson to the newly created position of senior vice president of corporate development. Johnson's role will be to oversee Embrace's acquisitions of independent mortgage lenders with originations of between $1 billion and 3 billion. Johnson joined Embrace three years ago, and was integral to Embrace's retail expansion, most notably the acquisition of Mason Dixon Funding in 2009.

Michael Kelly is the senior vice president overseeing a new construction platform at Prospect Mortgage. The 24-year veteran will lead a division that was created in response to reports of an increase of more than 25 percent in new housing permits in the first half of 2012 by the U.S. Census Bureau.

An executive vice president in the mortgage division at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Patrick Sheehy, has left the company. No comment was provided by the company about the reason for the departure of Sheehy, who worked with trade associations.

Mortgage companies have changed more than their management teams; several have made changes to their boards of directors.

Walter Investment will expand its current board of directors from seven to nine, adding Alvaro G. de Molina and Dr. James L. Pappas, both of which will serve on the board's audit and compensation and human resources committees. From March 2008 to November 2009, de Molina served as the CEO of GMAC, and previously served in several senior leadership roles, including chief financial officer at Bank of America. Serving as president of the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin from 1995 to 2005, Dr. Pappas also served as the Dean of the College of Business at the University of South Florida from 1987 to 1995.

Richard D. Baum replaced George E. Bull III as chairman of Redwood Trust Inc., a Sept. 24 statement said. In addition, Douglas B. Hansen was elected vice chairman of the board. Bull and Hansen were co-founders of the Mill Valley, Calif.-based company.

Paul M. Low has notified Capstead Mortgage Corp.'s board of directors that he will not stand for re-election at the Dallas-based company's 2013 annual meeting, a Sept. 25 announcement indicated. In addition, Jack Bernard was appointed as an independent member of the board.

The new chairman of Chrysalis Holdings LLC's board of directors is Joseph J. Murin, replacing Paul Thompson III. Murin has additionally been named president of NewDay USA. In addition to his previous role as president of Ginnie Mae, Murin is co-founder and vice chairman of The Collingwood Group LLC and recently served as CEO at National Real Estate Information Services.

Chrysalis additionally added R. James Nicholson to its board and to the board of NewDay. Nicholson was previously the secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs in the George W. Bush administration.

Two members, Tim Walsh and Sharon Bitz, are being added to WCS Lending LLC's board of managers.
Walsh has more than 25 years of experience in senior-level management in mortgage banking, while Bitz has over three decades of experience as a non-executive advisor.

Geoffrey Smith has been named a managing director of Manhattan, N.Y.-based Hudson Realty Capital LLC. Smith is charged with expanding the firm's lending platform to include more senior and subordinate loans on both transitional and stabilized commercial real estate and the distribution of the company's real estate assets. Before being his new job at Hudson, Smith was a managing director at Natixis North America LLC.

Senior Vice President of Mortgage Lending at Guaranteed Rate Joe Caltabiano has been named a "Best in the Business" award winner as the Best Mortgage Loan Producer by the Illinois Mortgage Bankers Association. The "Best in the Business" award is given to individuals for excellence and leadership in the mortgage industry.

New American Funding is welcoming Eli Fairfield as the new branch manager in the retail lending division of the Manhattan Beach, Calif., office. Fairfield, a former USC Trojan, is a nine-year veteran of the industry and has originated more than $100 million in personal production five out of the last seven years. As the new branch manager, Fairfield plans to double the size of the Manhattan Beach office while continuing to originate personal production.

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