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Fastest Growing Mortgage Firms

Inc. 500 released

August 19, 2009

By staff

Despite a rough two years, some mortgage-related firms made the list of the fastest growing private companies. Among the top 500 were two origination firms, a default service provider and a lead generation company. Revenues at the highest-ranking mortgage-related company soared from less than $0.5 million in 2005 to $22 million last year.

The 28th annual Inc. 500 ranking was released earlier this month. Companies qualified to participate in the ranking must have been founded and generating revenue by the first week of 2005.

Revenues generated by the 500 companies that made the latest list were $18.4 billion, jumping from $13.7 billion in the prior report. Inc. editor Jane Berentson called the companies "the most dynamic, fast-growth companies in the nation."

Northern Capital Insurance was No. 1 on this year's list. The Miami-based firm generated $95 million in revenues last year, and its three-year growth rate was 19,812 percent.

More Inc. 500 companies -- 84 -- were located in California than any other state, followed by 45 in Texas, 35 in Virginia and 35 in New York. Florida was fifth at 27 companies.

The highest-ranking mortgage-related company was No. 23 BancVue. The Austin, Texas-based company serves nearly 600 U.S. community banks and credit unions -- providing research and development, product development, marketing and sales training.

BancVue's 2008 revenues were $21.9 million last year -- up 4,646 percent since 2005.

Next was Service Financial, which ranked 47th. Revenues increased 2,706 percent to $20 million last year. Among financial services offered by the Whitefish Bay, Wis.-based company is mortgage lending.

KBW Financial Staffing & Recruiting was No. 100 on Inc.'s. Based in Bedford, N.H., KBW -- which offers permanent and temporary staffing services -- saw revenue climb 1,546 percent to $4 million in 2008.

Aasent Mortgage, an Atlanta-based lender operating in Florida and Georgia, saw revenue rise 727 percent during the four-year period to $2.6 million -- leaving it in the 336th spot.

Revenue at No. 349 Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group increased 713 percent to $1.4 million. Gold Star operates out of Ann Arbor, Mich.

Mortgage lead generation company Lead Research Group, operating from Huntington Beach, Calif., saw revenue growth of 653 percent -- pushing income up to $2.4 million last year and landing it in spot No. 391.

Houston's Integrated Mortgage Solutions ranked 434th on Inc.'s list. Integrated provides loss mitigation services, default management and preservation services. Revenues have risen to $16.3 million from $2.3 million in 2005.

"Being included in the Inc. 500 is a distinct honor for any company, but especially a woman-owned business, such as Integrated Mortgage Solutions," the company's President Cheryl Lang said in a statement. "Our company's success points back to the hard work of our staff, as we help mortgage servicers find a solution to the increasing numbers of foreclosures."

But fast-growing companies can fall as fast as they rise.

Among failed firms that previously made Inc.'s ranking were First Magnus Financial Corp., which collapsed in August 2007; FMF Capital LLC, which announced in early 2007 that it would wind down operations; and Silver State Mortgage, which also shut down in early 2007.

Other Inc. 500 alumni to end operations included SouthStar Funding LLC, Homefield Financial's wholesale unit, Ameritrust Mortgage Company LLC and The Lending Group Inc.

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