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Major Alliances Announced

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Major Alliances Announced

Recent mortgage mergers, acquisitions and corporate activity

August 22, 2006

By COCO SALAZAR

photo of Coco Salazar
A New York lender nailed down a new warehouse line while two mortgage banking giants struck some big alliances.

But first, Brian Miller was recently named chief executive officer and president of nonprime lender Team One Funding LLC, according to a press release Saturday. In his prior position, Miller, 46, reportedly increased monthly originations from just under $5 million to over $30 million in less than 2 years. His “experience in the restructuring and stabilization of companies in a turnaround mode” was cited in the statement.

Frank Mercardante, 58, was appointed chief executive officer of Placer Sierra Bancshares, the company announced. The 40-year banking veteran, who was also named chairman and CEO of Placer Sierra Bank, replaced Ronald W. Bachli, who resigned.

Meanwhile, Washington Mutual Inc. officially adopted its nickname WaMu for the brand people will see on the banks’ branches, credit cards and checks, according to the San Jose Business Journal. While the Seattle-based thrift’s full name will continue to be the legal name, the decision to publicly market the company differently took into consideration that two-thirds of consumers are already familiar with the nickname.

Bank of Oklahoma wants to buy a Kansas bank charter so it can open Bank of Kansas City by year’s end in Overland Park, Bizjournals.com reported. The new bank will start with a single location, and although future growth is probable, no sites have been selected.

Flower Bank will be acquired by American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. for nearly $16.3 million in cash in a deal expected to close next quarter, seller Umbrella Bancorp Inc. announced

Umbrella said it will “engage in the mortgage banking business, acquire strategic positions in other financial institutions and develop a corporate restructuring and workout group to assist other entities” after the transaction is closed.

American Home said the acquisition of the single-office institution, which won’t be combined with it’s existing mortgage operations, will enhance its ability sell banking products.

Greensburg, Ind.-based MainSource Bank reported it acquired five branch offices in Indian from First Financial Bank on Friday to further its presence in the state to a total 68 offices across 30 counties.

NHB Holdings Inc. announced in late July that by yearend it would open Globility Bank, a state-chartered industrial lender based in Salt Lake City, Utah, that would sell mortgages and commercial banking services to national real estate companies, and it continues to pursue this despite a six-month regulatory moratorium the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. imposed on all industrial lender applications, according the Jacksonville Business Journal.

While state-chartered banks rarely have national mortgage lending approval and acquiring a federally-chartered bank would sidestep the moratorium, NHB is exploring other options to open Globility Bank as soon as possible, the Journal reported.

Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corp. announced it extended its footprint in Illinois with a new branch in Belvidere, the first one in the city and 16th in the state. The branch represents the 34th the self-described “largest privately held mortgage banker/broker in the U.S.” has opened this year.

ditech.com, the direct online mortgage subsidiary of GMAC Mortgage, has entered into a marketing alliance in which it will be the exclusive mortgage services provider for customers of ForSaleByOwner.com, according to a press release.

ForSaleByOwner is the nation’s leading for-sale-by-owner online residential real estate marketplace, the statement said.

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage will be the exclusive originator, processor and funder of mortgages for consumers of A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc., reportedly one of the nation’s largest investment firms, as the two companies recently announced they agreed to form a joint venture named A.G. Edwards Mortgage LLC.

The joint venture will offer first- and second-home mortgages, construction loans, jumbo mortgages, home equity loans and lines of credit, among others, the companies reported.

In New York, Franklin Credit Management Corp. said its entered into a new $40 million flow warehousing credit and security agreement with Sky Bank.

The new loan facility will be used to accumulate loans acquired by Franklin through its flow acquisition group prior to the consolidation of such loans into term debt, Franklin said, adding that LaSalle Bank is a 50 percent participant.

Franklin says its two related lines of business are the acquisition, servicing and resolution of performing, reperforming and nonperforming residential mortgage loans; and the origination of nonprime mortgages for its own portfolio and for sale into the secondary market.


Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.e-mail: MortgageWriter@aol.com

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