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Local mortgage firm lands $25M in private equity

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Indianapolis-based Stonegate Mortgage Corp. has received funding from Long Ridge Equity Partners, a private-equity firm, to help it expand in mortgage origination and servicing, the company said Monday.

The lender will use the money partly to continue retaining mortgage-servicing rights generated by its lending, Stonegate CEO Jim Cutillo said. The company may also buy existing servicing contracts from banks and build a portfolio of so-called jumbo loans, he said. Jumbo mortgages are larger than allowed in government-supported programs, currently as much as $729,750 for single-family properties in certain areas.

The investment was $25 million, according to Whit Clay, a spokesman for Stonegate. Long Ridge sees an opportunity to profit through a firm able to acquire servicing rights because of the low interest rates and high credit quality of new loans and recent retreats from the business by several large banks, said Kevin Bhatt, a partner at the New York-based firm.

“For us, a flat overall market is actually OK because there’s more market share available,” Cutillo said.

Stonegate lends directly to consumers, as well as through brokers and correspondents. It originated about $1 billion of mortgages last year and expects volume may total about $2.5 billion this year and as much as $5 billion in 2013, according to Cutillo. It owns about $1.5 billion of servicing rights, he said.

Stonegate will appoint Richard Mirro, former chairman and CEO of North American Mortgage Corp., to its board as part of the deal. Mirro is a member of Long Ridge’s financial-services advisory board.

Stonegate was founded in 2005 and was based in Fishers before moving its headquarters last year to The Precedent office park near Keystone Avenue and East 96th Street in Indianapolis, to accommodate a planned expansion.

In December 2010, Stonegate pledged to hire 300 workers by 2015 and expects to add 100 of those by the end of this year, CEO Jim Cutillo said. With $15.4 million in revenue at the end of 2010, the firm was the second-fastest growing company in the Indianapolis area, according to IBJ statistics. Its grew revenue 491 percent from the previous three years.
 

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

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  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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