REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY, MORTGAGE AND LENDING
Globenewswire | May 19, 2023
Voxtur Analytics Corp. (TSXV: VXTR; OTCQB: VXTRF) ("Voxtur" or the "Company"), a North American technology company creating a more transparent and accessible real estate lending ecosystem, is pleased to announce the signing of an exclusive platform agreement with The Mortgage Collaborative (“TMC”), America’s largest independent cooperative network for the mortgage industry that includes both community banks and non-bank lenders. Voxtur will make available to over 250 TMC members its complete digital ecosystem to support the mortgage lifecycle. More specifically, Voxtur’s mortgage asset trading platform, Blue Water, will deliver a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution to facilitate the purchase and sale of mortgage assets, including first mortgage agency whole loans, mortgage servicing rights, second liens, and non-QM mortgages. The Blue Water platform facilitates pricing, trading, reviewing, transferring, and funding of mortgage assets and portfolios in the secondary market.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for Voxtur, TMC, and its members,” said Gary Yeoman, CEO of Voxtur. “Our mortgage asset trading platform is built to deliver high volume trading and create efficient liquidity. We have successfully deployed similar platforms and I am confident that TMC and its members will realize value.”
As the market recovers, lenders need increased revenue and liquidity. For mid to small sized lenders with small servicing portfolios, operational friction and high costs result in reduced investor demand and opportunities. Further, smaller portfolios command lower proceeds which naturally disadvantages many originators and prohibits optimum liquidity. TMC can now provide its members with the most sophisticated, efficient, and unique platform for trading asset portfolios of any size. Blue Water’s all-digital trading solution verifies critical loan data, conducts a high-level review of underwriting and investor eligibility, and offers real-time exception remediation management to minimize underwriting risk and avoid costly rep and warrant claims. Blue Water’s data transfer application does not use sampling, but instead verifies every loan file, and does so at an attractive price point.
“This is a compelling use case for our members, and I expect that we will see meaningful adoption," said David Kittle, Chairman of TMC. "These have been difficult times for so many of our members and this type of platform will provide tremendous value to support them in driving revenue and solving for liquidity needs at scale.”
The Blue Water-TMC platform is expected to go live within the next few weeks with a soft-launch at the Mortgage Bankers Association Secondary and Capital Markets Conference and Expo in New York early next week.
About The Mortgage Collaborative
Based in San Diego, California, the Mortgage Collaborative was founded in 2013 to empower mortgage lenders across the country with better financial execution, reduced costs, enhanced expertise and improved compliance, as well as helping members access the dynamic and changing consumer base in America. The cooperative is managed by its founding members, John Robbins, CMB; David Kittle, CMB; Gary Acosta, CEO of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP); and Jim Park, former chair of the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA). Robbins and Kittle are former chairmen of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.
Voxtur is a transformational real estate technology company that is redefining industry standards in a dynamic lending environment. The Company offers targeted data analytics to simplify tax solutions, property valuation and settlement services throughout the lending lifecycle for investors, lenders, government agencies and servicers. Voxtur's proprietary data hub and workflow platforms more accurately and efficiently value assets, originate and service loans, securitize portfolios and evaluate tax assessments. The Company serves the property lending and property tax sectors, both public and private, in the United States and Canada.
REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY, REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT
Businesswire | April 12, 2023
Sound Point Capital Management, LP, a credit-oriented investment manager overseeing approximately $32 billion in total assets, is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Assured Investment Management LLC and certain of its related asset management entities (“Assured-IM”), which conducts the institutional asset management business of Assured Guaranty Ltd. (together with its affiliates, “Assured Guaranty”). In connection with the strategic partnership, Assured Guaranty will become a significant equityholder of Sound Point and certain of Assured Guaranty’s U.S. insurance subsidiaries will commit to invest $1 billion over time in Sound Point managed vehicles and separately managed accounts. Sound Point will become the sole alternative credit manager for the Assured Guaranty U.S. insurance subsidiaries.
Sound Point will assume the management of 32 active Assured IM CLOs, comprising 25 US CLOs and seven European CLOs, making Sound Point the fifth largest broadly syndicated loan CLO manager globally on a pro forma basis. New York-based Sound Point is currently managing 39 CLOs of its own and also manages over $10 billion of assets in other areas of credit investing, including direct loans, capital solutions, distressed, structured products, commercial real estate lending, and specialty finance.
“This is a watershed event in Sound Point’s growth story, and it positions us for continued success in a business where scale has become increasingly important,” said Stephen Ketchum, Sound Point’s founder and Managing Partner. “It’s our largest transaction to date, and we’re extremely proud to be receiving a one-billion-dollar investment commitment over time from Assured Guaranty. We’re thrilled to be expanding our diversified platform through a powerful new partnership that will create immediate impact.”
The transaction is expected to be completed in the beginning of Q3 2023. As part of the acquisition, a significant number of employees from Assured-IM are expected to join Sound Point, both in New York and London.
Following this acquisition, Sound Point will take over the management of approximately $15.2 billion (as of December 31, 2022) in Assured-IM assets, predominantly across CLOs but also including structured asset-backed investments. Sound Point’s pro forma assets under management (AUM) are anticipated to total approximately $47 billion after consummation of the transaction.
“This acquisition further strengthens our platform and will allow Sound Point to leverage its already comprehensive firmwide infrastructure and investment teams,” said David Grill, Head of Strategy at Sound Point. “Assured Guaranty’s investment commitment will be allocated to Sound Point managed CLOs as well as a range of other credit strategies”.
The combination of Sound Point and Assured-IM’s technology and systems will further improve reporting capabilities and speed. The combined team will focus on continued excellence and tight operational controls, benefiting from each other’s existing processes and previous experience.
Sound Point will remain a privately held company, with Stephen Ketchum as Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer and the firm’s controlling equityholder. Principals of Stone Point Capital LLC and Dyal Capital Partners will continue to be important members of Sound Point’s ownership group.
Assured-IM was formerly known as BlueMountain Capital Management, LLC. BlueMountain was acquired by Assured Guaranty on October 1, 2019, and subsequently rebranded as Assured Investment Management.
BofA Securities acted as financial advisor, and Pryor Cashman LLP and DLA Piper LLP acted as legal advisors, to Sound Point. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Insurance Advisory Partners LLC served as financial advisors to Assured Guaranty and Mayer Brown LLP served as Assured Guaranty’s legal advisor.
About Sound Point Capital Management, LP
Sound Point is an alternative asset management firm founded in 2008 with particular expertise in credit strategies. Based in New York, with offices in London, Florida and Connecticut, the firm manages money on behalf of institutional investors including top-tier pensions, foundations, insurance companies, wealth management firms and family offices. Sound Point's strategies span the spectrum of liquid and illiquid credit alternatives and include funds and managed accounts focused on leveraged loans, special situations, distressed debt, structured credit, direct lending and commercial real estate. Sound Point currently manages approximately $32 billion of assets. Five principals of Stone Point Capital LLC, as well as Dyal Capital Partners, a division of Blue Owl Capital Inc. [NYSE: OWL], are also strategic investors in our business. For more information, please visit Sound Point's website at www.soundpointcap.com.
About Assured Guaranty Ltd.
Assured Guaranty Ltd. is a publicly traded [NYSE: AGO], Bermuda-based holding company. Through its subsidiaries, Assured Guaranty provides credit enhancement products to the U.S. and international public finance, infrastructure and structured finance markets and also provides asset management services. More information on Assured Guaranty Ltd. and its subsidiaries can be found at AssuredGuaranty.com.
REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY, REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT
PRnewswire | May 10, 2023
FirstClose, Inc., a leading fintech provider of data and workflow solutions for mortgage and home equity lenders nationwide, announced today that America First Credit Union selected its FirstClose Equity™ solution to provide members access to a digital end-to-end home equity product that delivers a best-in-class experience and dramatically cuts down loan application approval times.
Industry analysis shows U.S. homeowners with mortgages have seen their equity increase by a total of $1 trillion since the fourth quarter of 2021, a gain of 7.3% year over year. While home equity lending is experiencing rapid growth, it continues to be a friction-filled process driving demand for a solution.
America First is a Utah-based credit union with 120 branches across Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, and New Mexico, serving more than 1.3 million members, making it the 5th largest credit union in the country in terms of membership. Using FirstClose Equity, America First will be able to reduce the time to close from initial inquiry to as little as one week, versus the industry average of 45 to 60 days.
"Our focus is always on our members, and our partnership with FirstClose supports our goal of delivering the best member and processor experience possible," said Austin Coleman, Senior Vice President of Mortgage Lending at America First Credit Union.
FirstClose Equity makes home equity a low-friction lending experience that consumers have come to expect. Consumers have one experience via a private labeled POS and borrower portal. The application process itself is extremely streamlined. With the member's consent, FirstClose Equity collects and verifies asset and employment information. Even the few pieces of information that the member is required to provide can be uploaded through the platform. The decisioning engine delivers a firm decision on CLTV and pricing in approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
"Because we absorb many of the fees for our members, efficiency at every stage of the origination process takes on greater importance, and automation on both sides of the transaction is key," said Coleman. "Through our integration with FirstClose, loan officers, underwriters, and processors never have to leave their LOS, which greatly increases our efficiency with home equity lending."
Founded in 2000, FirstClose offers lenders a user-friendly home equity technology solution to lend more efficiently, faster, and at scale. "We are thrilled to be trusted with such an important role of helping fulfill America First Credit Union's mission to provide their members with a simple and streamlined home equity experience," said Tedd Smith, Chief Executive Officer of FirstClose. "We are the category leader and are committed to advancing our technology so our customers, like America First, can focus on what matters most - their member's experience and improving their bottom line."
About America First Credit Union
Founded in 1939, and with a long-standing history of exceptional member service, America First Credit Union has become one of the largest, most stable, and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 120 locations, and is the eighth largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $17 billion, and the fifth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 1.3 million members. For more information, visit americafirst.com.
Headquartered in Austin, Texas, FirstClose, Inc. provides fintech solutions to HELOC and mortgage lenders nationwide. The company's mission is to increase profitability and reduce cost for mortgage lenders. FirstClose makes this possible through offering systems and relationships that enable lenders to assist the lender's borrowers more effectively, reduce closing costs, and ultimately shorten closing times. For more information, visit firstclose.com.