As HousingWire reported earlier this month, Steve Horne, the founder, CEO and president of Wingspan Portfolio Advisors, is no longer running the company he founded in 2008.
Sources first told HousingWire of Horne’s exit as president and CEO on October 2. Wingspan Senior Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Industry Relations Guy Davis officially denied the rumors of Horne’s removal as president at the time, and declined further comment despite repeated attempts — and even attempted to dissuade coverage from appearing in HousingWire.
When contacted last week about the rumors of Horne's ouster, Davis said, "The rumor is completely inaccurate and Steve Horne continues to lead the Wingspan organization."
Now, despite repeated denials to HousingWire, Wingspan has made the news official, and named Jason Spooner, Wingspan’s executive vice president of national operations, as the company’s new president.
According to Wingspan, Horne has been moved to a senior advisor position.
Wingspan also announced a “multi-million dollar capital infusion from its stockholder investor group,” and the “divestiture” of Dimont & Associates, which Dimont itself announced Thursday.
“We have just finalized a significant strategic transaction with an investor group and we are now debt free,” Horne said. “The transaction will give Wingspan a stronger financial foundation than we have ever had and further enhances our ability to deliver exceptional service to our clients."
When Wingspan purchased Dimont, a hazard insurance claims management company, in 2013, the deal required Wingspan to take on mezzanine debt, which was allegedly new to Wingspan’s operations, a source told HousingWire.
A source told HousingWire that Wingspan’s debt holders began to grow unsteady when Wingspan allegedly failed to pay even the first payment due. The source said that Dimont was allegedly divested from the company in order to satisfy the debt taken on for its very purchase.
When Dimont announced the divestiture Thursday, it said it was the as a result of “recapitalization by existing institutional investors including THL Credit (TCRD).”
According to THL Credit’s most recent filing with Securities and Exchange Commission (which can be seen here), THL Credit owned $18.8 million of Wingspan’s subordinated debt related to the Dimont acquisition, at an interest rate of 15.5%. The loan had a maturity date of Nov. 21, 2016.
Now, Horne (pictured right) says the company is “debt free” and ready to move forward, albeit without him in the captain’s chair.
"As the company’s founder, I am excited by the opportunities ahead for Wingspan," Horne said. "Over the past year, like many other companies in the servicing industry, Wingspan has experienced a fair degree of turbulence as the industry is successfully transitioning out of the default crisis.
“Wingspan has diversified its services and aligned its workforce accordingly. With the closing of this strategic transaction, we have secured the financial support we need to continue as the leader in component servicing and outsourcing solutions,” he said.”
Spooner (pictured left), who joined Wingspan in 2012 to manage national operations, will now take over as president.
Interestingly, Wingspan makes no mention in their announcement of who will fill Horne’s role as CEO. Spooner’s role, at least according to the Wingspan announcement, has been limited to president.
“With our new leadership team and a capital infusion from our stockholders, we are now in an even stronger position to meet the needs of our clients going forward,” Spooner said. “Our operational excellence, culture of compliance and true subject matter expertise will enable Wingspan to better serve our clients as the industry continues to rapidly evolve.”