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Ex-Fifth Third banker starts mortgage-bond hedge fund

Cincinnati Business Courier takes a look at Mariemont Capital

It’s one thing to talk about striking out on your own, leaving the nurturing biosphere of a big bank behind and opening your own shop. It’s another thing to actually do it.

It’s a whole other thing to actually do it and do it successfully.

But Kevin Taylor is doing just that.

In 2013, he left his position running mortgage-backed securities trading desk at Fifth Third Bank (FITB) to start Mariemont Capital. According to a report from the Cincinnati Business Courier, Taylor is finding success investing in residential mortgage bonds and delivering big returns for his investors.

From the Cincinnati Business Courier report:

He launched the fund in the fall of 2013 when regulations started making it difficult for banks to trade mortgage-backed securities, which was what Taylor did in Cincinnati for Fifth Third.

“I decided to jump ship,” he said. “This was an opportunity to take advantage of the new regulatory environment. The goal was to raise money, be a market maker and clip (interest) coupons.”

Taylor buys bonds that include jumbo mortgages for expensive homes or alt-A mortgages that are slightly riskier than prime mortgages. Neither qualifies for sale to government agencies Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. The added risk means they yield around 6 percent, a hefty amount in these low-rate times. But even though they sound riskier, there’s a lot of latitude within those categories.

According to the Cincinnati Business Courier report, Taylor has been able to use his experience at Fifth Third to deliver big returns – 14.9% last year and another 5.6% so far this year. 

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