Wholesale originator Western Bancorp acquired by Eli Global, plans expansion

Western Bancorp run by LoanCity founder Rick Soukoulis

Western Bancorp, a Silicon Valley-based wholesale mortgage originator, said this week that it plans to grow its business after being acquired by Eli Global, a private equity firm based in North Carolina.

Western Bancorp was founded in 2008 by Rick Soukoulis, who previously founded and ran LoanCity, which was one of the nation’s largest wholesale originators in the run-up to the financial crisis.

According to Western Bancorp’s website, Soukoulis founded Western Bancorp in partnership with the owners of Intero Real Estate, a real estate agency based in Northern California.

In 2014, HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, bought Intero Real Estate, leaving Soukoulis as the sole owner of Western Bancorp.

From there, Soukoulis pivoted back to wholesale mortgage originations, leading to the sale of Western Bancorp to Eli Global, which bills itself as a “privately held multinational investment firm that has created a loose confederation of autonomously managed, entrepreneurial businesses.”

According to a release from the companies, Eli Global makes “long-term investments in entrepreneurs and provides capital for growth,” which makes Western Bancorp an “exceptional fit” for its portfolio of companies.

The release also stated that the leadership of Western Bancorp will continue to run the business as an independent operating entity within the Eli Global family of companies.

With the financial backing of Eli Global, Western Bancorp said that it plans to expand its wholesale origination volume, develop technologies to support its broker experience, and improve workflow processes.

Additionally, Western Bancorp said that it also intends to “quickly expand” its operations beyond Silicon Valley and enter into new wholesale channels, including non-delegated and mini-correspondent.

“With Eli Global as our new capital partner, we will grow our wholesale origination footprint, enter into new channels, and make strategic investments in technology that will allow us to become a leading innovator in the wholesale mortgage fin-tech revolution,” Soukoulis said.

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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