A company many in the industry probably haven't heard of is set to become one of the nation's largest independent retail mortgage operations -- almost overnight. How? By snapping up all of the retail mortgage branches of troubled Indymac Bancorp Inc. (IMB), which disclosed only only day earlier that it would exit substantially all of its mortgage origination activity. According to a press statement released late Tuesday, Northbrook, Ill.-based Prospect Mortgage has signed an agreement to acquire more than 60 branch offices nationwide and 750 of Indymac's retail employees, including loan officers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The employees will become Prospect mortgage employees, with the branches being renamed, the company said; it's unclear if the company intends to cut staff in the wake of the planned acquisition. Both John Johnston and Ron Bergum will remain in their leadership roles with the retail branch group and report to Mark Filler, CEO of Prospect Mortgage; both Johnston and Bergum were senior retail banking executives at now-bankrupt American Home Mortgage Co. before joining Indymac. "The IndyMac transaction benefits our loan officers, customers, sales managers and referral sources. This is growth for the right reasons, not just for the sake of growth," said Filler. He did not elaborate further. Established in 2006, Prospect Mortgage specializes in acquiring midsized residential lenders, and is backed by Sterling Partners, a multibillion-dollar private equity fund based in Chicago and Baltimore. For more information, visit http://www.prospectmtg.com. Disclosure: The author held no positions in IMB when this story was originally published. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.