Finally, after all the job losses that have hit the industry during these past few weeks, some good news to cover: Indymac Bank said today that it has found a home for more than 600 former American Home retail mortgage employees as the Pasadena, Calif.-based thrift looks to ramp up retail originations:
[Indymac] is in discussions to hire additional former AHM employees and anticipates that it will end up hiring 750 to 850 former AHM employees in total. Roughly 75 percent of the staff consists of retail loan officers, with the balance being in operations, marketing and recruiting. Roughly 83 percent of the new staff will be located in the western United States, with the balance being located in the East. Among the new hires are Ron Bergum and John Johnston, the former AHM co-CEOs of retail lending in its Western region.
In its press statement, Indymac noted that the new hires specialize in prime conforming, FHA/VA and other agency eligible single-family mortgage products. Indymac acquired the retail operations of New York Mortgage Trust Inc. in April for $13.5 million, a move that at the time probably should have served as a signal of a shift in IndyMac's strategy. It seems clear now that IndyMac -- as with other larger banks, such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America -- is looking to build up its retail presence as much of the mortgage market shifts away from other origination channels, including correspondent and wholesale.