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Movement Mortgage to acquire top indie retail lender Mortgage Network

Deal will add $2 billion in annual volume, 250 mortgage professionals and 31 branches to Movement

Top-25 retail lender Movement Mortgage struck a deal to acquire Massachusetts-based retail firm Mortgage Network, multiple sources told HousingWire.  

The transaction, confirmed by the companies, is a step to boost Movement’s presence on the East Coast amid shrinking loan origination volumes. The deal adds $2 billion in annual volume, 250 mortgage professionals and 31 branch offices to Movement’s book of businesses. 

Movement is expected to announce the deal to its employees on Friday afternoon. 

The company did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. Houlihan Lokey served as financial advisor and Pierce Atwood served as legal advisor to Mortgage Network. Troutman Pepper was Movement’s legal advisor in the M&A transaction. 

“We want to grow,” Casey Crawford, a former pro football player who founded distributed retail nonbank Movement in 2008, said in a statement to HousingWire. “This is about more than growing our market share – we’re bringing on phenomenal loan officers and leaders from one of the strongest independent retail mortgage lenders,” added Movement’s president Mike Brennan. 

Movement says it employs more than 1,500 loan officers nationwide and has over 550 branches. The lender plans to retain Mortgage Network’s staff across the acquired branch network and integrate with its existing distributed retail business. 

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Through the first nine months of 2022, Movement funded just under $20 billion in residential mortgages, down 23% year-over-year, according to data from Inside Mortgage Finance. And, like most other mortgage lenders, it has instituted several rounds of cuts this year as interest rate hikes crushed mortgage demand.

Mortgage Network, the acquired company, is based in Danvers, Massachusetts and was founded in 1988 by Robert McInnes, its chairman and CEO, and Albert Pare. It’s one of the top independent mortgage lenders in the country.

Mortgage Network funded $2.5 billion over the last 12 months, according to the mortgage tech platform Modex. It has licenses in 27 states. 

“After 34 years, it was time to find a new home for my team that values its employees and customers as much as we always have. I strongly believe Movement is that company,” McInnes said in a statement to HousingWire.  

That’s Movement’s second Northeast acquisition this year. In August, the company acquired the brokerage Superior Rate Mortgage of New England.

Also in August, Movement announced new hires in the sales executive team, such as 34-year veteran Sarah Middleton to the new position of chief growth officer to attract, onboard and develop sales leaders. Kevin McGovern was named the director of coaching, responsible for creating a coaching platform. In October, the company added Lyra Waggoner as its chief information officer. Her role will focus on technology to drive the company’s growth.

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