Mutual of Omaha acquisition places Keller Mortgage alongside reverse mortgage division

The acquisition deal announced this week sees Keller Mortgage sitting in the same corporate home as Mutual of Omaha Reverse Mortgage

Mutual of Omaha Mortgage announced on Monday that it would be acquiring the assets of Keller Mortgage, a member of the Keller Williams (KW) family of companies. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This transaction brings together two leaders in the mortgage industry, leveraging the strengths of each to provide outstanding products and services to homebuyers from coast to coast,” said Mutual of Omaha Mortgage President Terry Connealy. “With shared values that emphasize integrity, teamwork, customer focus, innovation and accountability, Keller Mortgage is a strong cultural fit with Mutual of Omaha Mortgage.”

Keller Mortgage will be operated by Mutual of Omaha alongside its existing forward and reverse mortgage divisions, the company said. Keller Williams will continue to own a stake in Keller Mortgage, though it didn’t disclose how big that stake is.

According to Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) endorsement data compiled by Reverse Market Insight (RMI), Mutual of Omaha is currently the second-largest reverse mortgage lender in the country with 5,739 endorsements over the 12-month period ending in January, 2023.

In our ranking of the top 10 reverse mortgage lenders for 2022, Mutual of Omaha leaped three places to settle in the number two position at the end of last year by jumping ahead of Liberty Reverse Mortgage, Finance of America Reverse (FAR) and Reverse Mortgage Funding (RMF).

After RMF declared bankruptcy late last year, the reverse mortgage division of Mutual of Omaha added over a dozen former employees from RMF to its ranks, giving the staffers a landing spot after that lender’s exit from the industry.

Mark O’Neil was named Mutual of Omaha’s SVP of wholesale after spending nine years at RMF, where he last served as its national wholesale and correspondent sales leader prior to the bankruptcy. Mutual of Omaha also hired nine account executives from RMF, as well as Jaime Girard. Girard previously served as relationship manager leader at RMF, and now serves as Mutual of Omaha’s partner support leader.

“The team and I were looking for a new home with an established wholesale team where we could continue to grow and provide great service to our clients. It did not take long to recognize that Mutual of Omaha Mortgage has all the resources we could ask for,” O’Neil said in a statement in January.

Keller Mortgage originated nearly $1 billion in mortgage originations over the last year, according to data from mortgage recruiting platform Modex. About 85% of its business was forward purchase.

In November, Keller Home Financial Services (KHFS) President Dave Smith announced that he was exiting the company after less than two years at the helm. Keller Williams said Smith “decided to leave the organization to pursue other career opportunities.”

Rich Miller was selected to become the interim president of Keller Mortgage, which has also executed multiple rounds of layoffs since the Federal Reserve began hiking interest rates in March 2022.

Additional reporting was contributed by James Kleimann.

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