NEXA Mortgage co-founders are splitting

In the meantime, CEO Mike Kortas said NEXA “made the decision to terminate” co-founder Mat Grella this week

Mike Kortas and Mat Grella, the longtime owners and co-founders of America’s largest mortgage brokerage, NEXA Mortgage, are in negotiations to end their partnership. 

In the meantime, Kortas announced during a weekly Town Hall on Tuesday that company president Grella had been terminated, which means he will not be involved in the company’s daily operations or strategic decisions for the growth of the business. 

Kortas told HousingWire that Grella had requested a buyout of his minority share of the company in November and that he arranged Grella to remain employed as a “courtesy” while negotiations occurred. 

“Unfortunately that arrangement became unworkable, and NEXA made the decision to terminate Mr. Grella’s employment,” Kortas wrote. “The negotiations regarding the buyout of Mr. Grella’s ownership interest shall continue.”

Grella, who handled more of the operations side of the business, did not respond to a request for comment. 

Sources familiar with the matter said lawyers are involved in the buyout negotiations and litigation is possible. It was not immediately clear whether NEXA plans to replace Grella or who would take on his responsibilities at the company. 

Kortas told HousingWire that he owns 50.5% of the company and there were no outside investors.

NEXA did $6.29 billion in mortgage loans in 2023, according to Kortas, easily more than any other brokerage. According to the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System, NEXA had 2,385 sponsored mortgage loan officers as of Thursday. Roughly 1,845 were considered “active” by Modex.

Affiliated companies include AXEN Mortgage, a non-delegated correspondent shop, as well as a charter flight business.

NEXA was founded in 2017 after Kortas and Grella left Equity Prime Mortgage. The brokerage’s biggest lending partner is United Wholesale Mortgage, the nation’s largest mortgage lender.

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