Ocwen CEO Retires, Former PHH Executive to Assume Role

Ocwen Financial Corporation (NYSE: OCN) president and CEO Ron Faris will retire at the end of June, the financial services corporation announced Thursday.

Glen Messina, former president and CEO of PHH Corp. (NYSE: PHH) — which Ocwen acquired earlier this year — will step into the top spot.

“As president and CEO, Ron guided Ocwen through a period of significant change, both in the mortgage industry and at our company,” board chair Phyllis Caldwell said in a statement announcing the personnel moves. “Ron redesigned the way we conduct business, and because of Ron’s leadership, we are strategically positioned to move forward into the future through our pending merger with PHH.”

Faris will not be a candidate for a seat on the West Palm Beach, Fla.-based company’s board at the upcoming election in May, though he will stay on as a consultant during the acquisition process, which is slated to wrap up sometime in the latter half of this year.

The soon-to-be former CEO spent 27 years with Ocwen, which suffered through a rough 2017 of enforcement actions and cease-and-desist orders regarding its mortgage servicing practices. Those problems, however, did not include Liberty Home Equity Solutions, the company’s reverse mortgage subsidiary. 

After briefly flirting with the sale of Liberty, Ocwen announced its intention to stay in the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage game at the end of February, 

“It is a challenging environment for reverse mortgages — some of the HUD rule changes that went into effect last year are expected to reduce volumes in 2018 — but we still believe that we have one of the premier platforms and are excited about that business going forward,” Faris said on the company’s fourth quarter 2017 earnings call. He did, however, note that the $360 million cash deal to acquire PHH will not add scale to Ocwen’s HECM business.

Earlier in February, former Liberty CEO Otto Kumbar left his post at the helm of Ocwen’s servicing arm.

Incoming president and CEO Messina held that position at PHH from 2012 to 2017, and also spent 17 years working for General Electric.

“Glen is one of the recognized leaders in the mortgage industry, and his disciplined approach to top- and bottom-line results in his previous roles is widely respected,” Caldwell said.

Written by Alex Spanko

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