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PacWest Bancorp acquires non-QM lender Civic

Commercial bank touted acquisition as move into the private money space

Pacific Western Bank, the wholly owned subsidiary of PacWest Bancorp, announced Tuesday it had acquired Civic Financial Services, a private money lender that caters to real estate investors.

Wedgewood, a real estate investment firm that focuses on distressed properties, was the seller of Civic. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Pacific Western Bank hailed the acquisition as a strategic move into specialized areas of the non-QM market. Civic typically loans money to investors who need bridge loans, financing for flips, rentals or rehab projects. It also offers multifamily loans.

“This acquisition opens the door for us to grow in the private lending space with a proven market leader, creating value for both of our organizations. We are excited to welcome the talented CIVIC team to Pacific Western Bank,” said Pacific Western Bank President and CEO, Matt Wagner.

Civic has funded over 10,000 loans to real estate investors , totaling more than $4.4 billion since its inception in 2014, the company said. In 2020, it originated more than $1 billion as investors looked for new opportunities amid historically low interest rates.

Non-QM lending is poised for growth in 2021

HousingWire recently spoke with Mike Fierman, managing partner and co-CEO of Angel Oak, about the non-QM lending outlook for 2021 and how Angel Oak’s “originate to hold” model benefits originators.

Presented by: Angel Oak

In recent years, Civic has worked to expand its reach in the non-QM market, launching a loan program in 2019 that targeted real estate investors who wish to acquire rental properties but “may not meet the requirements of the conventional lending space.”

That same month, CIVIC released a correspondent lending channel that would allow lenders to close real estate investor loans in their own names and access warehouse lines. The channel made it so that lenders that want to make loans to real estate investors can tap Civic directly for their funding.

“As a part of PacWest Bancorp, CIVIC is poised to dominate our market more fiercely than ever before,” said William Tessar, Civic’s president. “More importantly, PacWest Bancorp shares the values our company has been built upon as well as our vision and goals. With a strong capital base, we have the ability to continue to invest in scaling our infrastructure and operations and expand into new markets.”

PacWest’s latest acquisition is one of several subtle hints the company is planning some long-term moves. On Friday, the commercial bank announced the first step of a “Senior Leadership Transition Plan” set to take place over the next three years.

The plan will retain Wagner as President and CEO through Dec. 31 2023, after which the company will transition him to the role of executive chairman of PacWest Bancorp.

“Matt has built an incredible company from its humble beginnings as a $200 million asset San Diego bank into a $29 billion asset bank doing business nationwide. We believe that the executive team in place can build upon the success of the past 20 years,” John Eggemeyer, Chairman of the Board for PacWest Bancorp, said in a statement.

Who will succeed Wagner has yet to be disclosed.

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