Proprietary Capital completes acquisition of AFR, hires new COO

Rob Pieklo, a former AFR executive and partner, will return as the chief operating officer

A group of investors led by Colorado-based fund manager Proprietary Capital has completed the acquisition of multichannel lender American Financial Resources (AFR), the parties announced on Monday. The financials of the deal were not disclosed. 

Corey Dubnoff, who founded AFR in 1997, will remain as chief administrative officer, and Tim Yanoti will stay on as chief financial officer. In addition, Rob Pieklo, a former AFR executive and partner, will return as the chief operating officer. Pieklo spent 14 years at the lender before leaving in 2018. He was previously at UMortgage, holding the role of vice president of revenue. 

Pieklo was an adviser for Proprietary Capital during the transaction. Stratmor Group served as the adviser to AFR for the deal, which was announced in August 2023 and completed on Feb. 8. 

“With the acquisition of AFR, we will build on our already strong mortgage platform. We have been working with AFR on the transition plans over the last several months and are excited about the opportunity to build on a great foundation,” Craig Cohen, managing member of Proprietary Capital, said in a statement.

Since its foundation in 1997, Proprietary Capital has developed a platform to invest in the U.S. residential mortgage market and housing-related assets. In AFR, it’s adding the New Jersey-based, full-service independent mortgage bank that has direct, wholesale and correspondent lending divisions.

AFR offers agency, nonagency and government lending products. It also has a niche in construction and manufactured home loan programs. 

During an Association of Independent Mortgage Experts conference in October 2023, AFR executive vice president Christopher Guerin said that the company had doubled its efforts to do more renovation loans. 

“We focus more on manufactured home financing and new-construction home financing instead of maybe fighting against some of those headwinds of a more competitive inventory environment,” Guerin said in an interview.

Proprietary Capital expects to add products and gain market share across all channels after the ARF acquisition, the company said in a statement.    

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