Reverse mortgage lender gets a new Board of Directors

HomeEquity Bank welcomed the new group after its acquisition by a teachers’ pension organization

The leading reverse mortgage lender in Canada, Toronto-based HomeEquity Bank, announced this week the appointment of a new Board of Directors in the wake of its acquisition by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board. The deal, which was announced last year and for which terms were not disclosed, closed in July.

“We are excited to welcome a talented and diverse new Board of Directors, who will help drive HomeEquity Bank forward as we challenge stereotypes about the product category and maintain and grow our market leadership,” said Steven Ranson, HomeEquity Bank President and CEO in a statement. “The appointment of the new Board is the next step in our extraordinary growth trajectory, as the importance of our financial solution in helping Canadian homeowners aged 55 plus enjoy a financially secure retirement in the home they love continues to grow.”

Steven Ranson, CEO of leading reverse mortgage lender in Canada HomeEquityBank.
Steven Ranson

Ranson himself will serve on the new Board, which also includes executives Brenda Rideout, Cleo Cheung Goodman, Dan Jauernig (who serves as the new Board’s Chair), Deepak Khandelwal, Francine Blackburn, Jeff Markusson, Richard Thomas and Trudy Fahie. Thomas and Markusson come to the board from Ontario Teachers’ portfolio management team. The previous Board members were thanked for their service upon the announcement of the new appointees.

When the deal was first announced, the Pension Plan Board — which is responsible for administering defined-benefit pensions for school teachers of Ontario, the province in Canada which is home to the city of Toronto — was described for RMD as a “world-leading Canadian institutional investor, [which] sees incredible potential in our product and market,” according to HomeEquity Bank’s EVP of Marketing and Sales Yvonne Ziomecki at the time.

When asked last year about what attracted Ontario Teachers’ to the HomeEquity Bank acquisition, Ziomecki told RMD that the company’s track record and the trajectory of the reverse mortgage business in Canada played critical roles.

“It is impressed with our growth and will invest in HomeEquity Bank for the future,” Ziomecki explained in September 2021. “Its long-term capital profile, strong track record of delivering retirement solutions, and shared vision for making a positive impact on the lives of retired Canadians make it a natural partner for us.”

Birch Hill initially acquired HomeQ and HEB in 2012 in a deal valued at the time at C$136 million (roughly $130.6 million USD today accounting for inflation), according to Bloomberg.

Canadian reverse mortgage market growth over the past few years has been pronounced, having been bolstered by the rising home price appreciation levels in major markets like Toronto, Ontario, and Vancouver, British Columbia. However, pandemic-era appreciation increasingly runs risks for newer loans, according to a recent report.

At the beginning of the year, HomeEquity Bank announced that it had surpassed $1 billion CAD ($768.5 million USD) in originations for 2021, the first time it had ever reached such a threshold, and which also marked a 28% annual increase over its origination figure in 2020.

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