Ellington Financial Invests in Longbridge for Reverse Mortgage Growth

A mainstream mortgage investor is committing its support for the reverse mortgage space through a minority investment in originator Longbridge Financial, LLC.

Ellington Financial LLC (NYSE: EFC) committed an investment in the Mahwah, N.J.-based Longbridge, a retail reverse mortgage loan originator launched in 2012. The details of the investment were not disclosed.

Ellington Financial, based in Greenwich, Conn. specializes in acquiring and managing mortgage-related assets, including including residential mortgage-backed securities, residential mortgage loans and commercial mortgage-backed securities, among other types of loans and derivatives.

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“With its customer-focused approach and industry-leading ethical practices, we believe that Longbridge is poised to significantly expand its presence in the reverse mortgage origination space,” says Michael Vranos, CEO of Ellington Management Group, LLC, in a release. “We look forward to working with [CEO] Chris [Mayer] and the Longbridge team to help build on their momentum and identify new ways to enable older Americans to improve their retirement.”

Longbridge entered the reverse mortgage space in 2012, having been established by a small group of former New York Life employees who announced their plans to gain licensing in the reverse mortgage space that year.

Through the new investment from Ellington Financial, the senior management of Longbride will remain the same, with Mayer serving as CEO, President and COO Manjiang Xu and Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing Melissa Macerato.

The partnership precedes further growth for Longbridge, as the company plans to expand its state licensing footprint in more than 40 states and build relationships with other firms in the retirement space in the coming months, Mayer says. New personnel will also be added to the Longbridge team in areas including compliance and underwriting.

“I look forward to growing our business in the coming months and working with Ellington to find new opportunities to expand the reverse mortgage business,” Mayer says. “Longbridge will continue to look for ways to help older Americans incorporate home equity into their retirement plans in a responsible manner.”

Written by Cassandra Dowell

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