Walter Investment Names New Chairman, Chief Operating Officer

After reporting a $263 million net loss in 2015 and a “disappointing” year for its reverse mortgage business this week, Walter Investment Management Corp. (NYSE: WAC) has made several significant changes among its executive leadership. 

Just days after Walter divulged its fourth quarter and full-year 2015 financial results, the company on Wednesday announced the appointment of Daniel G. Beltzman, co-founder of Birch Run Capital Advisors, LP, as Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors. 

Beltzman, who joined the Walter Board in December 2015, co-founded Birch Run in 2006. The New York City-based investment advisor firm focuses on value-based opportunities in public or private equity or debt securities. In his current role, Beltzman oversees the company’s investment portfolio, including formulating investment strategy and generating new investment ideas in the precious metals markets, such as silver bullion and gold investments. 

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“Daniel, in his short tenure, has already had a positive influence on our current strategic initiatives and direction and we believe as Chairman his leadership will be critical to our achieving our goal of becoming the partner of choice for homeowners, regulators and other stakeholders,” said Walter Vice Chairman and CEO Denmar Dixon in a written statement.

Walter’s current Chairman of the Board, Mark J. O’Brien, will continue to serve on the Board as a director.

On the same day as Beltzman’s appointment, Walter also announced that David C. Schneider, its current executive vice president and president of the company’s Ditech Financial brand, has been appointed as chief operating officer, effective immediately. 

Schneider has served as EVP of the company since October 2014, and as president of the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Ditech, since February 2016. Ditech is the product of Walter’s completed consolidation of its originations and servicing business.

Schneider joined Walter in October 2013, serving as EVP-Business Development for the company’s Green Tree Servicing, LLC platform. In the past, he has served as president and chief operating officer of Citigroup Mortgage; president of Washington Mutual Home Loans and head of servicing and default at JP Morgan Chase Mortgage.

“David has been a key contributor to the organization since joining in 2013,” Dixon said in a statement. “His deep background in the mortgage sector, intricate knowledge of operations and his leadership experience make him the right person to lead our operations as we execute on our strategic transformation.” 

The new management and board level appointments arrive just days after Walter’s most recent earnings report revealed substantial losses to its overall performance as well as its reverse mortgage segment, which is comprised largely of top-10 reverse lender Reverse Mortgage Solutions, Inc.

During the earnings call on Monday, Walter management said they would remain focused on improving its operational efficiencies to grow shareholder value, and would continue investing in the development of its reverse mortgage origination channels. 

In its ongoing efforts to accomplish these goals, both Dixon and Walter Chief Financial Officer Gary Tillett indicated that the company has taken “several actions” to remediate certain deficiencies in its business.

“Based on the preliminary results of this project, we have a significant opportunity with regard to improving our cost structure through process improvements and technology, and we are optimistic that if we are successful, the improvements will drive results and shareholder value in a very meaningful way,” Dixon said during Monday’s call.

Written by Jason Oliva

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  • While I do not chart the losses within their other business segments, it has been fascinating to follow their annual reverse mortgage business losses.

    Executive management changes have been long overdue but this seems too long and too short to turn things around in the reverse mortgage business segment.

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