Following his departure from a leadership position at a prominent reverse mortgage service provider, one industry veteran recently embarked on his newest endeavor within the sector and is already experiencing some notable growth.
A new reverse mortgage services provider helmed by several industry veterans launched just a couple of months ago and is already experiencing some notable growth as it continues to expand its presence in the marketplace this year and beyond.
Late March, Premier Reverse Closings announced that then-President Rob Awalt had left the company to pursue other potential opportunities in the reverse mortgage industry. This pursuit led to the creation of Allegiant Reverse Services, a full service title and settlement company dedicated to the reverse mortgage space.
In launching this new company, Awalt built a team of reverse mortgage professionals who essentially “grew up” together in the sector, he said, many of whom have worked together in previous capacities.
“We had a name change, but really the core remains the same,” Allegiant Reverse Services President Rob Awalt told RMD.
Many of Allegiant’s team members have had experience in running accounts for some of the industry largest lenders, such as Financial Freedom, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) and MetLife (NYSE: MET). As each of these lenders left the marketplace one by one, they forced others in the industry to fill the void in their absence. This shift also pushed non-originating service providers to acclimate to the new environment.
“Starting from scratch, we relied on our past success as well as the starts and stops when those companies left the space,” Awalt said. “We’ve just transitioned to the current market. That’s no different than going from our past company to this one [Allegiant]. We relied on our core competence and dedication.”
The concept of a startup business is nothing new for Allegiant, especially when considering the frequency of having to start from scratch. For instance, when you have a company (or a team) that is dedicated to just one particular business—like say a Wells Fargo account—and then that business exits the industry, this forces the service provider to re-tool their focus, because now those team members who were solely focused on that one particular account are essentially starting over.
“The truth of the matter is this new endeavor that we’re doing we have done half a dozen times because of the turnover in our industry and because of companies changing and exiting [the market],” Awalt said.
Allegiant is a division of FNC Title Services LLC, a national title company based in Rockville, Md. The company has also partnered with Fidelity National Title Group, which is part of the Fidelity National Financial (NYSE: FNF) family of companies, the nation’s largest group of title companies and title insurance underwriters. Other partners include First American Title Insurance Company and WFG National Title Insurance Company.
Allegiant currently maintains a presence on both coasts with offices in Rockville, and Roseville, Calif., as well as a southern operation in Houston. With the lone exception of Hawaii, Allegiant is licensed to conduct business in 49 states.
In the roughly two and a half months since Allegiant’s launch, the company currently employs 30 staff members just at its California location, but about 80-85 people in total when combining the Texas and Maryland operations, Awalt said.
So while the business and its team members have had to adapt with the changing environment in recent years, the focus remained constant: on the borrower.
“Our approach is always going to be to take care of the borrower,” Awalt said. “It doesn’t matter if you have rubber boots on, if you step in the mud puddle everybody gets splashed. Our job is to identify those mud puddles. If we’re focused on the borrower, naturally the client, broker, lender—everyone gets taken care of.”
Written by Jason Oliva