Mutual of Omaha Bank Enters Reverse with Synergy One Acquisition

In the wake of recent changes that have substantially altered the lending landscape, the reverse mortgage space has a new entrant.

Mutual of Omaha Bank on Thursday announced the purchase of Synergy One Lending, a San Diego-based lender and top-five originator of Home Equity Conversion Mortgages through its Retirement Funding Solutions brand.

“We are a strong cultural fit — with both of us committed to collaboration, accountability, and customer-focus — and our businesses are extremely complementary,” Mutual of Omaha chairman and CEO Jeff Schmid said in a statement announcing the deal. “We are excited by the potential this acquisition offers both companies to expand and serve more customers in the mortgage and reverse mortgage markets.”


Synergy One will continue to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Nebraska-based Mutual of Omaha, originating loans under its own name and maintaining its headquarters in San Diego. Mutual of Omaha Mortgage president Terry Connealy will oversee Synergy One’s operations on behalf of its new parent company.

“The combined company is fully aligned on vision, culture, and purpose as we aim to build the best mortgage enterprise in the market, while maintaining our core values and commitment to serving others,” Synergy One president and CEO Torrey Larsen said in the statement.

Larsen previously served as president of Security One Lending, which Walter Investment Management Corp. (NYSE: WAC) purchased for $31 million in 2013.

Mutual of Omaha’s entrance into the space represents a significant splash in a reverse-mortgage marketplace still grappling with a substantial decline in volume after principal limit factors were reduced last fall. The bank’s release referred to the reverse mortgage as “a valuable financial-planning tool for seniors.”

Synergy One sat at fifth place in Reverse Market Insight’s most recent breakdown of the top 10 Federal Housing Administration-approved HECM lenders, with 3,277 loans originated during the 12 months ended in April 2018.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Written by Alex Spanko

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  • Congratulations to Torrey and the other stockholders at Synergy One. The future of the industry just got a “little” brighter as a result of this acquisition.

    With the advent of the Longevity Task Force through the support of Synergy One, the potential for growth is enormous.

  • I have to ditto my fiend Jim Veale on this one! Very encouraging news for all of us. This should give spark to every originator, see, the industry is not going to “Flame City”!

    Mutual of Omaha Bank knows something that we need to take as a sign that we need to go to work again!!!

    John A. Smaldone

  • Opinion. History tends to repeat itself. Look at TL’s last company, Security 1. TL sold, cashed in, stayed on per agreement, left company, started new company RFS. Then RFS did what many would see as “solicited” many of S1L’s best employees to start yet another company – RFS. Now selling again. Mutual of Omaha – history tends to repeat. Look up Security 1 and Walter Investment. No longer in business. Unfortunately the HECM product – although a great product – likely will not see significant volume any time in foreseeable future due to recent guideline and principal limit changes over the past year. Many of the best and talented in industry work for RFS – now Mutual of Omaha. How long will this entity last? History repeats.

    California non-compete very difficult to impossible to enforce.

    • Joe Critic,

      You seem to lack a real understanding of S1L. You left out one sale of the company.

      Liberty has been sold twice. MetLife chose not to sell its origination operations (yet RMF rose from its ashes) or I would be pointing to EverBank Reverse. As to taking employees from one company to another, I do not believe Synergy One violated any agreement it had with RMS or Walter. What a horrible incomplete accusation you make.

      As to any covenant not to compete, please instruct us on how Torrey violated the terms of those agreements. Your last sentence borders on libelous. No wonder your Disqus account is private.

    • @joecritic:disqus Why do you hide behind a fake name and no picture?

      If you want to be taken seriously then bring your comments and this discussion out into the light.

      Your opinion about history repeating itself demonstrates your ignorance of the facts. The facts are that RMS leadership struggled to get their head around the HECM product and the nuances of the borrower. Bottom line, they didn’t understand how to grow the channel and essentially ran the opportunity for originators into the ground.

      I know Torrey personally and he didn’t leave RMS to then turn around and recruit it’s loan officers. If you ask any current RFS loan officer who worked for RMS how they feel, they will tell you they are still in the business because Torrey “rescued” us from a horrible situation.

      So hey Joe, I appreciate your opinion but it’s baseless and the facts don’t support your claim.

      As far as your prediction that the HECM product won’t see significant volume in the near future: I predict you are wrong in your assessment.

      What happened with Mutual of Omaha Bank’s entrance into the HECM space will serve as the tipping point for the HECM program.

      Just my opinion of course…time will tell, right?

      Keep posting Joe as I’m sure everyone who reads your posts take you seriously for sure!

      • torrey is a consummate professional with tremendous vision, lets spread the positivity

      • @disqus_HxYuFwWgYn:disqus Telling the truth is spreading the positivity.

        I’m a little bit confused, are you inferring that my reply to Joe was negative, or are you just encouraging others to tell the truth?

        If I read a post like Joe’s and not call it out for being misleading then I am ok with what Joe is saying.

        The problem is I’m not ok with what some person named “joe” who hides has to say and I see this everywhere online.

        It’s happening too much…keyboard warriors who have noting better to do than to troll websites and spew their poison…all while hiding their true identity.

        I took the time to reply to your comment because I care about Torrey Larsen and his reputation.

      • @disqus_HxYuFwWgYn:disqus @danstemen:disqus

        Thanks for contributing and supporting us. All I can say is just ignore Critic or Veale or whoever it’s and it will end.

        Jason – long time man, we need to catch up. Hope the family is well.

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