Mutual of Omaha Bank Acquired By CIT, Synergy One Remaining Behind

Nebraska-based Mutual of Omaha Bank has announced it will be acquired by Pasadena, Calif.-based CIT Bank in a deal valued at $1 billion, but the merger will not include mortgage arm Synergy One Lending.

That business, including the reverse mortgage lending brand Retirement Funding Solutions (RFS), will remain under the Mutual of Omaha Insurance umbrella.

“I’m excited to announce that we will remain part of Mutual of Omaha Insurance,” said Torrey Larsen, president of Synergy One Lending in an email to RMD. “The mortgage business is a strategic fit that aligns with Mutual of Omaha’s mission and customer-focused strategy. Mutual has chosen to keep and grow the mortgage business and sees opportunities around building value for our combined customer base.”

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By remaining with Mutual of Omaha, Synergy One will be better positioned to build upon the parent company’s established brand in the marketplace, said Larsen.

“This move, which has the full support of our leadership team, is an important step in our future growth as we anticipate being able to more fully leverage the Mutual of Omaha brand in the reverse markets, as well as continue to use the Mutual of Omaha Mortgage for part of our forward business,” Larsen said.

The brand of Synergy One Lending will also be continuing, he added.

Mutual of Omaha first announced its purchase of Synergy One in May of 2018, and the deal was finalized that July.

Even with the acquisition being made on the heels of the highly-influential changes to principal limit factors handed down by the Department of Housing and Urban Development in October of 2017, those changes did not derail Mutual of Omaha’s plans to enter the reverse mortgage space, said one executive.

“That was a good long-term change for the product, and it’s still a very attractive product for a lot of borrowers,” Terry Connealy, CEO of Synergy One Lending, told RMD at the time the acquisition was announced. “We’re excited to jump into the space. We just think the timing is right.”

Synergy One Lending is ranked fifth among the top 10 reverse mortgage lenders in the industry, having endorsed 1,850 loans over the past 12 months based on July data from Reverse Market Insight.

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