What's a 33-year-old multimillionaire to do now that he has sold the company he founded? For one thing, he could buy some of it back.

And that's exactly what Ivan Kaufman, Arbor National Holdings Inc.'s chairman and chief executive, is doing.

Late last week, the Uniondale, N.Y., company announced that an entity headed by Mr. Kaufman had agreed to buy Arbor National Commercial Mortgage Corp. for about $1.9 million. The deal for the Boston-based unit will be completed next month, according to the company.

"I am fairly young, and sitting back and kicking my heels up is not what I plan to do," Mr. Kaufman said.

Arbor had agreed to sell the unit before completing a deal in August, under which BankAmerica Corp. will buy Arbor National for about $118 million. That deal will also be completed early next year.

Mr. Kaufman, a major stockholder, will take many millions of dollars out of the sale.

He has been one of the most visible figures in home lending in recent years. The Long Island native founded Arbor in 1983 while he was still in law school and built it into a top-100 mortgage bank with a servicing portfolio of $5 billion in 10 years.

While Mr. Kaufman will be keeping a minor part of Arbor National, he will be selling the fruits of most of his efforts over the past 10 years.

"For me it is bittersweet in a lot of ways," he said. "Selling the company is like selling a part of me. It's going to be a big adjustment."

What he will not miss about Arbor National Mortgage is its size. He said the responsibility he had for the lender's 900-plus employees was "something that I would take home at night."

His new lending palette, Arbor Commercial, mainly refinances commercial and multifamily residential loans, according to a company spokesman. Most of the loans it originates are sold to investors and in the secondary market, he said.

According to a press release, the sale was done through Goldman, Sachs & Co., the New York investment bank.

During the first eight months of this year, Arbor Commercial originated $100 million of loans, according to the company. It lent $116 million over the corresponding eight months of 1993.

"I think the business is a phenomenal one with tremendous growth potential," Mr. Kaufman said.

But he said it was not a business BankAmerica was interested in. Nevertheless, he thinks the new line of originations will grow into a "very sizable business."

He said there is a void in mutlifamily lending that needs to be filled, adding that many banks have shied away from multifamily lending after getting burned during the 1980s.

He said his forte is dealing with the secondary markets and putting together a cohesive organization. He said many commercial conduits have spurred nightmare stories about the business. Arbor's focus will be on servicing the customer, he said.

Arbor Commercial will operate out of Boston and Long Island, where Mr. Kaufman will remain.

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