Chase Manhattan Corp. Monday said it has set up two joint ventures with the Student Loan Marketing Association to acquire and market student loans originated by the bank.
The first unit, Education First Finance, will acquire Chase's existing $2.6 billion portfolio of student loans. The second, Education First Marketing, will market the loans to borrowers. Chase will continue to originate student loans.
The agreement extends and formalizes two similar earlier arrangements made in 1990 and 1994 under which Chase sold off its portfolio of student loans to Sallie Mae for servicing.
William H. Hoefling, executive vice president for national consumer finance at Chase, said the agreement has advantages for both sides.
Sallie Mae, a quasi-federal agency which has traditionally purchased loans from banks, will be able to obtain an already-existing portfolio as well as a steady stream of loans. Chase, meanwhile, expects to achieve substantial cost savings from servicing as well as being able to market a broader range of educational loans.
"What we bring to the table is sales and marketing expertise, what we get access to is Sallie Mae's technology and servicing techniques, which are absolutely the best in the business," said Mr. Hoefling.
He added that the arrangement will have a "very accelerated impact on revenues" over the next several years.
Chase, following its merger with Chemical Banking Corp. earlier this year, edged out Citicorp as the largest originator of student loans. The bank last year originated approximately $1.8 billion of such loans. Most of the loans that will be turned over to the joint venture are coming from the Chemical portfolio.
Analysts declined to comment on the arrangement until they could obtain further details. However, Jonathan E. Gray, an analyst who tracks Sallie Mae for Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., predicted that "on a net basis this is probably a positive for both parties and will add to incremental returns."
He also noted that the arrangement will take Sallie Mae, which has traditionally limited itself to purchasing loans originated by banks, a step closer into the origination market and Chase closer into servicing.
"If you are involved in origination, it becomes more cost effective to service those loans over their entire lives because you can control the information associated with those loans," he said.
"It's very conceivable that the arrangement is a win-win situation for both Chase and Sallie Mae."