Charles W. Sewright, who headed Anchor Mortgage Services until its merger with Dime Savings Bank, has landed a new job.
Mr. Sewright, 49, this month joined GFC Mortgage Bankers Inc., New York, as president and chief executive officer.
(In another personnel development, Stuart McFarland, an executive vice president of GE Mortgage Services Inc., has resigned. See below.)
With $200 million in annual originations, GFC is far smaller than Anchor was. But Mr. Sewright said the company has ambitious growth plans.
"I think there are lots of opportunities for independent mortgage bankers, contrary to the opinion that everything is going to be run by 40 or 50 institutionally owned mortgage companies," Mr. Sewright said in a recent telephone interview.
GFC originates loans primarily in New York, and plans to make a push into New Jersey and Connecticut, he said.
It also plans to build a residential servicing portfolio, either through acquisitions or on its own, Mr. Sewright said. He declined to discuss the company's specific targets in either area.
As banks buy up an ever larger share of the mortgage industry, Mr. Sewright said independent companies still enjoy substantial advantages. They can be nimbler than large companies and are not burdened by high fixed costs, he said.
In the servicing business, for example, a small company cannot match the low costs per loan at servicing giants. But a relatively small servicer can still make enough profit to satisfy private owners, if not public shareholders, he said.
Technology is often cited as a barrier to competitiveness at small companies. But Mr. Sewright said that with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - as well as the mortgage insurers - providing underwriting technology, it is much easier for a small company to compete.
Mr. Sewright left Anchor in January after it merged with Dime Savings, New York. He had been president of Anchor's mortgage unit since 1990.
Before that - from 1987 to 1990 - he headed Marine Midland Bank's mortgage unit in Buffalo.
Stuart A. McFarland, an executive vice president and general manager in charge of servicing and servicing acquisitions at GE Capital Mortgage Services Inc., has resigned.
Mr. McFarland is leaving his post in Cherry Hill, N.J., to pursue other interests, according to a GE Capital spokesman. His duties will be assumed by Mike Zafirovski, president and chief operating officer at the mortgage unit, until a permanent replacement is found. Mr. McFarland will remain at GE through October to finish projects, the spokesman said.
Mr. McFarland was not available for comment.
GE's strategy and commitment to the mortgage business and servicing activity remains unchanged, the spokesman said, and will not be affected by Mr. McFarland's departure.
Mr. McFarland is highly regarded in the mortgage industry. He played a key role in the development of Fannie Mae under chairman David Maxwell in the 1980s.
- Juliana Ratner