Amy Brandt, who was the chief executive officer of WMC Mortgage Co. during that alternative-A lender's salad days, has returned to the industry by buying two servicers and an Internet originator.
Vantium Capital Inc., her private-equity firm, planned to announce today that it has acquired the assets of Strategic Recovery Group LLC, a Plano, Tex., company that collects on defaulted and charged-off debts; its Acqura Loan Services LLC, which manages subprime portfolios; and Strategic Recovery's online-only lending business, which uses the brand name Go Financial Solutions.
Vantium, a New York company, would not make executives available for interviews. In a press release, Ms. Brandt said, "We will use these companies as a platform to develop, or acquire, new businesses that will serve the financial and investment markets."
The firm did not say how much it paid for any of the assets. It has financial backing from Leon Black's Apollo Global Management LLC, the New York private-equity firm that sold WMC Mortgage to General Electric Co. in 2004.
Acqura is to service assets bought by a Vantium fund managed by Michael Commaroto, the former head of private-label, mortgage-backed securities at Deutsche Bank AG, Vantium said.
Other veteran mortgage executives are looking for opportunities in the rubble of the subprime market. For example, Stanford Kurland, the former No. 2 executive at Countrywide Financial Corp., is now running Private National Mortgage Acceptance Co. LLC, a buyer and servicer of distressed mortgages.
Ms. Brandt, 35, left WMC Mortgage when her employment contract expired at the end of 2006, just as the mortgage crisis was beginning.
Nine months later, GE shuttered the Burbank, Calif., business after failing to find a buyer for it.
BusinessWeek reported last year that Ms. Brandt had started an independent record label called YMA Music Group during her hiatus from the mortgage business.
She joined Vantium a year ago as its CEO, a title she now also holds at Acqura. David Vida, the servicer's founder, remains its president.
"Hedge funds and other alternative asset investors have been raising capital to take advantage of opportunities in the whole-loan and MBS markets," Ms. Brandt said in the press release. "But they need strong servicing partners with the skills and capacity to deliver customized programs and superior results." Acqura, she said, "has a highly experienced management team, proprietary risk modeling capabilities, and seasoned asset managers and collectors. Vantium is investing in their growth."
On its Web site, Acqura says it "does not deal with legacy issues similar to those having crippled competing firms — they are still dealing with the problems the subprime collapse created in late 2006."
Go Financial is to relocate its operations from Seattle to the Dallas area.
Ms. Brandt catapulted up the ranks of WMC after joining it as an account executive in 1997, fresh out of law school. (Apollo, based in New York, had bought Weyerhaeuser Mortgage that year.)
In 2003, when WMC's board named Ms. Brandt president of the company, she became one of the youngest executives and one of the few women to head a mortgage finance company.