An Alliance Capital Partners unit, formed after last year's subprime meltdown to snap up lending talent and business, has funded its first loan and expects to originate $165 million this year.
The Jacksonville, Fla., partnership formed HomeAlliance Mortgage Co. in December and staffed branches in seven states with experts from two failed subprime lenders. The initial loan was funded in mid-March.
Paul Doidge, president of the unit, said subprime lenders have an opportunity to grow, especially if they have strong capital support "to make it through this time."
"A vacuum has been created, and troubled times allow for opportunity if you know how to capitalize," Mr. Doidge said. "Those with experience in this industry can emerge from this period stronger than when they came in."
Mr. Doidge said HomeAlliance hired subprime specialists from closed shops that had regional presences and followings. He and most of the new company's managers came from Jacksonville-based First Street Mortgage, which ceased operations in December.
Former First Street branch managers now run HomeAlliance branches in Raleigh, N.C.; Nashville; Louisville, Ky.; Troy, Mich.; Denver; and Portland, Ore.. A seventh branch, in Minneapolis, has a former EquiCredit manager in charge.
The company said each branch will support a two- to four-state area.
"We want to keep processing and underwriting in a local, centralized area," Mr. Doidge said. "A branch manager in Portland has a better understanding of the economy and housing market in the Northwest than somebody on the opposite coast.
"It is a good strategy to get hubs in certain states," Mr. Doidge said. "After we get a presence, we plan to put more full-service branches where we just have account executives now."
Though the company plans to enter new markets with additional account executives, no branches will be added this year, Mr. Doidge said.
Two other key executives of HomeAlliance, executive vice president Ed Ghegan and senior vice president and chief financial officer John Silsby, were also at First Street, and before that at EquiCredit, which is now owned by BankAmerica Corp.
HomeAlliance is Alliance Capital's third subsidiary. The partnership also owns Alliance Mortgage Co. and First Alliance Bank.