Newly public CFI Mortgage has named a veteran lender to head subprime operations and a former presidential adviser to its board.

Gary Lester, who held executive posts at Admiral Mortgage Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., was named chief operations officer of CFI's Bankers Direct Mortgage subprime unit.

Mr. Lester was chief operating officer at Admiral before its recent acquisition by Ocwen Financial Corp. He was also a vice president of Wells Fargo's credit corporation lending unit.

"We went after Lester, specifically, because of his 26 years of subprime lending experience and his broad industry contacts," said CFI president Christopher Castoro.

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