MILWAUKEE - Marshall & Ilsley Corp. on Sunday officially spun off MortgageBot, its private-label outsourcing unit for online originations and mortgage operations, after it completed its first equity financing round last week.

MortgageBot officials said the spinoff has given the company a new focus, new partners, and a new board of directors.

Since MortgageBot's founding in 1998, the unit's executives have had to split their responsibilities between MortgageBot and the parent company's lending arm, M&I Mortgage. MortgageBot officials said the spinoff and financing allow them to focus entirely on MortgageBot business.

The round brought in several new partners, including General Electric Mortgage of Stamford, Conn.; Bank One Stonehenge Capital Fund Wisconsin LLC; Gordon Gunnlaugsson, a retired executive vice president and chief financial officer at M&I; and MortgageBot's senior management team. M&I has remained a partner in the company. Scott Happ, MortgageBot's founder, president, and chief executive, said the addition of GE Mortgage should aid distribution.

Besides helping to finance the venture, Mr. Gunnlaugsson has joined MortgageBot as chairman of the board, and representatives from the other investors are on the board. The company previously had an internal board made up of representatives from M&I.

Mr. Happ said that Mr. Gunnlaugsson and the other board members will bring "a great deal of experience in building and growing businesses in the financial services arena."

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