Marine Midland Mortgage Corp., in a move to expand its third-party home mortgage lending capability, has formed a unit that will deal exclusively with brokers and correspondents.

To staff the new unit, based in Williamsville, N.Y., Marine Midland hired nine sales and operations executives from Keycorp Mortgage Inc.'s broker unit.

The office will be headed by Sharie Loretz, a former East Coast wholesale manager for Keycorp Mortgage.

Keycorp has recently exited the mortgage servicing business, but continues to originate home mortgages. It had no comment on Marine Midland's hirings.

"The addition of Keycorp's management, staff, and established network of brokers instantly makes Marine Midland a major player in the broker- originated retail market and solidifies our position as one of the leading retail lenders in New York State," said David Hunter, senior vice president.

Marine Midland is also planning to expand its operations in adjacent states. The mortgage unit ranked No. 57 among the nation's mortgage servicers last year, with a portfolio of just under $8 billion, and was the No. 88 originator with $947 million.

The new broker sales group is staffed by three former Keycorp executives - Dean Doering, Helen Gordon, and Janet Hoda - and two Marine Midland executives - Paula Stempien and Kurt Lange.

Mr. Hunter said he expects the group to originate $500 million a year in new loans with more than 100 brokers throughout New York.

"In addition, since Marine mortgage customers are eligible for discounted relationship-banking accounts," Mr. Hunter said, "our broker sales effort is expected to generate numerous cross-selling opportunities for other Marine products."

The new unit will offer training and product updates to brokers, as well as an expanded daily pricing matrix and added par-plus pricing for more rate options.

Support for the sales unit includes four loan processors and one underwriter from Keycorp and a processing manager from Marine Midland.

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