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Nexstar Hires Exec From PHH

Private-label originator Nexstar Financial has hired away a top executive from its competitor, PHH Mortgage, Mount Laurel, N.J.

Nexstar has named Leonard M. Wagner - a seven-year veteran of PHH - its national account director.

At PHH Mr. Wagner served as vice president of relationship management where he supervised a team of AEs responsible for 15 private-label clients and $3 billion in production.

At his former employer he advised clients on marketing, business and product development and pricing strategies.

A source close to Nexstar said the company has not hired any former PHH executives prior to Mr. Wagner. The source added that Nexstar has taken a few clients away from PHH.

Nexstar and PHH (formerly known as Cendant Mortgage) compete in the private-label market where they originate loans for other companies using the name of the client.

PHH is believed to be the largest player in the private-label niche, having originated loans for such well-known clients as Merrill Lynch, Mellon Bank, USAA Federal Savings and others.

PHH was recently spun off from its parent, Cendant Corp. of New York.

Owned by Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts & Co., Nexstar does not disclose any information about its funding, or transaction volumes. According to MSN's Home Mortgage Disclosure Act database, Nexstar funded $2.1 billion in 2003 and likely doubled that volume last year.

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