Clayton to Combine Forces with Murrayhill

Clayton Services and the Murrayhill Co. have united under a newly formed holding company, Clayton Holdings, to combine their front-end and back-end mortgage analytic businesses.

And in a related coup for Clayton Holdings, Frank Filipps, currently head of Radian Guaranty, is slated to become chairman and CEO of Clayton Holdings upon his pending retirement from Radian.

Mr. Filipps, who last year said he would retire from Radian this June, said he had planned to take some time off after leaving the CEO post at Radian after 10 years. That was until representatives from Clayton contacted him.

"We talked about the future of their businesses and where those opportunities could be going, and I saw that there were two very strong, very solid businesses. Both Clayton and Murrayhill have pretty strong, if not dominant, positions in their industry segments," Mr. Filipps told Mortgage Servicing News. "It was a wonderful picture for me to insert myself into."

He said that putting together the platforms from the two firms allows each to expand its mortgage services related to due diligence, surveillance and mortgage analytics. Clayton Services is a provider of integrated loan and portfolio analysis, operations and support, and consulting services to the primary, capital and investor markets. Murrayhill is a Denver-based pioneer in the area of securities surveillance and credit risk management services.

Mr. Filipps said the combined Clayton Holdings has the "intellectual and technology resources to significantly advance the nonconforming lending and securities industries."

Steve Lamando, founder and CEO of Clayton Services, has been named president of Clayton Holdings. He said Clayton has already established itself as the industry leader in the loan and portfolio analysis field, focusing most of its services on processes leading up to securitization. Only recently has Clayton moved toward working with performance data and credit risk management after that stage in the loan lifecycle.

The combination of the two firms brings together databases and analytical power from both sides of the business, which will help Clayton connect the dots faster and see how origination data affects loan performance, Mr. Lamando said.

"Combining those two sets of data is something our clients are really excited about."

He said that Murrayhill will continue to operate under its present name.

"At this stage, there is so much great equity in both firms. And I think the opportunity is there to leverage both brands but bring together solutions and services to our clients in a more seamless way."

Integration of the firms is already under way, with an eye toward adding depth and breadth to the support Clayton provides to clients, he said.

TA Associates is the controlling shareholder of both Clayton Services and the Murrayhill Co. and has invested $134 million of capital into Clayton Holdings. TA Associates has had a majority stake in both Clayton and Murrayhill since mid-2004.

Clayton Holdings will leverage each company's technology, databases, analytic and consulting capabilities to provide a spectrum of information based services, the company said.

These services will support loan origination, securities issuance, securities performance management for nonconforming mortgage securities, commercial mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities markets.

The company hopes to capitalize on the growing nonprime lending market and the increasing trend toward outsourcing by U.S. capital markets firms.

Sue Ellis, CEO and founder of Murrayhill, will move from her post as CEO of Murrayhill to join the Clayton Holdings board of directors. Kevin Kanouff will continue servicing as president of Murrayhill.

Roger Kafker, a managing director at TA Associates, and Todd Crockett, a principal of TA Associates, will both join the board of Clayton Holdings. Clayton Services has supported over 30,000 transactions totaling more than $1.5 trillion in principal value and performs analysis on more than one million loans annually. The Murrayhill Co. has been retained by major private-label dealers to monitor structured finance assets and has overseen more than $800 billion in assets.

Mr. Lamando said the hallmark of both businesses has been to deliver high-quality services to capital market firms, banks, lending institutions, fixed-income investors, servicers, trustees and rating agencies.

Clayton said the new firm can help clients achieve continuous improvement in securities creation and performance management, such as services that track loan characteristics and performance from origination through maturity.

Clayton Holdings will be headquartered in Shelton, with operations in Denver; Tulsa, Okla.; Tampa, Fla.; Irving, Texas; Irvine, Calif.; and Indianapolis.

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