Former Nationstar Executive to Lead loanDepot's Operations

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The former chief marketing officer for Nationstar Mortgage is taking on the day-to-day responsibility for running loanDepot in Irvine, Calif., as president and chief operating officer.

David Norris will serve as president and COO for the company and chief executive officer for its main unit, the direct lender He also will oversee its affinity partnerships. (The company has several such partners and may be seeking more in the future in the form of joint ventures, fulfillment services, real estate brokerages and builders.)

"The company has to get to the position where everyone has more clarity and defined roles," says loanDepot's chief executive officer and chairman, Anthony Hsieh. "My primary objective is going to be to help position the company strategically and in regards to future capital needs. David is really going to run the company."

Norris ran Nationstar's Greenlight Loans direct lending unit and can provide support to loanDepot's operation, Hsieh says. "Direct lending in our opinion is the hardest business to build, maintain and run through various cycles." The two men previous worked together at Home Loan Center in 2006.

Norris' experience with acquisitions and operations is in line with loanDepot's desire to continue to grow despite an overall originations decline, says Hsieh. Greenlight Loans’ production volume grew by 91% while the market contracted by 65% during his time there.

"We could do new products potentially in-house and also with partners. There are consumers that are looking for various product opportunities. We're going to be reviewing those," Norris says, discussing the various possible ways the company could grow. He would not say which specific products the company is considering.

The company also will be considering expansion into various home sales channels in the current market, such as short sales and auction sales, Norris says.

LoanDepot's originations in 2013 rose by 44%, in contrast to Mortgage Bankers Association data that shows a 51% decline for industry volume during that time. The Irvine, Calif., lender expects to originate $14 billion in its retail channel this year, compared to a little over $8 billion last year.

The company was able to grow in the past year in part through a merger with iMortgage. It also formalized joint venture partnerships, expanded funding and operational resources and added jumbo loan products to its mix of conforming and government loans.

Operational expansion in 2013 included the opening of a second corporate office in Plano, Texas, last year. It also in 2013 closed on an $80 million credit facility and added 60 direct lending branch locations and 400 licensed loan officers through the iMortgage merger.

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