Lender sets sights on organic growth

by Ryan Smith27 Oct 2015
Mountain West is one of the largest mortgage lenders in the western United States, but it’s not resting on its laurels. The company, founded in 1990, is always evolving, according to John Cady, senior vice president of production.

“The company’s been around for about 25 years. It was started by two loan officers who were basically competitors, and one of their managers actually put them together,” he said. “They started the company as a small broker shop, and over time grew it into a lender. They started purely as a retail lender and went into six states. Over time they had good growth and thought, ‘We should jump into wholesale.’ They went from basically a 100% retail company to a 99.9% wholesale company. Then about 2006, a little bit before the market imploded, they decided to jump back into retail – and back into California.”

The company is now in 10 states, and has struck a balance between its retail and wholesale sides, Cady said.

“We’re about 65-70% retail, 25-30% wholesale,” he said. “The company’s always going to stay in the wholesale space. We’re very dedicated to that.”

And the company still has big plans for future growth.

“Now we’re just in growth mode,” Cady said. “The company will double its normal production this year. Part of that was a good year; part of it was strategic growth out of the state. And next year we’ll probably have another 50-70% increase in growth. We’re growing branches in Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Texas. But it’s not only retail growth; the idea is to keep it at a 30%-70% mix. So we’ve still got to grow wholesale too. So the idea is that as we continue to grow wholesale in other states, we should continue growth on both sides.”

The company has succeeded, Cady said, by focusing on its areas of expertise.

“We’re still very much a bond lender in many ways. We have 140 bond programs, which is probably more than almost anybody out there,” he said. “We also do a specialty product specifically for city, state, county and federal workers that’s proprietary to us. And we’re now the official state lender of Arizona – a state we weren’t in two years ago.”

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