Peter Norden has been the CEO of HomeBridge Financial Services, Inc., since 2012. He arrived at HomeBridge after a 35-year career in the residential mortgage lending industry that began in the late 1970s.
At HomeBridge, a national loan origination and servicing organization, Mr. Norden oversees approximately 3,000 employees. As of January 2017, the company’s servicing portfolio was worth more than $17 billion. In 2016, Mr. Norden oversaw more than $19 billion in closings at HomeBridge.
A Steady Hand at HomeBridge Financial Services
At HomeBridge, Peter Norden has pursued a strategy of organic and acquisitive growth. The most significant move of his tenure thus far was the early 2017 purchase of the operating assets of Prospect Mortgage, LLC, a national mortgage origination platform. The acquisition added approximately $8.4 billion in annual loan origination capacity to HomeBridge’s top line, expanded the firm’s branch count to roughly 250 and grew the mortgage origination workforce by approximately 500. This capped a period of rapid growth; in early 2014, HomeBridge had just 1,500 mortgage origination associates and 90 branches.
Characterizing the transaction as a sound and necessary step that would strengthen HomeBridge’s position in an ever-evolving residential lending market, Mr. Norden said in a press release: “In today’s mortgage market, size, capital, liquidity and product diversity are critically important to long-term growth and success … Specifically, our access to capital will improve, impacting our funding capabilities and our ability to increase our presence in existing and new markets.”
Over the course of his career in the residential mortgage lending industry, Mr. Norden developed a deep appreciation for certain core corporate values. In the same release, he vowed that the newly combined company would remain true to its guiding mission to be “an entrepreneurial, flexible and nimble mortgage banker by effectively balancing profitability and volume, while continuing our commitment to operating in compliance with the current mortgage lending regulatory landscape.”
Several years prior to the Prospect Mortgage transaction, Peter Norden oversaw another significant change to HomeBridge’s operations. After close consultation with stakeholders, the executive team went ahead with a rebrand, changing the company’s name from Real Estate Mortgage Network, Inc. (REMN) to HomeBridge Financial Services, Inc.
The new brand identity was designed to emphasize the firm’s central obligation to its customers: to reduce the daunting financial and logistical barriers to homeownership.
In prepared comments about the rebrand, Mr. Norden said: “We believe it is a smart move, particularly for our retail mortgage segment, because it directly correlates to what we do for homebuyers, homeowners and housing industry professionals … We provide a bridge to fulfilling the American dream of homeownership.”
Mr. Norden’s first major initiative at REMN/HomeBridge was the launch of two new wholesale mortgage origination platforms, REMN Wholesale and HomeBridge Wholesale.
Before HomeBridge: Peter Norden’s Residential Mortgage Lending Career
Immediately prior to his tenure at HomeBridge, Mr. Norden was CEO and president of Opteum Financial Services, Inc. (OFS), a company he founded in 1999. By 2005, OFS’s mortgage origination and servicing business had grown into a national operation with operating licenses in 47 states and a loan origination capacity in excess of $8 billion per year. OFS had three main verticals: retail mortgage loan origination, wholesale mortgage loan origination and real estate mortgage investment conduit (REMIC).
Prior to launching OFS, Mr. Norden purchased Old Towne Mortgage Company, rebranding the firm as First Town Mortgage Corporation. For more than a decade, Mr. Norden served as president and CEO of First Town, leaving only after the company was sold to Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation.
Extracurriculars: Peter Norden’s Professional Memberships and Community Involvement
Peter Norden is a prominent member of the residential mortgage lending community in New Jersey and the northeastern United States. He sits on the board of directors of the Mortgage Bankers Association, where he’s a member of RESBOG (which establishes the MBA’s positions on single-family residential lending issues). Mr. Norden also serves on the Fannie Mae Customer Advisory Board.
Over the course of his career, Mr. Norden has served on the GMAC/RFC National Advisory Board, the Fannie Mae CEO Advisory Board and the FHLMC Advisory Board. He has also served as president of the Mortgage Bankers Association of New Jersey, the national organization’s state chapter.
When he’s not overseeing HomeBridge’s day-to-day operations or fulfilling his board duties, Mr. Norden contributes original content and commentary to a number of mortgage industry publications, including National Mortgage Professional Magazine and Mortgage Professional America. As a recognized expert in the residential mortgage lending field, he regularly provides mentoring and support to aspiring mortgage professionals, both at HomeBridge and within industry groups such as the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Peter Norden is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University (B.A., accounting, 1977) and remains active in the institution’s alumni life. He lives in northern New Jersey with his family.