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Maryland mortgage broker to merge

An out-of-state company known as Bellwether Real Estate Capital LLC has announced plans to merge with a unit of the Columbia, Maryland based Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., forming a combined company called Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital LLC. It is estimated that the two companies could produce over $1.5 billion worth of mortgages during the coming year.

Although the companies have not released the full sales terms of the deal, a spokesperson with Maryland's Enterprise gave an interview in which he explained that Enterprise would own 65 percent of the new company while Bellwether would take control of the remaining 35 percent. The combined company would focus on both Enterprise's current national lending business to provide affordable homes to struggling residents of Maryland and Bellwether's commercial, industrial and multifamily mortgage business.

Although the proposed deal was announced by a Bellwether, an executive with the company said Enterprise first suggested the merger. As such, the headquarters for the combined company will remain in Maryland, as will the majority of the company's affordable housing unit staff. Additionally, Enterprise's current senior vice president of multifamily mortgages is set to become CEO of the combined company. Two current Bellwether executives will be president and vice president. Bellwether Enterprise will include current 26 Enterprise employees, compared to 61 Bellwether employees.

Bellwether was created in 2008 after several banking mortgage brokerage professionals left National City Corp and Capstone Reality Advisors to begin their own company, which primarily serves the industrial, apartment and commercial industries. Enterprise was founded in Maryland by a prominent housing and mall developer, who is now deceased.

Source: Crain's Cleveland Business, "Bellwether Real Estate Capital forms new firm with unit of Maryland company," Stan Bullard, March 21, 2012

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