Founder Of Defunct Athas Capital Group Introduces New Non-QM Lending Venture

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Founder Of Defunct Athas Capital Group Introduces New Non-QM Lending Venture

May 17, 2023 | News | 0 comments

A former co-founder of Athas Capital Group, which is no longer in operation, is making a comeback in the industry by establishing a non-QM (non-qualified mortgage) company in early May.

Brian O’Shaughnessey is launching his new lending venture called Imperial Bancorp, LLC, which is expected to be operational in a few months, depending on the speed at which he can navigate the licensing process for the mortgage business.

O’Shaughnessy intends to operate a streamlined operation with a capable team of originators. He expressed his plan to have a smaller but highly dedicated crew.

Later in the year, the executive will be actively recruiting new employees.

In November, the executives of Athas, a non-QM lending company, announced their decision to shut down the company after 14 years, citing their expectation of further deterioration in the market. Alim Kassam, co-chief executive officer at Athas, stated that the signs of significant challenges that their sector will continue to face are clear for the foreseeable future. Reflecting on the situation, O’Shaughnessy acknowledges that if they hadn’t closed the business at that time, “over $20 million would have been wasted.”

The prediction of market instability had some validity, resulting in regional bank troubles and widespread layoffs in the mortgage sector. Nonetheless, O’Shaughnessy is now more optimistic about the future of the mortgage industry. While acknowledging challenges such as real estate depreciation and economic uncertainties, he believes in forthcoming positive changes. Regarding the Federal Reserve and interest rates, he anticipates a potential pause and potential quantitative easing later this year.

Despite the recent 25 basis point rate hike by the Fed on May 4, there is a widespread expectation among industry stakeholders that a pause is imminent. O’Shaughnessey estimates that it will take several months to obtain licenses and establish a management team for his new venture. He anticipates that by the end of the year, spreads and interest rates will tighten, making it a favorable environment for a startup. It is worth noting that his former partners from Athas will not be involved in this new business endeavor.