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DataBank Acquires PNC’s Pittsburgh Data Center

DataBank, a provider of enterprise-class data center, connectivity and managed services, has acquired PNC Bank’s data center located in North Fayette Township near Pittsburgh, PA. This marks DataBank’s second data center in the Pittsburgh market and includes a long-term lease with PNC Bank, which will become the facility’s anchor tenant. PNC Bank, the sixth largest commercial bank by assets in the U.S., offers a wide range of financial services, consumer banking, lending products, and specialized services for corporations and government entities.


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The secure three-story facility is 115,000 sq. ft. and, as part of the long-term lease, PNC Bank will occupy the entire second floor. DataBank will operate the facility to meet FedRAMP certification under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) compliance standard.  In addition, DataBank will implement a significant expansion and augmentation to the facility’s power and cooling systems to accommodate additional tenants on the third floor and provide an incremental 25,000 of RSF and 2.75MW of 2N power.


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“We are thrilled to be able to expand in the incredibly innovative and growing Pittsburgh market with PNC as our anchor tenant in our second data center location,” stated Raul K. Martynek, CEO, DataBank. “We believe there is a shortage of high quality, enterprise-grade colocation options in the market and this new Pittsburgh facility will meet that need.  We look forward to serving PNC Bank’s data center requirements and those of similar enterprises in the area.” 


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“We chose to partner with DataBank because of their operational expertise and dedication to customer service. PNC is excited to be working with DataBank as a long-term partner,” commented Frank Walters, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Realty Services.


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Pittsburgh is renowned for its concentration of advanced high-tech organizations including Carnegie Mellon University and its world-class robotics program, the University of Pittsburgh with its multi-disciplinary research centers, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, as well as burgeoning AI-driven sectors such as autonomous vehicles and world class biomedical research organizations. PIT2 will offer high capacity infrastructure services to support these organizations along with: 

Ample Power: FirstEnergy’s West Penn Power provides dual utility power feeds from a substation directly across the street from the facility enabling long-term growth and an incremental 2.75MW of sellable UPS.

Campus Expansion Potential: Significant expansion capacity with almost 10 acres of adjacent owned land.

Network Diversity Options: Four fully diverse on-net fiber providers with multiple fiber routes to DataBank’s PIT1 location, which has more than 20 fiber providers and acts as the primary interconnection point and Meet Me Room in the market.  

With PIT2, DataBank expands its data center count to 19 facilities in 9 markets, including the pending acquisition of LightBound in Indianapolis.  For more information, please visit www.databank.com.

Richey May Acquires Amata Solutions

Richey May, an accounting and advisory firm serving the financial services and real estate industries, has fully acquired Amata Solutions, a provider of customized planning and business intelligence tools for mortgage lenders. The acquisition comes three months after Richey May made an investment in the firm. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.  Amata Solutions is now part of Richey May Technology Solutions, Richey May’s technology consulting division launched last year.


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Benjamin Duke, Amata Solutions’ founder, has taken the role of executive director, data analytics with Richey May Technology Solutions, where he will be responsible for developing and delivering business analytics solutions for mortgage lending clients.  


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Amata Solutions provided planning, forecasting and business intelligence tools that empower lenders to make more confident, strategic business decisions based on real-time data. The tools it developed can be applied to all areas of the mortgage business and can be integrated across a mortgage lender’s platforms, including their customer relationship management (CRM) software, loan origination system (LOS) and general ledger software (GL). 


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 “We were confident that our clients would love Amata Solutions when we partnered with the firm three months ago, but we may have underestimated how much,” said Ken Richey, co-founder and partner of Richey May. “This acquisition puts Richey May in a perfect position to help mortgage lenders address tighter margins and lower volume so they can stay several steps ahead of their competition.”    


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“Since partnering with Richey May, we have been busier than ever,” said Duke. “There was so much synergy between Richey May’s consulting services and our products and services that it simply made sense to go ‘all in’ and join forces. Today, with our combined expertise and resources, Richey May is able to serve all of a lender’s accounting, consulting and data analytics needs more completely than any other company.”  

A division of Richey May, Richey May Technology Solutions offers a full spectrum of technology solutions, from cloud services and cybersecurity to marketing technology, and from governance, risk, controls and privacy to technology management consulting. 

Radian Acquires Five Bridges Advisors

Radian Group Inc. has acquired Five Bridges Advisors, LLC, a developer of proprietary software, data analytics and predictive models leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning and traditional econometric techniques.


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The acquisition is consistent with Radian’s growth and diversification strategy, as well as its focus on the core product offerings of its Title, Mortgage and Real Estate Services. Five Bridges is a thought leader in mortgage, consumer and real estate analytics and its cloud-based portal utilizes deep analytics to provide customers with valuation and risk management tools that span the entire loan lifecycle, from underwriting and origination to servicing, secondary market purchase, and securitization.


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Radian Chief Executive Officer Rick Thornberry commented, “We are delighted to welcome Five Bridges to the Radian family of companies, expanding our capabilities and providing our customers across the country with new levels of service and innovation across the residential mortgage and real estate spectrum. This acquisition is another example of how Radian is reengineering and revolutionizing existing industry business models to enhance the overall value proposition for our customers.”


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Five Bridges will operate under its current brand and provide the same level of quality products and services to its customers through its offices in Bethesda, Maryland. Co-founders Steve Gaenzler and Michael Youngblood, PhD, will both continue with the business. Mr. Gaenzler will continue to run the day-to-day operations and will report to Eric Ray, senior executive vice president, Technology and Transaction Services for Radian. In 2019, Five Bridges will transition to the new One Radian brand identity as an integral part of the company’s Title, Mortgage and Real Estate Services.


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Radian offers products and services that include mortgage insurance and a comprehensive suite of mortgage, risk, real estate, and title services. The company is powered by technology, informed by data and driven to deliver new and better ways to transact and manage risk. 

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Big Secondary Market Acquisition

American Mortgage Consultants, Inc. (“AMC”) has acquired Meridian Asset Services, LLC (“Meridian”), joining two of the premier service providers in the residential secondary mortgage market. Here’s what this will mean for the mortgage industry:


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The transaction will unite Meridian’s leading collateral, curative and title QC capabilities with AMC’s third-party review services and technology to support rated private-label securitization transactions, due diligence and quality control.


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“This transaction further highlights AMC’s commitment to being the foremost one-stop-shop for mortgage due diligence, consulting, advisory services and technology,” said AMC CEO Michael Franco. “We are excited to significantly enhance our service offerings through Meridian, a firm known for their quality and expertise. We expect this transaction to streamline operations for existing AMC and Meridian clients by centralizing activities, increasing transparency, and reducing cycle time.”


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Meridian will operate as a subsidiary of AMC and retain its branding and senior management team. Meridian will continue to be overseen by Karen Riffe who is joining AMC as the President, Meridian Asset Services. Brian Hansen will also join AMC as the Director, Strategic Relationships & Initiatives. Through the acquisition, AMC will add approximately 250 full-time employees in the greater Tampa area.


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“AMC’s commitment to the secondary market space and focus on continued investment in Meridian’s capabilities and offerings will create unique and differentiated services,” said Riffe. “We are excited to join AMC and look forward to working with AMC’s existing management team.”

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods served as financial advisor to Meridian.

Banking Fintech Acquisition Comes Together

nbkc bank announced its investment in two Bay-area fintech companies. The announcement comes on the heels of the bank’s launch of Fountain City Fintech, an accelerator providing financial technology startups with an agile bank partner, compliance expertise and infrastructure for scale during its 75-day curriculum. 


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ProPair uses artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize the distribution and prioritization of mortgage leads to individual loan officers, rather than distribution based on seniority or guesswork. As the first customer of ProPair, nbkc piloted the software in the bank’s home loans division. “We have tremendous confidence and respect for ProPair’s founders and experienced first-hand how its smart pairing improves customer experience and loan officers’ success,” said Eric Garretson, CFO & Fintech Strategy Leader with nbkc. 


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“nbkc has a forward-thinking culture along with an uncommon ability to promote innovation and support aggressive product development goals. Having them as our first customer enabled us to develop and test our product before launching at scale” said Devon Johnson, Co-Founder and Chief Data Officer of ProPair. The investment further solidifies the joint partnership.


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Track, also based in San Francisco, uses machine learning to estimate and auto-remit quarterly taxes to the IRS for the self-employed. Track is one of six companies in nbkc’s fintech accelerator, Fountain City Fintech, and the two companies have a mutual focus on serving the needs of gig economy entrepreneurs and small business owners. 


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“Our goal at Track is to make the growing numbers of the self-employed more independent and focused on their core business, not the headaches of learning tax code. The investment by nbkc will help us in our next chapter of scaling our business so we can better serve the 50 million self-employed Americans seeking greater financial security,” said Trent Bigelow, Co-founder and CEO of Track.

Investments in fintech companies are part of nbkc’s strategic growth plan to bring innovative products and experiences to customers leveraging technology, often removing pain points or making interactions more efficient and customer-focused.

nbkc is a modern, FDIC-insured bank driven to make banking simple and transparent unlike any other bank. Leveraging technology, customer feedback and innovation, nbkc helps people and small businesses nationwide safely save, move and borrow money—whenever, wherever they are.

Co-founded in 2016 by a former mortgage industry executive and a seasoned data scientist, ProPair is a Silicon Valley innovator built on the principle that artificial intelligence is revolutionizing how lead assignments, actions and prioritizations are made. Designed with the everyday needs of sales organizations in mind, and optimized in conjunction with mortgage industry leaders, the ProPair platform replaces outdated manual processes with predictive, automated lead assignments to convert more prospects and reduce lead cost per funded loan for all loan officers.

Track Technologies, Inc., founded in 2015, is a San Francisco-based company that handles self-employed taxes for users on a daily basis, giving them a clear picture of what they have earned and what they owe by automatically keeping track of their income and expenses, withholding the proper amount when users get paid, and submitting their estimated quarterly tax payments to the Internal Revenue Service.

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Class Valuation Acquires Reverse Mortgage Specialist

Class Valuation, a nationwide provider of real estate asset valuation and appraisal management solutions to the residential mortgage industry,  has acquired Van Nuys, California-based Landmark Network, a leader in real estate valuation with a specialization in the reverse mortgage lending industry.


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“As we continue to execute our innovation strategy, we will take great interest in those firms that excel in service and reputation in markets we believe in,” said Class Valuation’s CEO, Michael Detwiler. “With an impressive list of clients, including a meaningful percentage of the industry’s top reverse mortgage lenders, Landmark has done a fantastic job delivering quality, service, and reverse valuation products backed by innovative technology. That’s the kind of specialization and expertise we’re seeking as we continue to expand our footprint.”


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Landmark Network launched with the vision of providing financial services companies with a superior solution for their appraisal management and technology needs. Since inception, they have worked to ensure their clients have an unmatched customer service experience. This vision fits in-line with Class Valuation’s commitment to service and technology that is shaping the future of the valuation space, so more borrowers can realize their American dream. 


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“We were very impressed with the strategic plan that Class Valuation presented and look forward to growing together – both organically and through acquisition,” Erik Richard, former CEO of Landmark – now COO of Class Valuation’s Western Region – said. “I’m pleased that the team at Class understands the intrinsic value of customer relationships and service as well as the reverse mortgage market and values we bring to the company. There is no doubt that this market will continue to grow and that lenders will require our services.”

Class Valuation was assisted by Berkery Noyes in the successful completion of this transaction. No sale price was disclosed.

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CoreLogic To Acquire Symbility

Symbility Solutions Inc., a global software company focused on modernizing the insurance industry, announced that at a special meeting of security holders, Symbility security holders voted in favor of the proposed transaction pursuant to which CoreLogic, Inc.  (“CoreLogic”) will acquire, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Symbility by way of plan of arrangement under Section 193 of the Business Corporations Act (Alberta) (the “Arrangement”). The Arrangement was approved by the Symbility securityholders eligible to vote at the Meeting as follows:


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In respect of all votes cast by shareholders and optionholders voting together as a single class, the Arrangement was approved by 99.5 percent of the total votes cast; 


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In respect of all votes cast by shareholders only, the Arrangement was approved by 99.6 percent of the total votes cast; and 


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In respect of all votes cast by shareholders of Symbility other than those required to be excluded by law, the Arrangement was approved by 99.2 percent of the total votes cast.

Completion of the Arrangement remains conditional on approval by the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, the TSX Venture Exchange and certain other closing conditions customary in transactions of this nature. Subject to obtaining such court approval, and the satisfaction or waiver of all other conditions precedent to the Arrangement, it is anticipated that the Arrangement will be completed before year-end.

Symbility has established itself as a partner that puts security, efficiency and customer experience first. Symbility PROPERTY brings smarter thinking to property insurance. The company’s strategic services team, Symbility INTERSECT empowers a variety of businesses with smarter mobile and IoT product development strategy, design thinking and engineering excellence.

Community Bank Grows Through Acquisition

Business First Bancshares, Inc. (“Business First”), the holding company for Business First Bank, has completed its acquisition of Richland State Bancorp, Inc. (“Richland State”) and its wholly owned bank subsidiary, Richland State Bank. The acquisition became effective November 30, 2018, in accordance with the terms of the previously announced agreement.


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“This merger continues our momentum toward our overall goal of becoming the region’s most influential business-focused community bank,” said Jude Melville, President and CEO of Business First. “We look forward to working with the talented and committed Richland State Bank employees to continue delivering to clients the same level of expertise and service they are accustomed to receiving from their bank, along with a broader combined product set.”


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Richland State Bank’s seven branches located across northern Louisiana will continue to operate as branches of Business First Bank. Jerome Vascocu, the former President and CEO of Richland State and Richland State Bank, will serve as director on the boards of both Business First and Business First Bank and as Chairman of Business First’s Northeast Region.


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With the completion of the acquisition, Business First has approximately $2.1 billion in assets, $1.5 billion in loans and $1.7 billion in deposits, and now serves its customers from 24 full-service banking centers.

Stephens Inc. acted as financial advisor and Fenimore, Kay, Harrison & Ford, LLP acted as legal advisor to Business First. National Capital, LLC acted as financial advisor and rendered a fairness opinion, and Kantrow, Spaht, Weaver, & Blitzer (APLC) acted as legal advisor, to Richland State.

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CUNA Mutual Group Acquires CSi

CUNA Mutual Group announced the acquisition of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Compliance Systems, Inc., a privately-held technology company specializing in compliance technology for financial services, to expand the company’s lending technology capabilities.


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Compliance Systems is a provider of financial transaction technology and compliance expertise. The company provides technology that enables delivery of loan, deposit, and other transaction content in adherence with compliance regulations. Compliance Systems’ solutions complement CUNA Mutual Group’s long-running LOANLINER business that credit unions utilize to stay on top of regulatory changes related to their transaction content.


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“Our vision is to transform and modernize our existing document services, elevating our ability to support the needs of credit unions through a simpler and more accessible solution for our customers,” said Robert N. Trunzo, CUNA Mutual Group president/CEO. “At the same time, Compliance Systems will continue to expand and grow within the banking and lending industry that they serve today.”


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With more than 25 years of experience, Compliance Systems currently supports content configuration, data analytics, and compliance risk management for more than 1,400 U.S. financial institutions with a warranty to cover all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“The opportunity to bring our solutions to more than 5,600 credit unions, on top of our current growth trajectory in the industry, provides us with a path to grow very rapidly,” said Dennis Adams, president/CEO, Compliance Systems.

Radian Acquisition Adds New Real Estate Information And Valuation Solutions

Radian Group Inc. has acquired Independent Settlement Services, a national appraisal and title management services company. The acquisition is consistent with Radian’s growth and diversification strategy, and its focus on the core product offerings of its Title, Mortgage and Real Estate Services businesses.


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Independent Settlement Services provides real estate information and valuation solutions in all 50 states, and offers proprietary disruptive technology through Vendor Information Bridge (VIBe), a web-based, fully-integrated, real-time vendor management and settlement services technology system. VIBe provides lenders, appraisers, servicing firms, due diligence firms, and appraisal-management companies with a fully-automated platform to manage the ordering and delivery of products and services.


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“We are pleased to welcome Independent Settlement Services to the Radian family of companies, expanding our capabilities and providing our customers with the real estate information and valuation solutions they need, powered by best-in class technology,” said Radian’s Chief Executive Officer Rick Thornberry.


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Independent Settlement Services will operate under its current brand and continue to provide the same level of quality products and services to its customers through its office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Ed Chezosky, one of the company’s founders, along with the existing senior management team, will continue to lead the day-to-day operations with a focus on serving their customers and growing their business, as well as exploring additional opportunities to offer new and existing services to Radian’s established customer base. In the coming months, Independent Settlement Services will transition to the new One Radian brand identity as an integral part of the company’s Real Estate Services business.