Bahrain-Based Firm Acquires 2nd Largest US Appraisal Company

Bahrain-based investment firm, Arcapita Group Holdings, is the new owner of Nationwide Property and Appraisal Services, the second-largest independent AMC in the United States.

One of the nation’s biggest appraisal management companies, Nationwide Property and Appraisal Services LLC, has been acquired by a Bahrain-based investment firm, Arcapita Group Holdings.

Corridor Capital LLC, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm that acquired a controlling interest in Nationwide six years ago, will retain a minority interest and partner with Arcapita and Nationwide, the companies said.

According to Arcapita, Nationwide is the second-largest independent appraisal management company (AMC) in the U.S., with a network of over 15,000 licensed appraisers providing industry leading appraisal turnaround times for clients that include 21 of the top 25 wholesale lenders.

Atif Abdulmalik

Although AMCs are under increasing pressure to automate, cut costs, and reduce turn times, Arcapita CEO Atif Abdulmalik said in a statement that the investment firm was attracted by Nationwide’s “highly cash generative business, experienced management team, and strong base of clients across the country.”

Nearly half of Nationwide’s customers have had relationships with the company for more than 6 years, Abdulmalik said, “highlighting the longevity of its customer relationships.”

Since acquiring control of Nationwide in late 2016, Corridor said it’s helped grow the company’s annual revenue from $35 million to more than $140 million by recruiting its first-ever executive team, including CEO Sri Velamati, and modernizing Nationwide’s processes and systems.

Craig Enenstein

“It has been an honor to work with the Nationwide founders and leadership team to help evolve an already highly competitive business into one of the stand-out leaders in the U.S. AMC market,” Corridor CEO Craig Enenstein said in a statement. “Corridor’s purpose as a firm is to team with the management of small leadership companies to help them achieve their full potential.”

In announcing the sale of the company, Corridor also took credit for completing five acquisitions on Nationwide’s behalf in the last three years, growing the company’s geographic footprint, client base and technology:

In addition to growing through acquisitions, Corridor said Nationwide launched “a coordinated, focused new business development program yielding regional and national new client wins including leading lenders, Rocket Mortgage and United Wholesale Mortgage.”

Last year, however, UWM — the nation’s biggest wholesale lender — announced it was launching its own in-house appraisal capabilities. Although mortgage brokers will still have the option to choose from about 100 UWM-approved AMCs, the lender said allowing mortgage brokers to bypass AMCs will speed up loan approvals.

UWM had previously announced that its approved AMCs had to commit to completing appraisals within 10 days, or refund 50 percent of the appraisal cost back to the consumer. UWM also capped AMC fees at $125 per appraisal.

Nationwide boasts on its website that the average turn time for appraisals was 10.9 business days in August, but more than 10 days was required, on average, in most states.

Rocket Cos., the parent company of the nation’s biggest mortgage lender, Rocket Mortgage, owns Amrock, a title and settlement services provider which operates an AMC with a network of more than 4,500 appraisers.

Appraisal management companies took off after the 2007-09 housing bust and recession, when regulators pushed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to draw up rules intended to protect appraisers from coercion by lenders. The rules were superceded by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which included appraisal independence requirements that helped AMCs solidify their position as important providers of services to mortgage lenders.

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