Essent Guaranty Inc., a mortgage insurer founded to provide private capital to America's housing finance system, has announced that its parent company, Essent Group Ltd., has secured an additional $100 million in capital commitments from new and current investors. The additional commitments raise Essent's total equity commitments to $600 million. Essent Guaranty also announced substantial progress during the last quarter, including establishing active lender relationships, issuing mortgage insurance (MI) certificates, initiating Essent Online as its business-to-business Web portal, and achieving approval to issue mortgage insurance nationwide.
"During 2009 and early 2010, the company focused on building our operating platform and obtaining the necessary regulatory and licensing approvals to open our doors for business at Essent Guaranty," said Mark Casale, president and chief executive officer of Essent. "Since our announcement on February 18th that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac approved Essent as a qualified mortgage insurer, we have turned our full attention to serving lender clients and homeowners. We have had an enormously productive period, highlighted by the issuance of our first mortgage insurance policies and successfully raising an additional $100 million in capital."
In May 2009, Essent said it had raised an initial $500 million in capital commitments from a group of experienced financial services investors including Pine Brook Road Partners, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, PartnerRe, RenaissanceRe Ventures Ltd., and others.
"Our additional capital raise, as well as the recent capital raises by other mortgage insurance companies, affirms the view we have shared with public policy makers that private capital is available to take prudent mortgage credit risk," said Essent's Vice Chairman Adolfo Marzol. "We hope Essent will continue to play an important role in enhancing confidence that a sound mortgage finance system can attract capital into the private mortgage insurance industry to take and manage mortgage credit risk."
The company also announced that its lender customers now have access to Essent's ordering and servicing portal, Essent Online at www.essent.us. Essent launched the portal in May, which enables lenders to submit loans for MI, update loan parameters, and upload documents. Mortgage loan servicers can activate a certificate, transfer servicing and run reports using the portal.
"We are pleased that our lenders will be able to order mortgage insurance from Essent using a secure and easy Web-based process through Essent Online," said Casale. "Our team has been working hard to engage our lender partners and establish an operating platform that supports the needs of our customers and makes doing business with Essent an easy and efficient experience."
Essent also has received state licensing approval in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and is able to write mortgage insurance nationwide, facilitated by Essent's participation in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' National Treatment licensing pilot program.
For more information, visit www.essent.us.