About Peter Norden
Peter Norden is the current CEO of HomeBridge Financial Services, Inc. He has served in this capacity since 2012, capping a 40-year rise through the ranks of the residential mortgage industry.
At HomeBridge, Mr. Norden is responsible for overseeing the organization’s 3,000 associates and a servicing portfolio worth more than $17 billion (as of January 2017). In 2016, Mr. Norden led HomeBridge to more than $19 billion in loan closings.
Peter Norden’s HomeBridge Strategy
Over the past five years, Peter Norden has pursued a strategic mix of organic growth and acquisitions. In early 2017, he oversaw HomeBridge’s purchase of the operating assets of Prospect Mortgage, LLC, a mortgage origination platform with about $8.4 billion in annual loan origination capacity. The transaction added 500 mortgage originators to HomeBridge’s team and increased the number of branches to around 250. This capped a period of rapid growth as just three years earlier, HomeBridge had fewer than 1,500 associates and 100 branches.
In a release announcing the deal, Mr. Norden framed HomeBridge’s acquisition as a sound move in a rapidly evolving residential lending market: “In today’s mortgage market, size, capital, liquidity and product diversity are critically important to long-term growth and success,” he said. “Specifically, our access to capital will improve, impacting our funding capabilities and our ability to increase our presence in existing and new markets.”
At the same time, Mr. Norden stressed that HomeBridge would not abandon its core values, adding, “We will remain an entrepreneurial, flexible and nimble mortgage banker by effectively balancing profitability and volume, while continuing our commitment to operating in compliance with the current mortgage lending regulatory landscape.”
In 2014, Peter Norden presided over another major change to HomeBridge’s operations: the company’s rebranding from Real Estate Mortgage Network, Inc. (REMN) to HomeBridge Financial Services, Inc.
According to Mr. Norden, the seemingly simple name change was actually the product of careful consideration. REMN’s executive team, including Mr. Norden, sought a brand identity that underscored the company’s core commitment to reducing financial and logistical barriers to homeownership for ordinary Americans.
“We believe it is a smart move, particularly for our retail mortgage segment, because it directly correlates to what we do for home buyers, homeowners and housing industry professionals,” said Mr. Norden in a release announcing the name change. To wit: “We provide a bridge to fulfilling the American dream of homeownership.”
In 2013, Mr. Norden oversaw the launch of a new business unit at REMN: HomeBridge Wholesale, a second wholesale mortgage operation to complement REMN Wholesale.
Previous Executive Experience
Before he joined HomeBridge, Mr. Norden held several executive leadership positions in the residential mortgage lending industry.
Most recently, Mr. Norden served as CEO and president of Opteum Financial Services, Inc. (OFS). Mr. Norden founded OFS in 1999; within six years, he had expanded the company’s mortgage origination and servicing business coast to coast with operating licenses in 47 states and the capacity to originate loans in excess of $8 billion per year. Mr. Norden oversaw three main verticals at OFS: retail mortgage loan origination, wholesale mortgage loan origination, and real estate mortgage investment conduits (REMICs).
In a 2013 interview with National Mortgage Professional, a trade magazine, Peter Norden discussed the importance of his time at the helm of OFS. The experience reinforced the importance of channel diversity, he explained, especially in challenging macro environments. His responsibilities with OFS also drove home the importance of geographic diversity, as conditions vary substantially from local market to local market.
“That has been my model. My model is diversity, both from a channel perspective, as well as a geographical perspective,” Mr. Norden told the magazine.
In 2005, Mr. Norden sold OFS to Bimini Capital Management (formerly Opteum, Inc.). Though he stepped back from his role as CEO and president, he remained on the payroll as executive vice president until 2007.
Prior to launching OFS, Mr. Norden purchased Olde Towne Mortgage Company and rebranded the firm as First Town Mortgage Corporation. Mr. Norden served as president and CEO of First Town for more than a decade, until the company was sold to Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation.
Peter Norden’s Professional Memberships and Community Work
Mr. Norden is actively engaged in the residential mortgage lending community in New Jersey and nationally. He serves on the Fannie Mae Customer Advisory Board and the board of directors of the Mortgage Bankers Association, where he also sits on the residential board of governors (RESBOG).
In the recent past, Mr. Norden has served on the Fannie Mae CEO Advisory Board, the FHLMC Advisory Board, and the GMAC/RFC National Advisory Board. He is also a former president of the Mortgage Bankers Association of New Jersey.
A graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University, class of 1977, Mr. Norden remains an active unversity booster and participant in alumni life.
Peter Norden is recognized as a residential mortgage lending expert by his peers in the industry. He has contributed to a number of trade publications, including National Mortgage Professional Magazine and Mortgage Professional America. He actively mentors and supports young mortgage origination professionals, both at HomeBridge and within industry groups such as the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Peter Norden lives in northern New Jersey. He is a longstanding member of the Jewish Federation of New Jersey, among other local community groups. When he’s not at the office, he enjoys spending time with his family, exploring the many beautiful parks and wooded areas near his home, and escaping to the shore and mountains come summer.