FBC Press Room Blog

Behind the deal: Nunziata brothers reveal events leading up to their FBC Mortgage buyback

March 9th, 2015 by


Brothers Joe and Rob Nunziata knew they preferred the destiny of their company — FBC Mortgage LLC — to remain squarely in their hands, in Orlando.NunziataBrothers

That’s why just hours after St. Louis-based Stifel announced its $150 million acquisition of FBC’s parent company, Birmingham-based Sterne Agee Group Inc., last week, the brothers, a group of FBC executives and other investors made an announcement of their own: The buyback of the national mortgage lending company.

“Honestly, we didn’t anticipate buying back the company when we first were acquired by Sterne Agee,” said Joe Nunziata, co-CEO of FBC Mortgage. “But because Rob and I are both entrepreneurial, it became evident that we might want to reconsider our plans.”

The buyback now positions FBC on a fast growth trajectory in 2015. Rob Nunziata, co-CEO of the company, said FBC expects to fund more than $3 billion in mortgages this year, a billion more than in 2014. That would make FBC one of the largest privately owned independent mortgage bankers in the U.S.

In addition, FBC has grown its staff from 200 to 450, and will add more as opportunities arise and business continues to grow.

“We are quite happy to once again be in control of our own destiny,” said Joe Nunziata. “What we learned over the past few years are things that will only make us smarter in the future.”

Here, the Nunziatas talk about Sterne Agee, how the deal came together, what’s ahead for the 10-year-old company and a few lessons learned through it all:


Nunziata brothers buy back Orlando-based FBC Mortgage

February 25th, 2015 by


Managing Editor- Orlando Business Journal

Brothers Joe and Robert Nunziata on Feb. 23 announced that they are buying back their Orlando- rob and joebased residential mortgage lender firm, FBC Mortgage LLC, from Sterne Agee Group.

The Nunziatas and a group of FBC Mortgage executives, employees and former FBC Investors formed Pine Court Holdings LLC, which is buying FBC Mortgage for an undisclosed amount. When the transaction closes, the executive management team will continue to be based in Orlando and will retain the FBC Mortgage name. The deal is expected to close in March.

FBC Mortgage previously was acquired by Sterne Agee Group in 2012, and with Sterne Agee’s announcement of its acquisition today by Stifel Financial, the timing could not have been better for the former owners to re-acquire the company. “Our team is very excited about the re-acquisition of the company,” said Rob Nunziata, co-manager of Pine Court Holdings and co-CEO of FBC Mortgage, in a prepared statement.

FBC Mortgage was founded in Orlando in 2005 and remains headquartered here. Currently, FBC has more than 450 employees throughout the U.S., with most of them located in Central Florida.

Many of FBC’s current employees worked for American Heritage Mortgage, a company started by the Nunziata brothers’ father, Salvatore Nunziata Jr.

FBC has been expanding throughout the U.S. in retail, correspondent and wholesale residential lending, and is licensed in 45 states. The company funded $2.1 billion dollars in 2014 and is on track to do more than $3 billion in 2015, making it one of the largest privately owned independent mortgage bankers in the U.S.

“We are truly excited to become an independent mortgage banker again focused solely on residential lending, and we are optimistic about our growth opportunities,” said Joe Nunziata, co-manager of Pine Court Holdings and co-CEO of FBC Mortgage, in a prepared statement.

FBC Mortgage hits record $2B in loans

December 23rd, 2014 by


Web Producer- Orlando Business Journal
Dec 23, 2014, 10:34am EST

Rob Nunziata1

Christmas came a bit early for Rob Nunziata and the team at FBC Mortgage LLC.

Nunziata, CEO of the Orlando-based mortgage lender, said Dec. 23 the firm will end the year with more than $2 billion in residential mortgage loans — double the firm’s volume just two years ago and a 35 percent increase from last year.

FBC Mortgage so far has closed 8,912 units with a few hundred more that will close by year-end, as about 50 percent of the loans close the last seven days of the month, said Nunziata in an email to Orlando Business Journal.FBC Mortgage hits record $2B in loans – Orlando Business Journal

FBC Mortgage hits record $2B in loans – Orlando Business Journal

“We have a very clear vision of where we are going and are positioned very well in the marketplace,” Nunziata said. “More importantly, we have a very talented executive management team — I think the best in the business. We know where we are trying to go, and we have the talent and experience to get there.”

But the New Year will bring even bigger goals for one of Central Florida’s top mortgage lenders.

“Our goal for next year is to become a top 10 mortgage banker in the country,” Nunziata said. “We also want to continue to focus on what makes us great. So we are always focused on providing excellent customer service and being a dependable partner to our referral sources.”

FBC Mortgage employs more than 340 people in the region and more than 380 across the country. The firm was also an honoree in OBJ’s 2014 Best Places to Work awards.

Nunziata, and his brother Joe, have had a busy year. Most recently, FBC Mortgage landed the naming rights for downtown Orlando’s Chase Plaza North Tower. In addition, the firm expanded its reach to North Florida and acquired a large wholesale team based in Jacksonville. Meanwhile, Joe Nunziata was appointed CEO and president of Sterne Agee Group Inc., which FBC Mortgage merged with in November 2012. Also, Nunziata Holdings LLC this summer closed on the purchase of the Valencia College’s historic building in downtown Orlando, which Rob Nunziata said may bring a very exciting concept to downtown.


In today’s market, home ownership has financial edge over renting

December 16th, 2014 by

miami herald

With the recovery of the housing market, the desire to own a new home has returned. However, prospective buyers continue to lease condos, homes and apartments because they’re confused and sometimes overwhelmed by all the pieces of the home-buying puzzle. As they continue to rent, prospective buyers miss out on the benefits and savings that can be realized through home ownership. As a real estate sales agent, putting together all of the pieces to the puzzle of home ownership for the client is key to demonstrating the advantages and benefits of ownership.

South Florida’s rental market rates are at an all-time high and continue to escalate into uncharted prices for the region. In Broward County, rental rates average $1,283 a month. This represents a 4.5 percent year-over-year gain — and increases are expected to persist, according to MPF Research. Renting can be described as a lifestyle choice and people enjoy the flexibility that comes with it, but what they don’t realize is that today they can actually own for less.

A critical piece of the puzzle for first-time homeowners is how purchasing a home yields positive outcomes on a personal and monetary level. Homeowners not only receive great pride of ownership, they build equity toward their future. Home ownership, particularly for newly built residences, allows owners to project a fixed cost of living. With interest rates at an all-time low, buyers lock in their mortgage rates as opposed to the unknown of annual rent increases. Keeping payments fixed allows homeowners to build wealth during periods of growth like we’re seeing in South Florida. (more…)

Meet the new face of Sterne Agee Group

December 15th, 2014 by

Sal A. “Joe” Nunziata is about seven months into his tenure as president and CEO of Sterne Agee Group Inc. But having a new position in the finance world is hardly new for the executive.

Nunziata said his career took a turn when his father introduced him to the mortgage business, and then again when his business mentor got him involved in a de novo community bank.

In 1988, he joined his father’s mortgage company, Longwood, Fla.-based American Heritage Mortgage Corp., which was later acquired by First Horizon Home Loans. Before he could move up the ranks, he had to learn every part of the business.

“He had me start with answering telephones, scheduling appointments and then, I had to do each of the positions in the company, whether it was processing a loan, underwriting a loan, closing a loan,” Nunziata said. “Before I went out and actually started selling, I had a really good operations background. The training I got in business was great.”

Nunziata recently spoke with us about how he is settling into his new role and what’s next for Sterne Agee in our Executive Profile feature. Subscribers can read the full story here, but here are a few highlights.

What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned The hardest lesson I’ve learned is that when something seems to be too good to be true, it probably isn’t real. What I mean by that is to make sure you understand what you’re getting into and do the investigation.

What’s on the horizon for Sterne Agee We’re going to continue to integrate our divisions. We’re going to continue to look for growth areas. We see the growth areas as being in retail, investment banking, institutional sales and mortgage banking. We’ll continue to look at opportunities, whether it’s through recruiting individuals, groups or making strategic acquisitions. We want this company to strive and thrive for another 100 years.

What’s the toughest part of your job That changes every day. On a business note, when you have a new regime, just getting people to trust the management team and know that we’re going to do the right things to help the company.



Sterne Agee Mortgage Announces Expansion in the Western United States

November 14th, 2014 by

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                           
Contact:  Stephanie Simmons 407.377.0327
Email: ssimmons@fbchomeloans.com

ORLANDO, FL – Sterne Agee Mortgage, a division of FBC Mortgage, LLC, is pleased to announce their expansion in the Western United States.  Sterne Agee Mortgage has hired a production and operations staff led by industry veterans Tim and Grace Frohock.  The new branch has ten employees and is located in Phoenix, AZ.   The team was most recently with Affiliated Mortgage and was one of their top producing branches. “Our Team has a proven track record and we all look forward to continuing our customer centric business model with Sterne Agee Mortgage.  We are confident that Sterne Agee Mortgage’s culture is an ideal match and is consistent with our approach to creating lasting relationships,”  stated Tim Frohock, Regional Manager.

The branch generates wholesale and correspondent business in Arizona, California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah.  “It was immediately evident that the addition of Grace, Tim and their entire team would be a great fit for Sterne Agee Mortgage.  We have been looking in this market for several months and timing worked out perfect,” stated Denese Carty, TPO Division Manager, Sterne Agee Mortgage.  Sterne Agee Mortgage currently generates the majority of its business from Banks and Brokers located in the Southeast and New England area.  “Our goal has been to expand our business model out west.  We believe we have the right products and leadership to move forward with this expansion,” stated Rob Nunziata, CEO of FBC Mortgage, LLC.

About Sterne Agee Mortgage “SAM”
SAM is an operating division of FBC Mortgage (2005), a subsidiary of Sterne Agee Group Inc. (1901).  SAM, is a National Correspondent Mortgage Lender headquartered in Orlando, Florida. SAM provides competitive rates on home loans FHA, VA, Conventional, USDA, and FHA 203k rehab loans. The award-winning company also specializes in creating a boutique lending experience for its bank partners. Visit us on the web at www.sterneageemortgage.com or call us at 407-215-0860 to become an approved correspondent.
About FBC Mortgage
Founded in 2005 in Orlando, Florida, FBC Mortgage, LLC, A Sterne Agee Group Company, is a National Mortgage Lender headquartered in Orlando, Florida and operates under the FBC Mortgage, Sterne Agee Mortgage, and Home Loans Today names. FBC Mortgage provides competitive rates on home loans (FHA, VA, Conventional, USDA), construction loans, and FHA 203k rehab loans. The award-winning company also specializes in refinancing home loans. Visit us on the web at www.fbchomeloans.com or call us at 1-866-413-2563 to schedule your free mortgage consultation.


VirPack and National MI Create Interface for Loan Document Delivery

November 14th, 2014 by


PR Newswire Association LLC

MCLEAN, Va. and EMERYVILLE, Calif., Nov. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — VirPack, a leading document management and delivery solution provider to the residential mortgage industry, announced today that it has released an interface to the mortgage insurance system of National Mortgage Insurance Corporation (National MI), a subsidiary ofNMI Holdings, Inc., (NASDAQ:  NMIH). The interface enables lenders using VirPack’s Document Management and Delivery system to efficiently transmit loan documents that are required for mortgage insurance underwriting directly to National MI.

Founded in 2012, National Mortgage Insurance Corporation (National MI) is headquartered in Emeryville, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area. NMI Holdings, Inc., National MI's parent company, raised over $500 million of capital in a private placement of its securities in April 2012 and is led by an experienced management team. National MI has received approval from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as a qualified mortgage insurer, and has been approved to provide mortgage insurance in 50 states and the...

The interface between VirPack and National MI is designed to save lenders time and to increase accuracy by automating the process of sending documents to National MI with VirPack’s “One Click” delivery technology.

“VirPack and National MI developed the integration because it provides a faster, more efficient and accurate way for National MI to collect the documents necessary for it to make a decision on issuing and pricing insurance,” saidCy Brinn, VirPack’s COO.

“As a result of the integration, we are able to order services and securely deliver the documents that National MI requires to issue mortgage insurance,” saidTony Eelman, COO atFBC Mortgage, LLC. “We are leveraging this platform because it improves accuracy, reduces costs, and helps us to preserve our competitive advantage through advanced technology.”

FBC Mortgage, LLC, aSterne Agee Group Co., is a national mortgage lender based inOrlando that works with borrowers, as well as many of the largest real estate firms and builders in the U.S.

“We’re pleased to have this direct integration with VirPack’s top-flight document management and delivery system,” said Pete Pannes, chief sales officer at National MI. “Our integration with VirPack is part of our ongoing commitment to our lender customers to make doing business with National MI as easy as possible. We believe our mutual customers will benefit from the time- and cost-savings realized with the integration.”



Mortgages down; apartments started

November 4th, 2014 by


Mortgage applications in Metropolitan Orlando declined during the summer and Freddie Mac described region’s housing market as “weak and declining,” according to a quarterly report by the mortgage giant..

Compared to a year ago, the housing market had improved for the region but several indicators have pointed to a slowed recovery in August from one month and three months earlier.

“The Orlando housing and mortgage market continues to vacillate but is better today than it was at this point last year,” said Rob Nunziata, president of Orlando-based FBC Mortgage.

The outlook, he added, is promising because Fannie Mae is expected to release a mortgage product with down payments of only 3 percent in order to help low- and moderate-income households.

Even though the Orlando housing market showed improvement over the 12-month period that ended in August, the Orlando region’s housing index ranked 47th among the top 50 metro areas, according to Freddie Mac.

Among other things, Orlando lags behind nationally in terms of homeowners paying their mortgage. Of the mortgages within the Orlando area, only 30 percent had been paid on time. Nationally, homeowners’ rate of staying current on mortgage payment was more than double Orlando’s rate.


Construction manager Roger B. Kennedy Inc. started work on the second phase of Unicorp’s $6.2 million, 60-unit Casa Mirella Apartments in Windermere. The firm completed the $18 million, 216-unit first phase ahead of schedule in February. Designed by Slocum Platts Architects of Winter Park, Casa Mirella’s second phase is slated for completion in June 2015. …

Charleston-based Greystar selected Charlan Brock & Associates Inc. to design the 449-unit Elan Audubon Park apartments near Maguire Boulevard and East Colonial Drive in Orlando. Greystar Development and Construction will serve as general contractor on the project, which gets underway in November. The community is planned to have one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans. …

Tavistock Development Co. started work on the GuideWell Innovation Center at Medical City in Lake Nona. The 92,000-square-foot, three-story facility will include a life-sciences incubator to be managed by the University of Central Florida in partnership with the University of Florida.


Orlando’s 240-unit Rolling Hills apartment complex and Eustis’s 138-unit Tanglewood complex were part of a portfolio of 14 Florida apartment communities purchased by Tzadik Management for $81 million, or an average of $37,000 per unit. Evan Kristol, senior vice president in Marcus & Millichap’s Fort Lauderdale office and Institutional Property Advisors Senior Director Still Hunter III represented the buyer. Darron Kattan, Kevin Kelleher, Deme Mekras, and Elliot Shainberg, all of Franklin Street, represented the seller, Avesta Communities LLC.

mshanklin@tribune.com or 407-420-5538


Fourteen Certified Mortgage Bankers Recognized by the MBA

October 23rd, 2014 by


MBA Education, the award-winning education division of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), recognized 14 individuals who earned the Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB) designation at a ceremony held at MBA’s 101st Annual Convention & Expo in Las Vegas. Earning one’s CMB is the highest professional honor within the real estate finance industry.

The 14 CMBs who received their designations this past calendar year will join a group of more than 1,200 industry professionals who have proven their commitment to excellence within the mortgage banking industry.

“The knowledge that comes with the CMB accreditation is the most significant component of this honor because it positions one to navigate today’s ever-changing landscape,” said MBA Chairman Bill Cosgrove. “I applaud this year’s graduates and wish them luck in their continued career advancement.”

CMB candidates must acquire 150 points earned through a combination of professional experience, secondary education, continuing education through MBA-sponsored events and MBA Education courses, as well as participation in MBA at the local, state and/or national level. After accumulating the required points and passing a comprehensive written exam, candidates must demonstrate industry knowledge by passing an oral exam conducted by a panel of CMBs.

“I join MBA Chairman Bill Cosgrove in congratulating all of this year’s CMB graduates for achieving this noteworthy milestone,” said Jeff Schummer, MBA’s vice president of Education Development. “Because of this honor, each now has a new set of skills that will serve them well going forward.”

Candidates have the option of choosing among the Commercial CMB, Residential CMB or Master CMB designations. The Master CMB is a combination of both commercial and residential mortgage banking disciplines, while the Residential CMB and Commercial CMB focus on their respective subfields of the mortgage industry.

In June 2009, MBA launched the Executive Certified Mortgage Banker program. Designed for busy professionals, this program allows candidates to substitute their real-world knowledge and experience for many of the educational requirements of the CMB program.

In order to be eligible for the CMB designation, candidates must either work for an MBA member company or be a member of a recognized state MBA. Every candidate for an Executive CMB is required to have a minimum of 10 years of experience in real estate finance and hold a senior management position at an MBA member company.

MBA Education awarded the following industry professionals with the CMB designation from November 2013 to October 2014:

Residential CMB Designees
Daniel H. Aminoff, CMB, AMP: Branch Manager, EverBank – Alexandria, Va.
​►Michael Bekes, CMB, AMP:  Vice President, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage – Milwaukee, Wis.
​►Jonathan M. Grafflin, CMB, AMP: Key Account Executive, Chase – Irving, Texas
​►Peter A. Hinrichs, CMB, CRU: Senior Director, AgStar Home Mortgage Services – Rochester, Minn.
​►Bruce Meyers, CMB: Branch Manager, First Home Mortgage Corporation – Bethesda, Md.
​►Joe Nunziata, CMB, CRO: Chairman, FBC Mortgage, LLC – Orlando, Fla.
​►Joseph Panebianco, CMB, CFA: President and CEO, AnnieMac Home Mortgage – Mount Laurel, N.J.
​►Todd Potter, CMB: National Correspondent Sales Manager, Envoy Mortgage – Brighton, Mich.
​►David Rembert, CMB, AMP: Branch Manager, Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc. – Belton, Texas
​►Matthew J. Whalen, CMB, AMP: Assistant Vice President, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage – Champaign, Ill.
​►Andrew C. Wideman, CMB, AMP:  Senior Vice President-National Sales, Title Source – Denver, Colo.

CMB Designees from the Executive Certified Mortgage Banker program
Michael Kaysen, CMB: Chief Operations Officer, Home Point Capital – Ann Arbor, Mich.
​►Eduardo Perez, CMB: President, Equity Loans, LLC – Atlanta, Ga.
​►Souren Sarkar, CMB: Managing Partner, Advantium Mortgage Solutions – Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


Foreigners riding the U.S. real estate market up

October 14th, 2014 by


Favorable exchange rates, affordable home prices and relatively inexpensive financing continue to drive international home buyers to the United States, and lenders are taking notice.

At HSBC, foreign-national mortgages accounted for about 35% of its U.S. home lending business so far in 2014, according to Peter Alongi, senior mortgage manager at HSBC’s New York City office. Alongi said the bank has consistently experience year-over-year increases.

International home buying in the U.S. increased 35% between March 2013 and April 2014, with Chinese buyers outpacing the rest. The Chinese spent $22 billion of the total $92.3 billion international home buying volume during that time period, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Overall, foreign clients made up about 7% of transactions in the $1.2 trillion U.S. residential real estate market.

Other lenders are showing interest, too. Mega Capital Funding, a Calabasas, Calif.-based lender, started lending to non-residents in June after seeing rising demand from Chinese buyers, according to Bloomberg. Orlando, Fla.-based FBC Mortgage increased its mortgages to international buyers by 65% in 2014 compared to last year.