APM makes leadership changes while continuing to eye expansion 

California-based retail lender American Pacific Mortgage (APM) has made leadership changes while continuing to eye expansion in the Midwest and Southeast. 

Bill Lowman was named vice chairman of APM, a newly created position while Ned Payment was promoted to chief executive officer from president of APM. Dustin Sheppard also moved up the ladder to president from executive vice president, according to the lender. The changes went into effect on Wednesday. 

Lowman’s priorities will include a focus on APM’s strategy, counterparty relationships, the lender’s merger and acquisition (M&A) activity as well as his work on the board of directors of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). 

“For several years, we have been very intentional about succession planning at the executive leadership level,” Lowman said in a statement. “We believe these changes position American Pacific Mortgage for continued growth and stability.”

The new CEO, Payant – whose 12-year career at APM includes roles as SVP of operations, EVP of production and most recently as president – will run the day-to-day operations at APM.  

Sheppard, the new president of APM, will be responsible for driving company production and supporting APM’s 400-plus branches, the company said.

In addition to roles as branch manager and regional manager at different lenders, Sheppard has climbed through the ranks as a loan officer at APM, and most recently served as APM’s EVP of national production. 

Kurt Reisig, chairman of APM, will remain in his position and will continue to be actively involved with key counterparty relationships, employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) management, and other strategic opportunities, including M&As.

“Both Bill and I will remain directly linked to Ned and Dustin on a day-to-day basis,” Reisig said. “We believe these changes better position APM for growth.” 

The leadership changes at APM come amid the lender’s quest for expansion.

In 2022 alone, APM acquired 11 branches from Arizona-based Sunstreet Lending and Sunstreet, along with 25 branches from the Minnesota retail lender Lend Smart Mortgage and 51 branches from AmeriFirst Financial Inc. 

The lender also brought over 45 former retail branches from Finance of America Companies Inc. (FoA) months after it shut down its forward mortgage segment. 

All in all, 900 employees joined the company from the four deals APM completed last year, including 540 LOs, Lowman said in a previous interview with HousingWire.

Founded in 1996, APM is a lender of about 3,600 employees and 1,500 mortgage loan originators with more than 440 branches across the country. The lender offers a range of products, including conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA loans and reverse mortgages as well as renovation and construction loans.

While APM saw production drop by about 42% in 2022 to $13.8 billion, largely due to rising rates and the refi business drying up, the lender expects a 25% increase in origination volume in 2023 from the M&A deals it closed in 2022. 

The still-high inflation and mortgage rates won’t discourage APM from expanding further this year, either. The California-dependent lender is planning to increase market presence to the Midwest and Southeast.

“The more the disruption, the more the opportunity. When it’s too tough for them, it’s just right for us. We went into this declining market prepared to take advantage of it,” Lowman said.