Residential Mortgage Services, Inc. (“RMS”) is a leading independent retail mortgage bank focused on the New England residential market. The Company is currently the largest purchase money lender in the Maine and New Hampshire markets, and is a top five player in the Massachusetts purchase market. Through its network of over 30 regional field offices located throughout New England, the professionals at RMS strive to make the last mile of home ownership as simple and straightforward as possible. Since 2010, RMS has closed over 24,000 loans with an aggregate value in excess of $5.3 billion.
The majority Owner/CEO desired to proactively seek out the best new investor” to help RMS achieve its next phase of growth, at the same time providing for a meaningful liquidity event for the current shareholders. The Company was at a point in its growth trajectory which required access to greater resources and expertise.
Would recent mortgage industry turmoil and volatility negatively impact investor sentiment? Would the recent rapid growth and improved financial performance be considered sustainable? Would investors be attracted to retail bricks and mortar mortgage origination? Would a partner be willing to help the Company build out more extensive back office capabilities and support growth beyond the existing regional footprint? Would a partner be willing to provide meaningful up front liquidity?
“A good boutique M&A firm is the equivalent of a very nice hotel in a strange city. The secret is great service and honest direction. Ask yourself this question: Does the hotel have a high powered guest-focused ‘Concierges Desk’? This will dictate the impression of your stay. At Bigelow the ‘Concierges Desk’ is superb!” James R. Seely, President & CEO Residential Mortgage Services, Inc.
“Bigelow’s ability to understand all of the nuances of a company instantly, as well as the industry, is unmatched. When Jim asked me with whom he should speak to find a new investor for his Company I unqualifiedly recommended Bigelow as the only firm he should consider.” Alan D. MacEwan, Esq., Company Counsel Verrill Dana LLP
Bigelow prescribed an engagement architecture of going wide to strategic investors, private equity platforms, and experienced private equity firms to proactively seek out the best fit investor for the Company. After in depth qualifying conversations, Bigelow down-selected to fewer than 25 investors to share confidential information under non-disclosure agreements. Using technology enabled real-time presentations, Bigelow shared key highlights of the RMS opportunity, while interviewing investors as to their fit, resulting in multiple attractive offers.
Bigelow and the CEO then embarked on a cross-country reverse due diligence roadshow, to meet with the upper level management of several of these potential partners to explore the cultural fit and value add that would result from an investment. After evaluating these various alternatives, the Company selected Eos Partners, a $1BN New York-based private equity firm, to help them achieve their growth objectives at the same time providing the existing shareholders with a meaningful liquidity event. As part of this transaction, RMS received an equity investment that more than doubled its capital base, with Eos purchasing a minority equity stake in the Company.