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It looks like a fight is brewing with alternative lender Equity Financial Trust (EFT).

Ousted former CEO Nick Kyprianou and former CRO Darryl Ivan have teamed up with investor activist group Smoothwater Capital Corporation and legal counsel. In a press release, Smoothwater says it intends to explore “various means to effect changes in the management of Equity and Equity Trust by reinstating Mr. Kyprianou and Mr. Ivan to their former roles.”

Readers may recall that Kyprianou, who helped build Home Trust, was replaced last month with Michael Jones, formerly of Xceed Mortgage. See: (EFT Parts With its President & Chief Risk Officer)

Equity Financial Holdings chairman Donald Wright shot back at Smootwater, stating, “The Board unanimously determined that a change in management on October 3rd was desirable and we stand by that decision.” Here’s the rest of the company’s release.

This fracas may not be disruptive to EFT’s day to day operations, but it could potentially cause negative perceptions among brokers. We’ll see if that has a measurable impact on its volumes.

EFT originated $104 million in mortgages last quarter (a relatively small number for a broker-channel lender) and lost $175,000. Its stock got whacked after Kyprianou left, but it’s been rallying hard toward all-time highs. (Chart)


Rob McLister, CMT

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