Magazine article American Banker

Ex-Fleet Employees in Midwest Set Up Own Company

Magazine article American Banker

Ex-Fleet Employees in Midwest Set Up Own Company

Article excerpt

A mortgage company has been formed by an entrepreneurial group of former Fleet Mortgage Group employees.

Amerihome Mortgage Co. opened its doors last month. The company is based in Milwaukee and has another office in Rosemont, Ill.

All 25 employees had worked for Fleet Mortgage.

In February, Columbia, S.C.-based Fleet announced that it was looking to sell 17 retail branch offices in the West and Midwest to focus its retail efforts in the Northeast.

At that point, Nicholas J. DelTorto, a 14-year Fleet veteran and regional vice president in Milwaukee, said he and several other Fleet employees and an investment firm decided to form the new company.

The group even made an offer to Fleet Mortgage's parent, Boston-based Fleet Financial Group.

"The original desire was to acquire several of those branches," said David J. Lubar, president of Lubar & Co., the Milwaukee-based investment firm that is a part owner of Amerihome.

Fleet, however, decided to sell to a larger buyer. In March, PNC Bank Corp.'s mortgage unit agreed to buy five of the 17 offices.

PNC offered jobs to the Fleet employees in the other 12 offices, Mr. DelTorto said. Though some accepted, others joined Amerihome.

"We would have preferred to negotiate a deal directly with Fleet. However, that didn't work out, so we continued to pursue our strategy of forming a new company," said Mr. DelTorto, Amerihome's president and chief executive.

The office in Rosemont is a combination of the two retail branches Fleet had in the Chicago area, Mr. …

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