Accenture Acquires Mortgage Outsourcer Zenta

Mortgage & Real Estate

Accenture announced its acquisition of Dallas-based mortgage outsourcing provider Zenta Monday, in a move that puts the global consulting and outsourcing provider in the thick of the mortgage origination business and the massive loss mitigation efforts ongoing in the mortgage servicing industry.

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Zenta’s 3,700 employees provide business process outsourcing in mortgage origination fulfillment, servicing loss mitigation, as well as portfolio due diligence and management for investors from facilities in Charlotte, N.C. and internationally with Indian centers in Mumbai and Chennai and its smallest facility, in Manila, Philippines.

With the acquisition, Accenture Credit Services is launching to provide consulting, technology and BPO services for both the residential mortgage and commercial real estate industries, with an eye toward expanding into leasing and automotive finance.

Terry Moore, former managing director of Accenture’s North America banking practice, will serve as the new unit’s global managing director. He told this publication that the deal was in response to Accenture’s existing top 20 mortgage-lender/servicer clients’ need for more in-depth outsourcing capabilities.

“We had dabbled in credit BPO with some clients and some business, but we realized we didn’t have the deeply skilled end-to-end capability that’s really required to attack the challenges that are so apparent is this market right now, with both lenders and services, origination and loss mitigation,” Moore said. “With Zenta, we get unmatched end-to-end processing capabilities that’s licensed.”

Zenta’s origination fulfillment capabilities begin as early as after a borrower receives initial disclosures and continues through to the closing process. Zenta integrates into the lender’s existing loan origination system and other technology, but provides additional workflow and decisioning automation to generate efficiency and cost savings.

“Our business isn’t focused on overflow volume,” Moore said. “Our business is really focused on the origination, fundamentally driving better metrics for the client such that they want to send volume to us even in low volume times because we can do it better, faster and cheaper.”

The same efficiency and workflow technology principles are applied to the loss mitigation efforts of servicers that promote higher quality results, he added.

“What’s really unique about Zenta is the way that they attack the problem on both the origination and loss mit side,” he said. “They are able to do a lot more rigorous process work to inspect the loan information that comes in for the customers, figure out what they’re missing and do an efficient job of working the loan through the process very quickly, while maintaining that quality.”

“Those loss mit shops need a lot of help, but they don’t just need generic help,” Moore continued. “They need highly skilled resources that are proven, that can process loan modifications very efficiently with high quality, very high-touch customer service; because the borrower contact in that situation is paramount.”

Additionally, Moore said Accenture Credit Services will assist real estate investment trusts with their due diligence of mortgage and real estate business, including financial analysis, valuations and other portfolio management tasks.

Earlier this year, Accenture was rumored to be in discussions to acquire or form a strategic partnership with ISGN, another mortgage fulfillment outsourcer and technology provider. Moore declined to comment on any connection between those rumors and the Zenta acquisition. Nor would he discuss how the deal puts Accenture among its competitors, notably IBM, which has embarked on its own strategy to subservice loans for Fannie Mae.

“I would characterize our strategy as one that’s unique in the marketplace, one that combines a very strong track record from a consulting and systems integration expertise perspective, with unmatched, deep-mortgage, licensed processing capability that I think is going to be what our clients are looking for to help them solve their problems,” Moore said.

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