Redwood Trust has dramatically scaled back the size of its headquarters in Marin County.
The publicly owned investor in high-quality residential mortgage-related assets (NYSE: RWT) recently signed a 10-year renewal of a lease for its headquarters at 1 Belvedere Place in Mill Valley, committing to all the 21,000-square-foot third floor, according to Haden Ongaro, who was part of the Newmark Knight Frank team listing the space for owners ScanlanKemperBard and Angelo Gordon & Co. Redwood Trust had been using the second and third floors of the 60,000-square-foot, 3-story building. At one time, the company occupied all of it.
“They are reducing occupancy and staying in the building,” Ongaro said.
Started in 1994, Redwood Trust in the past 18 months made a significant shift in the ways it does business. In January 2016, the company said it planned to cut a quarter of its workforce as it restructured its conforming-loan operations and repositioned its commercial-loan business.
It had 211 employees just before that announcement, 153 as of its annual report a month later and 125 at the beginning of this year, according to company regulatory filings.
“As we have transitioned away from transacting and conforming loan products, our team has been able to shift all of its focus towards new jumbo loan initiatives,” former President Brett Nicholas said during a May 2016 conference call on results from the first quarter of that year.
Chief Financial Officer Christopher Abate took on the role of president in July 2016. Marty Hughes is CEO.
Redwood Trust’s total capital was $1.8 billion as of March 31, according to filings for the company’s first quarter of this year. Investments were about 90 percent of that, and the remaining 10th was allocated to residential mortgage banking, said Abate during a conference call on May 4 of this year.
Despite uncertainty about the sluggish economy, it’s not like 2007, Hughes said during the call. Investment in poorly performing securitized mortgages was one of the triggers of the Great Recession.
“The fundamental underpinning for housing is strong,” Hughes said. “Further, our investment portfolio is backed by high-quality prime borrowers, who have both significant reserves and equity in their home. This reduces the risk that is a significant shock to the economy would have a material effect on the future cash flows of our portfolio.”