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BlackRock and Highfields Capital Management launch new company

BlackRock, an investment management firm, and Highfields Capital Management have sponsored a new company, Private National Mortgage Acceptance that will acquire and restructure distressed residential mortgage loans in response to the ongoing dislocation in the US mortgage market.

The new company has been formed by BlackRock, Highfields, and a management team of mortgage industry led by Stanford Kurland, Private National Mortgage Acceptance Company’s (PennyMac) chairman and CEO.

PennyMac will raise capital from private investors, acquire loans from financial institutions seeking to reduce its mortgage exposures, and seek to create value for both borrowers and investors through distinctive loan servicing.

Mr Kurland was the president and the CEO of Countrywide Financial until his departure in October 2006. The PennyMac management team also includes David Spector, chief investment officer, who is the former co-head of global residential mortgages for Morgan Stanley.

PennyMac’s loan servicing activities will be managed through a proprietary servicing operation based in southern California, US.

Mr Kurland said: Our intent is to combine fresh capital with deep mortgage portfolio management and servicing expertise. We are delighted to have the support of BlackRock and Highfields Capital as we expand our business and work to help both lenders and borrowers as one step in addressing the US mortgage crisis.