O'Leary Mortgages surrenders FSCO license

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Less than a year since its official launch, O’Leary Mortgages has surrendered its FSCO license effective March 31.

The company has shuttered its doors mere months after O’Leary Mortgage’s CEO, Alex Kenjeev, suggested the company was poised to share some big news in early 2014.

“I expect we will have some big news to share quite soon but I am not in a position to say much at the moment,” he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca at the time.

Kenjeev was also guarded when pressed for specifics about how the company has faired since its launch in late April 2013.

“We don't disclose specific numbers,” Kenjeev said in response to a question on the number of originations in 2013. “Yes of course (we have originated deals).”

It has been a rocky road for O’Leary Mortgages, which drew the ire from brokers who believed its model was in direct competition with the mortgage industry. A planned CAAMP keynote speech – originally planned for 2012’s Mortgage Forum – was eventually axed following broker opposition.

"Kevin O'Leary was contracted last spring to speak at Mortgage Forum 2012 and recently announced the launch of O'Leary Mortgages," wrote CAAMP in a release issued in November 2012, following a MortgageBrokerNews.ca article outlining the depth of broker opposition to his planned appearance. "It has been CAAMP's long standing policy that industry participants not be featured as keynote speakers. Kevin O'Leary is mindful of the situation and has withdrawn from participating in Mortgage Forum 2012."

The official details can be viewed on FSCO's website.

Related:

Big things on the horizon for O'Leary Mortgages?

 
  • Catherine on 2014-04-10 12:04:36 PM

    ...big surprise.

  • Kent Farnsworth on 2014-04-10 12:04:48 PM

    Wow, that's not the news that I was expecting exactly lol.

  • Jamey on 2014-04-10 12:10:59 PM

    Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

  • Kent Farnsworth on 2014-04-10 12:12:44 PM

    LOL @ Jamey
    So true! :)

  • Omer Quenneville on 2014-04-10 12:17:25 PM

    Very interesting, Kevin is also leaving dragons den.

  • Dave, Broker on 2014-04-10 12:25:04 PM

    Not surprised. Trying to start a business just because of your "name" is ridiculous. Try offering something of value instead Kevin. Your name ain't worth much dude.

  • Vince Tarantino on 2014-04-10 12:34:02 PM

    I agree with Dave's comment. This is a win for Hard working Brokers/Agents everywhere. I have nothing against Kevin or O'Leary mortgages, but I do have a bone to pick for everyone out there who does not see the value of working with accredited , licensed Brokers, but not just for their Rates but for their knowledge and experience which provides Value

  • Catherine on 2014-04-10 12:34:06 PM

    It always amazes me when people think it is easy to work in our industry. Kind of insulting really.

  • Kelly on 2014-04-10 12:48:00 PM

    No Big Surprise there

  • Tracy Luciani Price on 2014-04-10 12:54:17 PM

    Looks good on him. Who would want to get a mortgage from a guy who tells everyone he only cares about profit and doesn't give a hoot about the little guy.

  • Brad Currie on 2014-04-10 1:02:34 PM

    A Drgaon has been slayed!.... more seriously, in my opinion, speaks to the slim margins on behalf of lenders. O'Leary, like him or not, is a successful business person and knows when to move on. Ed Clark, former CEO of TD, stated once the mortgage is least profitable product offered, but it is an anchor product used to sell other products and services from. Almost a lost leader. Monolines do not have the advantage of selling other products, but should have lower overheads. Nevertheless, the margins are significant. The broker channel, needs to be cognizant of this fact when dealing with lender partners.

  • Brad Currie on 2014-04-10 1:02:43 PM

    A Drgaon has been slayed!.... more seriously, in my opinion, speaks to the slim margins on behalf of lenders. O'Leary, like him or not, is a successful business person and knows when to move on. Ed Clark, former CEO of TD, stated once the mortgage is least profitable product offered, but it is an anchor product used to sell other products and services from. Almost a lost leader. Monolines do not have the advantage of selling other products, but should have lower overheads. Nevertheless, the margins are significant. The broker channel, needs to be cognizant of this fact when dealing with lender partners.

  • Roger Taylor on 2014-04-10 1:02:50 PM

    we need more Kevins - how many people put
    their money at risk for such a low percentage.
    He'll pop up somewhere else and people will
    say "I Knew he'd do that".
    Foots Bay Roger T.

  • Brad Currie on 2014-04-10 1:04:30 PM

    Correction.. to my post.. Margins are 'NOT' significant

  • Nick D. on 2014-04-10 1:05:15 PM

    Not a surprise at all. The fact is that he does not have as much money as he claims to have. He doesn’t even rank in the top 100 for wealthy Canadians. O’Leary funds underperforms as compared to other funds, and his other business ventures struggle. O’leary is a man that is more bluster than anything else. He has done a great job of making himself appear to be more than he is, but in the end… he’s not all he claims to be.

  • Randy Cowling on 2014-04-10 1:21:40 PM

    Mr. O'Leary is welcome to make a presentation on his ideas regarding the Canadian Mortgage Market at our next broker meeting, after which we will open the floor to comments and ridicule from experienced mortgage brokers . We should film it...could make a good show!

  • Walid Hammami on 2014-04-10 1:30:11 PM

    O'leary is pragmatic, he tried and failed.
    Acknowledging defeat is honorable and will cement his credibility as an investor.
    Respect.

  • Lior, Mortgage Edge on 2014-04-10 1:49:12 PM

    If mr. wonderful was truly smart, he would have catered to the alternative market instead where you can create VALUE. When your venture focuses on triple A clients and your pricing does not even match what competing brokerages are offering, what is the value that you are delivering to your customers? Looks like a poorly implemented business plan from a guy who on Dragon's Den is all about the numbers.

  • Bruce on 2014-04-10 2:05:27 PM

    I guess the "I can do that, its easy " mentality meets the realities of trying to turn a profit in a hyper competitive business.

  • Brad Currie on 2014-04-10 2:12:40 PM

    Clearly it is not easy as it looks to be a new lender.... rather than focus on O'Leary personally, I prefer to pay attention to reasons why it failed. Just sayin....

  • Brad Currie on 2014-04-10 2:12:43 PM

    Clearly it is not easy as it looks to be a new lender.... rather than focus on O'Leary personally, I prefer to pay attention to reasons why it failed. Just sayin....

  • Christopher on 2014-04-10 2:13:10 PM

    For a guy who's motto is "Greed is Good", I can't think of a better outcome.

  • Ron Butler on 2014-04-10 4:09:28 PM

    Why does everyone believe he had his own money in this venture? What if licensed his name for a share of the profits albeit there were none. I doubt he ever spent more than two or three full days working on the business the whole course of the time.

    I talked to him in the Pearson Amex lounge once, completely approachable guy and very smart; he follows Trump's model, license the name and leverage off the media.

    It just goes to show what a difficult execution model online mortgage origination really is.

  • Daniel McKay on 2014-04-10 4:49:17 PM

    Brad is 100% correct. The only reason O'Leary left is because the margins were just too thin, and this is a case of a pilot project being shut down because it is not profitable enough. I was having breakfast with high net worth private wealth manager last week, and we discussed whether or not he would ever enter the mortgage business via Paradign Quest. His answer: I'm interested, but right now the margins are just too far below my target returns given the capital requirements. I believe that he hoped that the O'Leary name/brand would bring in enough business to offset relatively low margins that exist in A mortgage lending. At the end of the day, Kevin figured out that he can simply get better returns on capital elsewhere and pulled the plug.

  • Faye Drope on 2014-04-10 8:18:01 PM

    Do you think its possible... don't shoot me for throwing this out there but... perhaps he sees the housing market in Canada is too risky?
    I question too why he left the market. A guy like that already knew the margins going in so it couldn't be that right? O"Boy was not my fav at all, I had decided not to attend based on him speaking way before he made his mortgage announcement speech. I'm just saying maybe there is another angle.

  • James Alexander on 2014-04-10 8:20:33 PM

    Maybe, just maybe Mr. O'Leary is anticipating a hefty correction in the housing market???

  • James Alexander on 2014-04-10 8:21:05 PM

    Maybe, just maybe Mr. O'Leary is anticipating a hefty correction in the housing market???

  • Ron Butler on 2014-04-10 8:35:53 PM

    It was known that they did very little origination. The margins in the monoline lending business are not that awful but if the top line is very small and does not grow there is no future in any business. They acted as a broker for a white label mortgage provider so I don't see it a function of risk avoidance because I don't believe they took on any default recourse on the mortgages. Online mortgage origination is very hard, it's a very difficult execution proposition. Most of the folks who try it don't like it.

  • Russ Cameron on 2014-04-11 1:41:17 PM

    Kevin and Don Cherry are in show business we are in a serious business that can change people's lives..there is got to be a mortgage broker out there who would to give Dragon's Den or Coaches corner a try.

  • Russ Cameron on 2014-04-11 1:41:22 PM

    Kevin and Don Cherry are in show business we are in a serious business that can change people's lives..there is got to be a mortgage broker out there who would to give Dragon's Den or Coaches corner a try.

  • Michael S on 2014-04-12 12:05:34 PM

    Should of used the broker channel. Ego got in the way.

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