Oakwood Global Finance has been assigned servicer ratings for the first time by Fitch.
Oakwood has been awarded two specific ratings: a Residential Special Servicer Rating of ‘RSS2-UK’, making it the highest Fitch-ranked provider of outsourced Special Servicing in the UK; and a Residential Master Servicer Rating of ‘RMS2-UK’, which is the first time Fitch has ever assigned such a rating in Europe.
As a special servicer, Oakwood has been providing management of non-performing loans to third party clients, including a major investment bank, for more than four years.
Fitch’s assessment of Oakwood’s Special Servicing capability drew particular attention to “the high levels of industry experience of senior management and the innovative servicing strategies employed by the company”.
As Fitch’s first, and currently only, rated Master Servicer in Europe, Oakwood is focused on ensuring accurate and timely management of cash; and the efficient and compliant functioning of all the processes, systems and controls associated with mortgage administration. In its rating, Fitch noted Oakwood’s “robust oversight, dedicated cash manager and proprietary software” as core strengths of its Master Servicing proposition.
Mike Culhane,chief operating officer of Oakwood’s CEO, says: “This is a tremendous endorsement of the operations we have developed and refined over the last four years.
“We have a longer track record, more scale and greater experience than any other provider in the sector and our ratings underscore the fact that our proactive approach to servicing is highly relevant in today’s challenging environment. Arrears and repossessions are headline news and to achieve such a high rating is a testament to our Special Servicing team’s ability to manage cases effectively, sensitively and in compliance with ever changing legal and regulatory requirements.”
He adds: “Achieving a Master Servicing rating, a first for Oakwood and for Fitch in Europe, is a key milestone which recognises our commitment to providing a truly market leading service to our clients in managing their cash, and delivering efficient, audited and risk-controlled servicing.”
Oakwood is in discussions with new investors, such as hedge funds acquiring mortgage portfolios, as well as banks and building societies looking to improve their ability to service troubled assets, or investment banks managing out existing positions.
Cuhane adds: “In many organisations Servicing has traditionally taken second place to new business origination. As the economy deteriorates, these organisations are being left with assets they are ill-equipped to manage. We see a huge market opportunity in providing our outsourced Services to a wider range of clients who do not have the resources or expertise to deliver high quality servicing internally.”