Fresh on the heels of the first reverse mortgage securitization issued by its subsidiary Financial Freedom Senior Funding Corp., Washington, D.C.-based financial services holding company ULLICO Inc. announced last week it will consolidate and expand its real estate-related activities under one organization, called the Real Estate Investment Banking Group (REIBG).

Herb Kolben, formerly director of mortgage investment group, was named vice president of the REIBG. The group will have the capability of handling both equity and debt project financing, as well as continuing and expanding other real estate investments on behalf of parent company The Union Labor Life Insurance Co., ULLICO, MRCo Inc. and third parties, primarily pension funds.

"Over the last five years we've experienced extraordinary growth in our mortgage lending business," Kolben said. "We've moved rapidly into signature products, opened offices in each major region of the country, and become a leading force in the lending community. The creation of the Real Estate Investment Banking Group takes the company to the next level of participation in the real estate industry."

According to company officials, the REIBG will be organized into four areas: mortgage lending, real Estate equity fund, specialty projects and private capital.

The specialty projects area will identify high-profile direct and co-investments in top-quality projects, and will include the operations of AMI Capital Inc., a Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriting service member and commercial lender, and Financial Freedom, a reverse mortgage direct lender that recently securitized the first U.S. reverse mortgage portfolio, underwritten by Lehman Brothers.

ULLICO Inc. is a privately held financial services holding corporation with a diverse group of companies specializing in three core businesses: investment services, insurance and benefits administration. Third-party assets under management exceed $6.5 billion.

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