Advisory firm Westwood Capital has launched a hedge fund which will patronize a segment of the mortgage market that most investors are avoiding. The New York City-advisory firm created the fund in a partnership with ARC Global Partners, also of New York, and has begun bidding on loans. The targeted assets: first-lien, owner-occupied, nonperforming loans in the 60-day-plus delinquency bucket, according to sources familiar with the situation. At its bare essentials, Westwood's strategy is to pick up the loans at a discount and use its servicer, which was not named, to get the loans to reperform. To spearhead the initiative, Westwood appointed three industry veterans. Morton Dear, former vice chairman of The Money Store, is chairman of the new fund; Evan Mitnick joined as president. Mitnick joined Westwood Capital in June 2007 after leaving New Century Financial, where he was a senior vice president. Mitnick was also a director at Citigroup Global Markets.
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