CALABASAS, Calif., July 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Angelo Mozilo, chairman, CEO and president of Countrywide Financial Corporation (NYSE: CFC), expressed sorrow at the death of the company's co-founder and longtime chairman and president David S. Loeb. A pioneer and dominant figure in the mortgage industry for more than a half century, Loeb died Monday at his home in Sparks, NV. He was 79. "Along with the entire Countrywide family, I am deeply saddened that my friend and business partner of 43 years, David Loeb, has passed away," Mozilo said. "David was a leader of our industry and co-founder of our company." Mozilo met Loeb in 1960 while working for United Mortgagee Servicing Corporation. United purchased Lomas Realty Securities, a firm founded by Loeb in 1950. Loeb took a liking to the young Mozilo, and when United was taken over in 1968, the entrepreneurial pair left the company and embarked on forming their own mortgage bank. They boldly called it Countrywide, then made the name fit by building their small firm into one of the largest mortgage banks in the nation and eventually a powerful provider of diversified financial services. "I was 21 years old when I first met David in 1960 when our two companies merged," Mozilo recalled fondly. "We worked together for more than four decades, including 30 years as co-founders and leaders of Countrywide, and I have always deeply respected David as a business partner, mentor and friend." With Mozilo presenting the public face of Countrywide and a very private Loeb working in the background carrying out innovative secondary market and hedging strategies that would help to place Countrywide at the industry forefront, the company grew from an office in Los Angeles to an S&P 500 company with more than 500 branch offices of Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., nationwide. Today, Countrywide Financial also is active in banking, insurance, capital markets, loan closing services and global mortgage activities. "We envisioned building the first truly national mortgage banking company when we came together in 1968 to form Countrywide," Mozilo continued. "The name Countrywide evolved from an ambitious vision to an indisputable reality, in no small part due to David's wisdom, skill and leadership. He was a tough and brilliant business strategist who put Countrywide years ahead of the industry with pioneering hedging strategies, including our successful macro- hedge capability that continues to grow and serve the company and its shareholders." In 1985, Loeb and Mozilo co-founded another company, a publicly-traded real estate investment trust called Countrywide Mortgage Investment, which has grown into IndyMac Bancorp, Inc., a bank holding company and top 25 mortgage lender itself. Loeb was also active in real estate development through Wingfield Nevada Group/Loeb Enterprises, LLC, which develops master planned communities. Loeb served as a navigator in the Merchant Marines during World War II, following his graduation from the Maine Marine Academy with a bachelor's degree in nautical science in 1943. He served as a trustee of the academy and was a benefactor of its Loeb-Sullivan School of International Business and Logistics. He was granted an honorary doctorate by the academy last year. After World War II, Loeb focused on what would become his life's work. In 1946, he became a sales representative for a mortgage banker, and first went out on his own with the founding of Lomas in 1950. At the same time, he was working on a second degree, earning his bachelor's degree in accounting from New York University in 1951. Loeb later served on the board of overseers of NYU's Stern School of Business. "His vision, knowledge, counsel and partnership were manifest in my own life and professional success, as well as the birth, growth and fantastic success of Countrywide," Mozilo said. "He will be greatly missed by all of those he has touched along the way. "I wish to express condolences from all of us at countrywide to his wife Heidi, his three daughters and six grandchildren." Memorial services for Loeb will be held on Sunday, July 13, at 11:30 a.m. at the Events Center at Red Hawk; 6595 Wingfield Springs Rd.; Sparks, NV. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Neuropathy Association; 60 E. 42nd St., Suite 942; New York, NY, 10165.
SOURCE Countrywide Financial Corporation