Y Combinatorbacked Narrator wants to become the operating system for data science

Y Combinatorbacked Narrator wants to become the operating system for data science

first_imgCedric Dussud, Michael Nason, Ahmed Elsamadisi and Matthew Star (pictured above, in order) spent the summer sharing a house in San Francisco, cooking meals together and building Narrator, a startup with ambitions of becoming a universal data model fit for any company.Narrator is one of more than 100 startups graduating next week from Y Combinator, the San Francisco accelerator program. Put simply, the company provides data-science-as-a-service to its customers: fellow startups.“We provide the equivalent of a data team for the price of an analyst,” explains Narrator co-founder and director of engineering Star. “Within the first month, our clients get an infinitely scalable data system.”Led by chief executive officer Elsamadisi, a former senior data engineer at WeWork, the Narrator founding team is made up entirely of alums of the co-working giant. The building blocks of Narrator’s subscription-based data modeling tool were developed during Elsamadisi’s WeWork tenure, where he was tasked with making sense of the company’s disorganized trove of data.As an early addition to WeWork’s data team, Elsamadisi spent two years bringing WeWork’s data to one place, scaling the team to 40 people and ultimately creating a functional data model the soon-to-be-public company could use to streamline operations. Then in 2017, Elsamadisi had an a-ha moment. The system he created at WeWork could be applied to any data stream, he thought.“All companies are fundamentally the same when it comes to the kinds of data they want to understand about their business,” Narrator’s Dussud tells TechCrunch. “Every startup wants to know what’s my monthly recurring revenue, why are my customers churning or whatever the case may be. The only reason they have to go hire a data team and hire a business analyst is because the way that their data is structured is specific to that company.”All Narrator clients use the same consistent format to absorb and manage their data, saving startups time and heaps of money.Narrator follows a long line of Y Combinator graduates that built startups catering to other startups, as the accelerator becomes more of a SaaS incubator of sorts. PagerDuty and Docker proved that YC companies could build with a strong focus on other YC companies. Brex, a recent YC grad that issues credit cards to entrepreneurs, has leveraged the same startup-focused model for big-time success.“Why not build a company to make something that other startups can have?” Asks Dussud. “It’s hugely valuable and only big companies have access to it. Let’s make it available to everybody.”New York-based Narrator sees a massive opportunity ahead. Every company, after all, wants to increase revenue or decrease costs, a difficult task easier accomplished with a data-driven culture.“If you start to imagine a world where, under the hood, the structure of the data at all companies is the same, you can now start reusing a lot of the things that in the past would actually be quite complicated,” said Star. “Right now, anytime you want to start from scratch with a new data system, you are literally starting from scratch and unfortunately reinventing the wheel. If you had a standardized system, you know, a standardized model, you could start reusing a lot of really wonderful things.”Narrator is working with 14 clients today, each using an identical data model. Their goal is for Narrator’s structure to become the standard by which all startups do data science. In other words, Narrator hopes to become the operating system for data science.“What’s kind of amazing is whether we’re working with a financial app … a clothing rental startup or a healthcare company, they’re all using the same data model,” said Star. “Any one of those teams, if they wanted to get the same level of analysis, they would have to hire a data analyst.” Narrator raised $1.3 million in seed funding led by Flybridge Capital Partners prior to joining YC. Hot off the heels of the accelerator program, there’s no doubt the startup will close another round of financing soon.To fund Y Combinator’s top startups, VCs scoop them before Demo Daylast_img read more

KZN Police looking for minorities

KZN Police looking for minorities

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite The South African Police Service invites youth of all races between 18 and 30 years old to join the police. There are vacancies existing for trainees (entry level constables) at units, stations and at the Provincial  Office of  KwaZulu-Natal. Applicants must be able to meet the following requirements: they must be South African citizens; physically, medically and mentally healthy; grade 12 or equivalent qualification; code 8 drivers licence will be an added advantage; between the ages of 18 and 30 years of age; be able to speak two official languages; No tattoos; within the mass and height restriction- applicants should have BMI (BODY MASSS INDEX) of less than 30; no criminal record or cases pending.Application forms must be obtained from your nearest police station. The forms will also be available on the SAPS Website. Completed application forms together with the following documents must be returned to your recruitment centre: certified copies of identity document, certified copy of grade 12 certificate (matric certificate), certified copy of drivers licence and proof of residence.We are making a special appeal to persons from minority groups to please apply for these vacancies to ensure the SAPS is able to meet its obligation in terms of employment equity guidelines.We are not receiving sufficient applications from White, Indian and Coloured communities and we urge school leavers from those communities to consider employment in the SAPS.It is our intention is to promote representivity through the filling of these posts.last_img read more

Truck driver killed in attempted hijacking

Truck driver killed in attempted hijacking

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite A truck driver was killed in an attempted hijacking on the N3 northbound near the Engen One-Stop early this morning (Monday).It is alleged that the truck stopped at the garage and the driver was attacked by an unknown number of suspects.The hijackers then made their move on the truck, only to find that the driver’s children, a boy and a girl, were in the vehicle. They fled when the children started screaming for help, leaving the truck where it stood.The children are traumatised after seeing their father dead on the road.Police, RTI and EMRS responded to the scene.last_img read more

BREAKING NEWS Two Newcastle girls missing in Ladysmith

BREAKING NEWS Two Newcastle girls missing in Ladysmith

first_imgTwo 15-year-old Newcastle girls have been missing since early this morning (Tuesday). They are believed to be in the Ladysmith area, according to a report in our sister newspaper, the Newcastle Advertiser. Cleopatra Rabie and Mariska Booysen did not attend school today and were last seen leaving the Ferrum High School grounds. According to information received from Newcastle SAPS, the girls were last seen in a maroon hatchback heading away from the school.It is believed that one of the girls contacted a 21-year-old man from Ladysmith this morning. However, a letter left behind by one of the girls claimed they would be headed to Pretoria.Read full story HERE WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite last_img read more

Making his mark on the racing track

Making his mark on the racing track

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Ashish Narrandes is a 20-year-old Ladysmith lad who is making it big in the racing world.Ashish is a South African racing driver who started his career in the South African Formula M Championship back in 2012. Last year, he was offered a seat in the Formula 4 Championship in India. Ashish was the only rookie in each of these championships, going up against drivers who have more than 15 years’ experience. He put in strong performances in 2013, overtaking an average of eight cars per race. The highlight was racing from 21st position to seventh position in eight laps and setting one of the fastest lap times in heavy rain conditions. Ashish was then offered a seat in the Rotax Senior Karting Championship for the first time, which is one of the fastest karting categories in the world. After only his second practice session, he was only 0.6 seconds adrift of India’s current karting champion, who has been karting for over 12 years.With great performances like these under his belt, Ashish has been offered a scholarship drive in the Formula BMW Asia series in India.He is now seeking investors / sponsors who would like to partner with him for the 2014 season and beyond. There are plenty of marketing opportunities available, such as branding on his racing suit, helmet, race wear and car, to name but a few.Ashish received a lot of media coverage in the form of newspaper articles, radio interviews and online interviews last year, not only in India but South Africa as well. With this kind of prowess behind the wheel, Ashish is sure to power his way to championship wins around the globe. If you blink, you might miss him as he roars right past you.last_img read more

Collect your firearm renewal licence

Collect your firearm renewal licence

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite The Ladysmith Designated Firearms Office (DFO) would like to inform the communities of Ladysmith, Bergville, Upper Tugela, Ematsheni, Colenso, Ezakheni, Ekuvukeni, Elandslaagte, Besters, and Van Reenen that there are hundreds of firearm licence renewal cards that have not been collected by applicants. These licences are currently at the Ladysmith SAPS Designated Firearms Office and are for applications that were made before July last year.The DFO is having difficulty contacting many applicants, since many of them have since changed their address and / or contact number. Applicants are encouraged to report to Room 17 or 22 at the Ladysmith police station between 7.30am and 4pm to collect their licences or make enquiries concerning their applications.The public are also advised to take cognizance of the fact that in terms of the Firearm Control Act 60 of 2000, it is the obligation of the applicant to inform the Designated Firearms Control Office of any change of address, as well as telephone number. So if you are a firearm owner and have had a change of address or contact number, let the Ladysmith DFO know about these changes as soon as possible.The office can be contacted on 036-638-3402 or 036-638-3311 during office hours.last_img read more

Major Tom says you got Facebook wrong

Major Tom says you got Facebook wrong

first_img roomsXMLlearn more here roomsXML.comconnect here today roomsXML connect today here www.roomsxml.comMajor Tom says you got Facebook wrong***** Warning – non travel related rant *****I quite like David’s music. I can’t say that I like him because I never met him. He did some good acting, some great performances, made some awesome meme fodder.I’ve learned more about David Bowie in the few days since he died. All I did was turn on my Facebook account and realise computers worldwide are short-circuiting as tears hit keyboards. I am astounded at how many of my friends were David Bowie devotees.I remember the day John Lennon died not because of his music (I think I was five) but because my mum loved the Beatles. I think she saw them perform. She was heartbroken.I read the letters that people wrote directly to David Bowie about how much he influenced them and how much he made the world a better place . It’s quite touching. Assuming of course he was perusing their feed.But there is a cold hard fact. The same cold hard when you write a letter to anyone who has passed away.They don’t hear you. You are writing it for yourself. The meaning gets lost One of my friends, an amazing graphic artist, is a true David Bowie fan. He has done some awesome work prior to January this year. Knows his stuff. The real McCoy fan. Paid his devotion to the living.Many other Facebook followers posting the same stuff and the meaning is lost. It’s like swearing too much, it just loses its impact. It’s copycat. The unthinking reposting dumbs down the whole experience.It’s about the poster and not the postee. Hop on the bandwagon, be a sheep, follow everyone else, stop thinking for yourself (but please find time to argue your anti-vaccination case).So when you post next, is it what you think or what you think others want you to think?Do we always need to write about the dying?We don’t like to tell people how wonderful they are until they are dead.I’ve had a few friends commit suicide over time and sadly, I’ve only had the chance to tell one of them what I thought of him. A few weeks before he died, he spoke of his weakness. I spoke of how he was one of my great mentors. When he worried about his teaching I spoke of many wonderful lessons he had given me.   When he worried about his leadership I explained his approval was something I sought. Wasn’t quite enough, wish I had said more. Would have made a difference? Who knows.In Travel – lets write about what we love.  Don’t wait for it to be trendy. take a risk, post what you think.  I’m not saying be rude, but gee, you don’t need to be on the bandwagon about everything.Praise the living. NowSo I love some of David Bowie’s music, but I can’t validate whether or not he is as wonderful as everyone else says he is.So how about writing a Facebook devotion to someone who is still alive. Make it about them rather than about yourself. Get online now, go to someone’s page and tell them why they are awesome. They might be a good painter. They might be a work colleague. They might be your Mum. It will take you five minutes but give them hours and hours of pleasure It may just make their day and in some cases, give them a reason to look forward to another one.Most importantly, it will have meaning.center_img Source = roomsXML.comlast_img read more

LATAM Airlines Group enters codeshare with Interjet

LATAM Airlines Group enters codeshare with Interjet

first_imgLATAM Airlines Group, the largest airline group in Latin America, and Interjet, the high efficiency Mexican airline with top quality services, have reached a codeshare agreement, allowing passengers from LAN Airlines and TAM Airlines to access greater and better connections between Oceania and Mexico through Interjet.This new codeshare reinforces the connectivity that LATAM Airlines Group provides for Australian and New Zealand travellers.With this agreement, the passengers of LATAM Airlines Group will be able to connect quickly and efficiently to 25 destinations in Mexico, including Acapulco, Cancún, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos.“We are pleased to confirm this partnership with Interjet, which will allow us to strengthen the connectivity to such an important country as Mexico, increasing the travel options that we provide to our passengers in Latin American who fly with LAN Airlines, LAN Peru or TAM,” LATAM Airlines Group senior VP alliances Soledad Berrios said.“Mexico welcomes more and more passengers from South America and at Interjet, we are very pleased to provide them, through this agreement with LATAM Airlines Group, a more extensive range of connections to different and important destinations in the country, and to offer the benefits of our services so that they can enjoy the best travel experience,” Interjet CEO José Luis Garza Álvarez said.Tickets for the flights operated by Interjet are already available via the LAN and TAM websites, in airline sales offices or through travel agencies. LATAM Airlines GroupSource = LATAM Airlines Grouplast_img read more

Thailand offers family fun mobile application for tourists

Thailand offers family fun mobile application for tourists

first_imgThailand offers family fun mobile application for touristsThe Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is working with True Corporation to support tourist families arriving in Bangkok by giving away sim-cards and offering a Family Fun Thailand application for smartphones that allow families to take advantage of a range of promotions and offers in Thailand during June – November, 2017.True Corporation will provide 1,000 sim-cards per month to family during the six-month period. When travellers register these sim cards, they will receive a text message via a short message service (SMS) with instructions to download the Family Fun Thailand application. Once downloaded, visitors can view family-friendly tourism products and services on offer across Thailand, including discounts of up to 60 per cent on some attractions including the Flying Squirrels, Yoyo Land, Upside Down Pattaya, Vanich Farm, Phuket, Mercure Hotels, Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok, Botanica Khao Yai, Long Beach Garden Hotel and Spa, Pattaya, Life Spa @ Sea, Springfield, Oasis Spa Lanna, and River Star Princess.The activity is part of the ‘Family Fun’ project launched by TAT in late April to promote Thailand as a family destination, targeting especially at families from ASEAN, South Asia and the South Pacific. The project is aimed at boosting tourism to the kingdom during the ‘Green Season.’The Family Fun Mobile App can be downloaded here.Source = Tourism Authority of Thailandlast_img read more

Karou Charou is back in town

Karou Charou is back in town

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite His famous ‘f’ bombs flow thick and fast, there are no sacred cows, he takes no prisoners, and he warns sensitive people with ‘no pulse’ to stay at home.As with all his shows, ‘Ma-Dhir’ is not your basic stand-up comedy show. Karou is a master in the art of entertainment and he aims to entertain his audience from the time they take their seats for a full 90-minute roller-coaster ride.True to form, he wanders off stage to engage in unscripted yet hilarious banter with the audience.Karou has been hard at work honing his hypnosis skills and he attempts to cure patrons of nasty habits like smoking, live on stage.Music, song, dance, magic, hypnosis… and a bit of comedy.It’s almost like a Bollywood movie… just a few hours shorter and without subtitles. Catch ‘Ma-Dhir’ (which has an age restriction of PG-18) at the Ladysmith Civic Hall on Saturday, August 2. Tickets selling at R120 are available at Jafar Meats on 036-633-2422 and AK’s OK Grocer on 036-633-0000.Tickets will sell for R150 at the door.Catch the ‘Early Bird Special’: limited tickets at R100 available at the above outlets. For enquiries, call Rehaz Khan on 083-626-9721. After phenomenal successes at his Durban, Pietermaritzburg & Johannesburg gigs, the enigmatic and charismatic Karou Charou brings his new blockbuster hit show ‘Ma-Dhir’ to Ladysmith on Saturday, August 2.In this production, Karou delivers what led him to become the most commercially successful Indian comedian on the circuit.He’s back to his brash, unapologetic best, which allows him to get away with just about anything on stage.last_img read more

Ladysmith model on the way to being Mr SA

Ladysmith model on the way to being Mr SA

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Fabian Frank is currently in the top 50 in the prestigious search for ‘Mr South Africa’.Fabian was born in Ladysmith and later moved to Springs. He joined Platinum Blue Models after finishing in the top 40 of the ‘SABC Sports Presenter Search 2013’. The Mr SA slogan for 2014 is “seeking to find a ‘Model Male’ and not just a ‘Male Model’”. He should be task driven, such as raising funds for charity.Fabian is not just good looking; he is busy studying for a Bachelor of Accounting Science degree. He also plays professional football, having played for Orlando Pirates in 2008. The winner of Mr SA will be announced on December 12 and if Fabian has your vote, SMS “MRSA 026” to 47439.last_img read more

MEC Mchunu leads Freedom Flame celebrations

MEC Mchunu leads Freedom Flame celebrations

first_imgFrom tomorrow (Saturday) until Tuesday next week, MEC for Transport, Community Safety & Liaison Mr Willies Mchunu will lead the ‘Freedom Flame’ programme in the Uthukela District as part of the provincial ’20 Years of Freedom and Democracy’ celebrations. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite This follows last Monday’s official launch of the province’s celebrations programme by Premier Senzo Mchunu at the Nelson Mandela capture site in Howick. These celebrations will culminate in a provincial event to be held on Freedom Day, April 27. The Freedom Flame will crisscross the 11 districts of the province, underpinning the triumph of light over darkness in KwaZulu-Natal and covering the period before and during the early part of the 20 years of democracy since apartheid. The flame has already touched Umgungundlovu and is today (Friday) in Umzinyathi, after which it will be handed over to Uthukela District. Uthukela will then hand over the flame to Amajuba District.A series of activities led by MECs, as well as district and local municipality mayors, have been lined up for when the flame arrives. Community members are expected to participate in large numbers, taking stock of the progress made to date in this country, as well as reaffirming their commitment to working towards a united, democratic, non-racial, non-sexist, equal and prosperous South Africa. Among the activities lined up in Uthukela are stakeholder and citizen engagement meetings; the handover of houses; the opening of roads, bridges, clinics, community halls and parks; the commemoration of fallen heroes; a Nelson Mandela lecture; youth indabas; as well as a celebration of progress, freedom and democracy across the Umtshezi, Imbabazane, Okhahlamba (Bergville), Indaka and Emnambithi regions.last_img read more

The House of Musical Arts opened its doors in the Royal Opera

The House of Musical Arts opened its doors in the Royal Opera

first_imgThe House of Musical Arts that recently opened its doors in the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman, is a remarkable addition to the opera house which was launched to promote the arts, intercultural dialogue and relationships with countries rich in heritage, and reveals Oman’s capacity to host world-class artistic and cultural events with the use of innovative technologies. Since the inauguration of the Royal Opera House Muscat, a wide repertoire of operas, concerts, musicals and other artistic and cultural events have been presented with huge success, both through collaborative relationships on an international scale and with the Royal Opera House Muscat’s own expertise, not least in programming a vast array of acclaimed performances.The House of Musical Arts will be a centre for different forms of art and music complementing the Royal Opera House Muscat’s objective to present a diverse programme of music performances. The centre will celebrate other cultural aspects by holding permanent and temporary culture and arts exhibitions, in addition to hosting seminars highlighting the evolution of art and its impact on world history.Located along the main complex of the Royal Opera House Muscat across the street, the House of Musical Arts is an elegant building connected to the Opera Galleria by the iconic pedestrian bridge. The building introduces a unique architecture and design, combining Eastern with Western influences and traditional construction with modern techniques. The building successfully preserves its Islamic character, while integrating modern design techniques, invoking feelings of warmth and hospitality among visitors. This is enhanced by the widespread use of timber, marble and intricate carvings making strong references to historical themes in the architecture of the region. This is particularly true of the building’s exterior architecture, rooted as it is in the Omani style of civic architecture.The House of Musical Arts was established to accommodate further works of art and musical performances. The role of the stage is to support the Royal Opera House Muscat programming and provide a suitable venue for a myriad of cultural events and opera masterpieces. With its state of the art acoustic controls, fully configurable stage, advanced scenery control and other stage mechanics, the House of Musical Arts is able to meet the requirements of any international or local performance. The building includes a limestone maiden surrounded by tall wide arches and airy arcades with patterned shade and light, which creates a lively atmosphere and provide a welcome shelter for visitors. The building also includes a music library, an extensive archive facility, and a cultural centre, in addition to the permanent exhibition and halls dedicated to hosting touring exhibitions.last_img read more

Refinance Share Climbs to 73 Percent in January Time to Close Falls

Refinance Share Climbs to 73 Percent in January Time to Close Falls

first_img in Data, Origination Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Credit Standards Ellie Mae FHA Investors Lenders & Servicers Purchase Loans Refinance Service Providers 2013-02-20 Tory Barringer Refinance loan share jumped to its highest level in at least a year and a half, according to “”Ellie Mae’s””:http://www.elliemae.com/ Origination Insight Report for “”January 2013″”:http://www.elliemae.com/origination-insight-reports/EMOriginationInsightReportJanuary2013.pdf.[IMAGE]Ellie Mae’s monthly report is based on data from a sampling of the loan applications that flow through the company’s Encompass360 mortgage management software and its network. To get a meaningful view of lender “”pull-through,”” Ellie Mae reviews applications initiated 90 days prior–October 2012, in this case.According to the report, refinances made up 73 percent of loans closed in January–the highest level recorded since Ellie Mae began tracking the data in August 2011. January’s refinance figure is 4 percentage points higher than December’s.Jonathan Corr, president and COO of Ellie Mae, credited the spike to continued low interest rates and homebuying seasonality as well as elevated activity under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).””Closed conventional refinances with LTVs [loan-to-value ratios] of 95 percent-plus ticked up slightly to 11.6 percent in January 2013 from the previous high of 11.4 percent in [COLUMN_BREAK]December 2012, indicating that more underwater borrowers are being able to refinance thanks to HARP 2.0,”” Corr said.Despite the rise in refinance share, the time it took to close a refinance loan declined slightly in January, falling to 55 days from 57 days previously. However, time to close was up from 48 days in January 2012 (when refinance share was an estimated 66 percent). Meanwhile, the time it took to close a purchase loan stayed flat at 51 days, bringing the close time on all loans to 54 days (down one day from December).The share of loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) fell to 18 percent in January, while conventional loan share increased to 74 percent. According to Corr, FHA share was the lowest it’s been since Ellie Mae’s tracking began, perhaps indicating that the agency’s revised program–which includes higher premiums–has made FHA loans less attractive.The closing rate for all loans in January was 55.0 percent, slightly above December’s 54.7 percent and considerably higher than January 2012’s 46.2 percent. The closing rate on purchase loans fell half a percentage point to 60.8 percent, while the rate on refinances increased a full percentage point to 52.6 percent.The average FICO score for a conventional refinance closed in January was flat from December at 763, while the average score for a conventional purchase mortgage was 760 (down from 761). Year-over-year, the declines were more substantial.””Average credit scores for conventional loans in January 2013 were slightly lower compared to the same time last year. A year ago, the average credit score was 769 for a conventional refinance and 763 for a similar purchase,”” Corr said. “”While the overall credit score requirement remains tight, it appears that we are beginning to see some loosening.””center_img Refinance Share Climbs to 73 Percent in January, Time to Close Falls February 20, 2013 559 Views last_img read more

Beige Books Sees Modest to Moderate Growth

Beige Books Sees Modest to Moderate Growth

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Beige Book Consumer spending Federal Reserve Home Prices Home Sales Home Values Homebuilders Housing Supply Investors Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman Payrolls Service Providers 2013-06-05 Mark Lieberman in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market Fed,Beige Books Sees ‘Modest to Moderate’ Growth June 5, 2013 443 Views center_img The nation’s economy grew at a “”modest to moderate pace”” from early April through the end of May, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday in its periodic “”Beige Book””:http://federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/beigebook/files/Beigebook_20130605.pdf. [IMAGE]From late February through early April, the last Beige Book released described economic growth simply as “”moderate.”” The sole bright spot in Wednesday’s report was in the Dallas Federal Reserve District, which had “”strong economic growth.””The Beige Book reported slowdowns as a result of federal budget sequestration, which forced a mandatory cutback in spending. “”The defense industry experienced weakening activity in the Cleveland District, and a producer of defense equipment in the Richmond District cited government sequestration and orders being canceled or delayed,”” the Beige Book said. The report also cited contacts as reporting the “”negative effects of sequestration on defense industry tenants seem inevitable”” in Connecticut.But other than the negative references to the impact of the federal spending cuts, the report was largely positive, despite the comments by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) following its last meeting that “”fiscal policy is restraining economic growth.””The report cited growing strength in the housing and residential construction sector and the impact on the broader economy.””Strength in residential construction was a boon to manufacturers who supplied that industry,”” the report said. “”Firms in the Philadelphia District supplying the home-building sector reported strong orders, and the [COLUMN_BREAK]Cleveland District noted that suppliers to residential construction were among those seeing the strongest activity, while the Richmond, St. Louis, Dallas, and San Francisco Districts all reported increased demand for lumber or wood products.””Residential real estate and construction activity “”increased at a moderate to strong pace in all Districts,”” the Beige Book said. “”Several Districts reported that higher demand and low inventory of homes available for sale are resulting in multiple offers on properties. Almost all Districts reported higher home sale prices.””According to the Beige Book, “”overall bank lending increased modestly since the previous report.””The Cleveland District, for example, said “”demand for residential loans shifted from refinancing to new purchases.”” The report said also “”credit quality improved, on balance,”” with New York and Cleveland reporting “”widespread decreases in delinquency rates for business and consumer loans.””Hiring, according to the Beige Book, increased “”at a measured pace”” in several districts, with some “”noting difficulty finding qualified workers.”” Labor markets continued to improve in the New York District, while the Boston District reported that with only a few exceptions, businesses were not hiring much beyond replacement. Labor markets in the Richmond District were described as “”uneven,”” and employment markets continued to improve slowly in the Chicago. The report also said most districts noted consumer spending increased during the reporting period, ranging from slight to moderate gains.Preparation of the Beige Book rotates among the 12 Federal Reserve banks. Some analysts believe the tenor of the report changes based on which bank prepares the summary. Wednesday’s report was compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, which last prepared the report in November 2011 and said overall economic activity increased at a slow to moderate pace when it struck a moderate tone. _Hear Mark Lieberman this Friday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 8:45 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. Eastern._ Sharelast_img read more

Morningstar SVP Talks Servicing Requirements

Morningstar SVP Talks Servicing Requirements

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Compliance Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Investors Lenders & Servicers Regulation Service Providers 2014-01-03 Sandra Lane “”Under the new CFPB [Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] rules, servicers will have to provide very detailed and accurate information to borrowers about each aspect of their loans and/or any foreclosure procedures that may occur,”” according to Richard Koch, SVP at “”Morningstar Credit Ratings””:http://www.morningstar.com.[IMAGE]Koch discussed his assessment of the new rules’ impacts in a recent conversation with Louis Amaya, co-founder of “”iServe Companies””:http://www.iservecompanies.com/ on _Mortgage Markets Today_, a “”Five Star Radio presentation””:http://www.blogtalkradio.com/capitalmarketstoday/2013/12/13/new-mortgage-servicer-requirements–koch-svp-morningstar-credit-ratings.””There will be a very strict interpretation of the guidelines with penalties to servicers if they fail to adhere to the new requirements,”” Koch said. He explained that the prominent rule changes will impact nine mortgage servicing areas:# Periodic billing statements–detailed breakdown of the amounts that make up payments# Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) interest rate change notices# Prompt crediting of payments and payoff payments# Force-placed insurance# Error resolution and information requests# Information management policies and procedures# Early intervention with delinquent borrowers# Continuity of contact with delinquent borrowers# Loss mitigation proceduresThough regulators are expected to be stringent when it comes to enforcing the new servicing rules, Koch says there will be some exemptions for small servicers–those that service 5,000 or fewer mortgage loans. To qualify, these must be loans that the servicer or an affiliate originated or owns. This would exempt them from several rules, including sending periodic statements, but not from sending interest rate adjustment notices, timely crediting of payments, and resolution of errors within certain timeframes. [COLUMN_BREAK]””In the past, there have been numerous litigated cases where proof of claims and payment statements presented to the court were not accurate,”” Koch said. “”Some of the new rules were created to correct that.””One prominent area of dispute in the past has been the issue of forced-placed insurance. If a borrower has not obtained insurance for the property, after a certain time period, the servicer can take out insurance on the property and charge the borrower for the premiums.””Force-placed insurance is often much more expensive than borrowers can get on their own,”” Koch explained. “”CFPB rules require that the servicer must have a reasonable basis to believe a borrower has failed to maintain hazard insurance before actually being able to charge that person for the insurance, and this must be done within certain timelines.””Other regulations dictate timelines and standards for interacting with delinquent homeowners including early intervention, establishment of a single point of contact, easy access to records, and guidelines to efficiently manage the loss mitigation process.The benefit to servicers is that these new rules create consistency in a lot of different areas of loan servicing. “”Because this is an industry that really has not been highly regulated in the past, there is a lot of work for them to do to come up to standards in terms of policies and procedures, compliance, and technology,”” Koch said. “”The new rules clearly let servicers know what they will be accountable for in the future regarding CFPB standards. The rules also establish clear expectations so that borrowers will know what to expect from their servicers.”” To prepare for all these changes, a lot of servicing companies have spent the better part of the last 12 to 18 months getting ready for the changeover. Koch says the downside of all this is the added expense for services that must be performed within the same profit margin as before the rules went into effect. “”Ultimately, I think the cost of compliance will encourage or necessitate some servicers to exit the market,”” Koch said. “”However, others with a long track record of compliance expertise may be able to grow their businesses by providing servicing for other companies such as small lenders or credit unions unable to handle their own servicing.”” Koch believes the new regulations will provide opportunity for some, but hardships for others because of the increased burden of time and expense necessary for compliance. Share in Government, Servicingcenter_img January 3, 2014 451 Views CFPB,Morningstar SVP Talks Servicing Requirementslast_img read more

MountainView Brings 974 Million Residential Whole Loan Pool to Market

MountainView Brings 974 Million Residential Whole Loan Pool to Market

first_imgMountainView Brings $97.4 Million Residential Whole Loan Pool to Market April 1, 2018 808 Views in Headlines, journal, News, Secondary Market Company News MountainView Financial Solutions Non-Performing Loan Sales Non-Performing Loans Situs 2018-04-01 David Whartoncenter_img Share MountainView Financial Solutions, a Situs company and an advisor to the financial services industry, announced its role as the exclusive sale advisor for a pool of 1,667 first- and second-lien performing and non-performing loans with a total balance of $97.4 million. MountainView is accepting indicative bids for the offering until 2:00 p.m. EDT on April 3.The pool is being segmented into four sub-pools: 1,060 second-lien performing loans with a total balance of $47.9 million; 294 first-lien performing loans with a total balance of $28.4 million; 265 secured, second-lien non-performing loans with a total balance of $15.4 million; and 48 first-lien non-performing loans with a total balance of $5.7 million. Bidders have the flexibility to bid on the entire pool or any of the four sub-pools.”It’s rare to see such a large amount of second-lien performing loans in the market, so we expect a high level of interest in this sub-pool from banks and other frequent buyers of seconds,” said Jonas Roth, a Managing Director at MountainView and one of the lead advisors on the sale. “We also expect aggressive competition for the other sub-pools from investors who focus on specific product types. Due to high demand, seasoned residential assets, whether performing or non-performing, are getting bid to record low-level yields.”The seller is an East Coast-based fund.MountainView Financial Solutions, a leading advisor to the financial services industry, delivers rigorous and objective analysis, data-driven insights and client-centric services that help business leaders Climb Higher by better identifying, quantifying and managing credit and interest rate risk exposure and optimizing balance sheet management. Fueled by deep industry knowledge and unparalleled access to valuable market and industry data, MountainView delivers a more holistic view of risk and opportunity that enables clients to make informed and confident decisions. Specific services the company offers include financial model validations; asset valuations for residential whole loans, consumer loans, residential mortgage servicing rights (MSR) and asset-backed securities; MSR hedge advisory; core deposit analyses; stress testing; and asset sale transaction advisory. Built upon nearly three decades of risk management experience, MountainView currently serves more than 600 active clients in banking, insurance, lending, servicing, secondary markets, and securitization.Situs is a global provider of strategic business and technology solutions to the real estate industry. Situs has been involved in more than $1 trillion of real estate debt and equity deals across the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and has acquired a number of platforms. In 2012, Situs acquired Deutsche Bank’s European Servicing operations and became one of the largest third-party loan servicers in Europe; in 2016, Situs acquired Hatfield & Phillips, the largest non-performing loan and CMBS Special Servicer in Europe; and, in 2017, Situs acquired The Collingwood Group, a Washington, DC advisory firm focused on residential housing finance. Situs is a rated servicer with Moody’s, Fitch and Morningstar, has more than $165 billion (€137 billion) of assets under management and is ranked a top 20 commercial loan servicer in multiple categories by the Mortgage Bankers Association. In 2016, Situs received a second consecutive “Advisor of the Year” award from Real Estate Finance & Investment magazine and the “Capital Advisor Firm of the Year” award from Property Investor Europe. In 2017, the firm won the “Industry Contributor of the Year” award from Real Estate Finance & Investment magazine.last_img read more

Former Trulia President COO Joins Sapphire Ventures

Former Trulia President COO Joins Sapphire Ventures

first_img May 25, 2018 517 Views Share Former Trulia President, COO Joins Sapphire Ventures Paul LevinePaul Levine, former COO and President of Trulia, has joined Sapphire Ventures, a Palo Alto, California-based venture capital firm with $2.5 billion under management that invests in emerging growth-stage companies and early-stage venture funds, as partner. In this role, Paul will lead direct investments for the firm and help expand its consumer investing footprint.Paul joins Sapphire’s direct investment team, which partners with entrepreneurs to help them build companies of consequence through an active, collaborative approach. He will focus on expanding the consumer investments portfolio, which includes investments in 23andMe, DocuSign, Fitbit, LinkedIn (acquired by Microsoft), Paytm, Sun Basket, Ticketfly (acquired by Pandora), and TransferWise. Paul will also invest in high-growth marketplace, fintech, and real estate technology companies.”We are delighted to welcome Paul to our team. He’ll play a critical role in leading new investments for the firm and broadening our consumer technology practice,” said Nino Marakovic, CEO and managing director at Sapphire Ventures. “Beyond capital, we deliver high-value expertise to our portfolio, and Paul’s track record of building and scaling consumer companies is exceptional. He will no doubt leverage his unique experience and perspective to help us both grow our portfolio and help our companies scale successfully.”Prior to joining Sapphire Ventures, Paul held executive leadership roles at E*TRADE, Yahoo! (acquired by Verizon), Trulia,  and Zillow Group. Paul helped lead Trulia’s transformation from a private 100-person company with $20 million in revenue, to a standalone public company, to its eventual merger with Zillow Group to create a company with more than 3,000 employees, $1 billion in revenue, and $10 billion in market capitalization.”Joining Sapphire Ventures is an exciting next step in my career, as I utilize my experience building and scaling consumer companies to help Sapphire’s existing portfolio and lead new investments for the firm,” said Levine. “What really drew me to Sapphire is the firm’s outstanding track record, combined with the talented team and strong culture that the firm has built. I’m thrilled to be joining the Sapphire team and can’t wait to further our mission of helping the next generation of entrepreneurs build category-defining businesses.”center_img 2018-05-25 Kristina Brewer in Headlines, journal, News, Servicinglast_img read more

Responding to Increased Flood Risks

Responding to Increased Flood Risks

first_img Share Responding to Increased Flood Risks March 13, 2019 814 Views On Wednesday, the Committee on Financial Services held a hearing entitled “Preparing for the Storm:  Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program”. The goal of the hearing was to discuss the state of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), including affordability challenges and reforms since the NFIP’s inception in 1968.According to the hearing, in 2018, FEMA found significant affordability challenges for lower-income homeowners, as many that are least able to afford higher premiums tend to live in the highest flood hazard areas. FEMA found that “the combination of higher premiums and lower incomes in the SFHA creates affordability pressure on households.”Witnesses, in addition to committee members, included Maria Cox Lamm, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Christopher Heidrick, Heidrick & Company Insurance and Risk Management Services, LLC, Velma Smith, Senior Officer, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Mabél Guzmán, Broker, @properties, on behalf of the National Association of Realtors, Collin O’Mara, President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation, and Raymond J. Lehmann, Director of Finance, Insurance and Trade Policy, Street Institute.Mabél Guzmán, speaking on behalf of the National Association of Realtors, noted that many homeowners are underinsured, and coastal areas are not the only areas at risk of flooding.“By every measure, floods are getting worse.” said Guzmán in her statement. She stated that many homeowners are unaware of the risk, and a re-structuring of the NFIP may be necessary.Collin O’Mara confirms Guzmán’s statements, noting that the increasing number of natural disasters requires a different approach.“Too frequently, we are responding to disasters after they occur, giving little thought and attention to proactively reducing risk and increasing the resilience of our nation’s vulnerable communities,” said O.Mara in his statement. “Responding after a disaster is necessary; however, without proper planning, resilience measures, and insurance, disasters are much more destructive, and rebuilding is more difficult.”Find the complete hearing  and written testimonies here.center_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Government, News Congress FEMA financial services flood Insurance NFIP 2019-03-13 Seth Welbornlast_img read more