New York Mortgage founder resigning

By Catherine Contiguglia | January 23, 2008 06:27PM

The founder of the former New York Mortgage Company, Steven Schnall, is leaving the recently sold company next month after 15 years at the helm.

After Indymac Bancorp bought the company last April for $13.4 million, Schnall resigned as chief executive officer and remained as chairman of the newly-named New York Mortgage Trust.

While the subprime crisis makes it seem like an ideal time to leave the mortgage industry, Schnall said he remained on board after the sale only to ensure the transition went smoothly.

Now, Schnall said he is ready to try something new.

“I’m personally more challenged by entrepreneurial pursuits than being an employee of a larger organization,” Schnall said.

Schnall started the company in his apartment after he quit his job as an auditor and entered the mortgage industry on a whim. Schnall said he was looking for an apartment to rent when he made contacts who recruited him to start a mortgage business.

“I knew nothing about the industry, but I grabbed hold of the opportunity and joined these guys basically on a leap of faith,” Schnall said.

A year later, the group broke up and Schnall started the New York Mortgage Company, which grew from a single-branch mortgage brokerage to a nationally licensed mortgage banker and finally a New York Stock Exchange publicly traded mortgage REIT.

Schnall said he hasn’t decided on what he’ll do next.

“I’m ready to do something entirely new,” he said. “I’ll be looking at opportunities in new industries. I haven’t decided yet where I’m going to plant my flag or in what industry.”