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Industry News

First Financial Spins Off Technology Operation

January 13, 2015

First Financial Network has spun off the technology operation that it developed over the years to help facilitate its sale of loans on behalf of clients.


Written by Dan Moynihan

Commercial Real Estate Direct Staff Report

First Financial Network has spun off the technology operation that it developed over the years to help facilitate its sale of loans on behalf of clients.

The move is a way for the Oklahoma City company to diversify and capitalize on the massive investments it has made in technology over the years.

First Financial, which was founded in 1989 and is led by Bliss Morris, had started its business by selling distressed loans on behalf of the FDIC, and later the RTC. That entailed the underwriting of many loans and the indexing of what often was disparate documents into uniform databases.

Most of the loans the company was tasked to sell, especially early on in its life, were held by small and mid-sized institutions that failed. As such, their documentation was often lacking, and almost never uniform. So First Financial, like other players in the loan-sales business, developed a proprietary system to import, either by scanning or imaging, certain documents and create uniform data fields for each loan being sold to help investors readily and efficiently conduct their due diligence.

The company continued to fine-tune its system, and last year patented its Constellation system, which has been used to process some 50 million pages of documentation. It was awarded a patent last year.

That capability, First Financial determined, could be adopted to other businesses besides the loan-sales industry.

So it recently decided to spin it off as Array Technology, which is also headquartered in Oklahoma City. And it has hired Steven Koliha as president. He joined from Salesforce.com and had been a business development executive with IBM for the previous 12 years.

Array will continue to provide services to First Financial and its clients, but its mandate is to broaden its reach to other sectors, which might include debt-collections, risk compliance, medical billing and forensic accounting.

It's offering consulting services to prospective clients. It first figures out a prospective client's data needs and determines the challenges that a prospective client might have in culling data from its documents. It then develops a solution, typically in the form of an indexed and searchable database.

"We take their documents and give it to them in a better form," Koliha explained.

Array offers a variety of data and analytical services, from imaging documents, indexing data and hosting data rooms, to data collection and verification.

Comments? E-mail Orest Mandzy, or call him at (267) 247-0112, Ext. 211.

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