RBS Mortgage Strategist Gimpel Said to Leave for New Firm

Scott Gimpel, a Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc strategist known for highlighting the details of individual mortgages after the U.S. housing bust, is leaving the bank after more than two decades as it shrinks in capital markets, two people with knowledge of the move said.

Gimpel, the firm’s head of strategy for mortgage bonds without government backing, is joining with RBS trader Daniel O’Connor to start a data advisory and analytics firm, said the people, who asked not to be named without authorization to speak publicly.

Sarah Lukashok, an RBS spokeswoman in Stamford, Connecticut, didn’t immediately return a telephone message seeking comment on the departures. Gimpel and O’Connor said they couldn’t comment when reached by telephone.

The strategist and trader are the latest in a series of employees fleeing RBS as Britain’s largest state-owned lender scales back its securities arm, with plans to cut hundreds of U.S. jobs including mortgage-bond positions. Richard Tang, its head of North America sales, is leaving for hedge fund Element Capital Management LLC, two people with knowledge of the move said last month.

Scouring Records

Gimpel often used public records and other information to zoom in on the individual mortgages underlying securities, publishing his findings in notes to clients. Other Wall Street analysts focus their research on a broad analysis of bonds or the market. In February, for example, he outlined how a homeowner with a California property valued at $5.6 million in 2005 got almost $3 million of principal forgiven in a loan modification to cut the debt to $839,008.

He described the mortgage as “morbidly delinquent” after the borrower made just two of the new monthly payments, which were lowered by 76 percent. The reworking of the debt appeared to contradict a prohibition against the loan’s servicer cutting balances below current property values, according to the report.

“We just can’t believe that decline unless there was some monkey business going on and therefore this loan should have been repurchased,” wrote Gimpel, who joined RBS predecessor Greenwich Capital in 1991, regulatory records show.

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