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ICE Withstands Headwinds Via Record Q4 Sales Of Encompass Loan Origination System

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Mortgage Technology reported an improved adjusted operating income of $193 million in the fourth quarter of 2023, up 98% from one year earlier and fueled by record sales of its loan origination system (LOS) Encompass.

For full year 2023, ICE Mortgage Technology posted an adjusted operating income of $508 million, down slightly from the previous year’s figure of $511 million. 

“Our mortgage network spans from point of consumer acquisition all the way through to the secondary market, providing a true life of loan offering that positions us to lead the transformation of an industry that is moving analog to digital,” Ben Jackson, president of ICE and chair of ICE Mortgage Technology, told analysts.

The mortgage technology division at ICE posted $502 million in total revenue in Q4 2023, up  102% from $249 million in Q4 2022. Full year mortgage technology revenues were $1.3 billion, up from $1.1 billion in 2022. 

Strong sales in the company’s mortgage servicing platform (MSP) solutions business, as well as its data and analytics segment, fueled revenue growth for the mortgage technology division.

The firm’s servicing software segment posted revenues of $219 million in Q4 2023. The data and analytics segment, meanwhile, saw revenue rise to $502 million, up 102% from 12 months earlier. 

Shortly after ICE’s acquisition of Black Knight, executives noted that more than $300 million worth of opportunities existed, including cross-selling the company’s data and document automation platform to Black Knight’s entire mortgage servicing system.

ICE acquired 37 new Encompass clients and four new MSP clients in Q4 2023, contributing to a record number of new sales for Encompass — and the highest in the past five years for MSP and Encompass combined.

“We added Raymond James Bank for their retail and correspondent channels. We also brought back Carrington, a significant nonbank lender and servicer onto the Encompass platform from a third party” Jackson said. “For MSP, building on the four wins we had in the fourth quarter, such as Fifth Third Bank that was mentioned on the last call, we closed Capital Mortgage Solutions of Texas and an existing Encompass client, CapEd Credit Union, to start 2024.”

Adjusted operating expenses were at $309 million in Q4 2023, up about 105% from the $151 million figure in Q4 2022. For the full year, adjusted operating expenses were $809 million, up from $618 million in 2022.

Opportunities for 2024

Entering this year, ICE is committed to successfully integrating Black Knight into the company following its acquisition in September 2023 while investing in long-term growth. 

Near-term opportunities for ICE include integration of Black Knight’s datasets — including closing fee, tax, flood and valuation models — into the Encompass and MSP systems; integration of the Black Knight data and document automation platform into its MSP; building a digital bridge from automation straight to servicing to reduce costs, time and errors to onboard loans to the MSP system; and continued investment in its product and pricing engine (PPE).

“We’re coming off the worst year for originations in a generation, but we’ve continued to add new customers, the current customer base has continued to add additional products, and we’ve expanded that network,” said Warren Gardiner, ICE chief financial officer. “So, when transactions do normalize, we’re going to be really benefiting from that, not only on the recurring side but, I think, on the transaction side as well.”

In the longer term, ICE is focused on investing in its software as a service (SaaS)-based servicing platform, as well as on developing its digital document vault service. 

“We see an opportunity to advance our digital document vault service that is offered for documents such as eNotes, and to extend this as a golden record for other origination and servicing documents to help reduce duplication, improve quality and reduce costs for our customers,” Jackson said.

ICE expects revenue growth for its mortgage technology business in 2024 to be in the low to mid single digits.

“The demand we’re seeing across our platform gives us confidence that we can grow a business that, at $2.1 billion in revenue today, is only a fraction of the $14 billion addressable market that’s in the early days of an analog-to-digital conversion,” Jackson said.

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