This piece originally appeared in the January 2024 edition of MortgagePoint magazine, online now.
William Tessar is Founder, President, and CEO of CV3 Financial Services, a private lender providing business purpose loans for non-owner-occupied properties to experienced real estate investors. He has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry and has been one of the nation’s top loan originators.
MortgagePoint had a chance to sit down with Tessar to discuss CV3, filling a void in the private lending market, and the state of the mortgage finance marketplace.
Q: When were CV3’s roots originally planted?
The original organization that the CV3 team worked for was CIVIC Financial Services, which was conceived by Wedgewood in 2014. We had a successful and profitable relationship with Wedgewood, which enabled us to become a dominant player in the institutional private money lending market. As with any business aiming for growth, we saw a potential opportunity in being acquired by a bank, which took place in 2021. Initially, the acquisition proved to be a strategic move that expanded our resources and our reach.
Q: What happened next?
Our team flourished in the private lending space, funding $5 billion in loans within just two years. We grew to become the biggest buy-to-lease lender in the country. When the regional banking sector shifted earlier this year, our unit was wound down by the bank over a period of five months as part of a broader financial strategy.
Q: When did CV3 begin to take shape?
What we built over the past several years was a special team, and that is what will be remembered years from now. Our group included the most talented professionals in private lending, and this did not go unnoticed when the company closed. Many of our people were immediately contacted by recruiters and offered lucrative deals and bonuses.
After the company closed, I saw an opportunity to fill a void in the private lending market. Right now, the opportunities for smaller investors in the non-owner-occupied space are abundant, especially since many institutional investors have pulled back from property acquisitions.
Equipped with the hard-won lessons from our past, we took the best elements of our experience—such as our deep-rooted expertise and strong focus on customer relationships—and evolved them into a more modern framework. Since private lending is not FDIC-regulated, we are able to offer a fast, nimble financing approach that can be a game-changer for experienced investors. At the same time, the essence of what made the original team remains etched in our DNA.
Q: Who from the team came to the new company?
When we set out to form CV3, it was clear that the backbone of the new company would be the people who had made our last venture so successful. We hand-picked 150 exceptional individuals for various roles, including operations and support staff. Among them were 35 “hunter-killer” originators who were responsible for 92% of our total volume, which was at $3 billion last year. This group waited patiently to be a part of CV3. That is how loyal they were to the vision we had previously, which continues today. However, it is not just about bringing on talented people. We have created the same culture of excellence, which will serve as the cornerstone of our operations for years to come.
Q: How did you build such loyalty?
When I say we built something special with our team, I am talking primarily about people. We were—and are—a family. We have been through countless challenges and victories together, and those shared experiences have created bonds that are incredibly strong. When you work with people you genuinely care for and love to spend time with, it feeds your soul to be around one another.
Q: What states are you licensed in?
We are currently licensed in 24 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington, plus the District of Columbia. These are the same areas where we have already found success.
Q: Do you have plans to enter additional states?
That depends on our clients. We have currently applied for licenses in eight more states, but our goal is not to get licensed in every state. We are taking a strategic approach to growth that is driven by the needs of our originators and investors.
And let me say this—what we have built so far is just the beginning. We have the people, the systems, and the capital partners to be the top private lender in the country. We are excited about what the future holds and grateful for all the clients and partners who will be part of our journey.