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Three MDA Companies Combine Forces Under DataQuick Banner


President: John Walsh.

Financial information: Would not disclose.

No. of local employees: About 75.

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Investor: TPG Capital.

Headquarters: University Towne Center area of San Diego.

Year founded: 1978.

Company description: It offers real estate information services using data, proprietary analytics and automated decisioning. Clients include lenders, servicers, real estate companies and secondary market investors.

In a matter of months, DataQuick has amped up its position in the real estate data space.

Three companies MDA DataQuick, MDA Lending Solutions, and MDA MindBox — were purchased in January by New York-based TPG Capital, a global private investment firm founded in 1992 with $48 billion of capital under management.

The companies’ operations were officially integrated May 2 under the name DataQuick; the combined company, now a subsidiary of TPG, will retain its headquarters in the University Towne Center area of San Diego.

“It has a huge prominence in tracking mortgages and properties across the U.S.,” said Mark Goldman, senior loan officer and mortgage planning specialist at San Diego-based CoBalt Financial Corp. “You can track down how many loans are upside down in a marketplace or ZIP code and how many are adjustable. It’s a huge, useful database.”

One-Stop ‘Shopping’

The combined company’s offerings include appraisal, title, flood, credit and settlement services, performed by the former MDA Lending Solutions, combined with the real estate property data and analytics synonymous with the DataQuick name.

“Combining the different data providers sounds like a good idea,” said Dr. Michael Lea, director of The Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate at San Diego State University. “They offer services to a wide variety of players in the field, like insurers and title companies.”

The capabilities of the formerly separate companies have been aggregated under one management team, under the direction of President John Walsh.

“With the combination of lending solutions, now we can do much more than simply data analysis,” Walsh said. “Now we are also a services company that focuses on the real estate market overall.”

The company, which has 300 employees, is now the third largest provider of real estate data and analytics services.

The top companies are Santa Ana-based CoreLogic, No. 1, and Jacksonville, Fla.-based Lender Processing Services Inc., No. 2.

“It’s a competitive space with fairly big players,” Lea said. “That’s why it makes sense (for DataQuick) to combine everything under one roof.”

Its customers include lenders, servicers, housing analysts, real estate companies and secondary market investors. Lea, formerly chief economist at housing giant Freddie Mac, has been an avid user of DataQuick to track foreclosure data for Southern California.

Information Driven

“Real estate is broadly defined, be it the actual housing transactions or lending transactions,” Lea said. “It is a very data-intensive business, so what they provide is very valuable to all players.”

For lenders, the information helps them make wise lending decisions and close loans quickly, while home buyers and sellers might be interested in using its home price index and residential credit reporting product lines.

It has 50 to 100 various products, which can be paid for individually or as a package. The company charges subscribers to access its data, which is compiled from public records and other sources.

“Bringing these three companies together means we have a total breadth of products,” Walsh said, adding that the company currently has “tens of thousands” of customers.

Walsh said the company sells data subscription software for $200 per year to real estate and mortgage brokers and has up to seven-figure deals with three of the top five largest lenders in the U.S.

Lea used MDA MindBox a few years ago while on a consulting assignment in Japan.

“They do a lot of banking and high-tech analytics. What this (combination) may mean is you have a very rich set of data that exists under the DataQuick umbrella,” Lea said. “That might give them more power to do analysis and provide consulting services.”

One of MDA Mindbox’s products, called ArtAdvisor, helps lenders with portfolios of troubled loans and to figure out what to do with those loans, whether it be short selling, foreclosure or going into a workout.

“It tells the lender what they ought to do,” Walsh said. “Combined all in a package, it helps them make informed decisions.”

Tierney Plumb is a freelance writer for the San Diego Business Journal.


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