Risk-free real estate for the chief risk officer?

March 28, 2005

Buying a home in today’s overheated real estate market can be so risky as this recent article points out. And who needs that kind of stress? Certainly not a bank executive whose title is Chief Risk Officer. Thankfully, IndyMac (IMB) has come to the rescue of John DelPonti, the 40 year-old former PwC partner it hired last March. In the recent proxy, IndyMac notes that it purchased a $2.47 million home for DelPonti, which it is renting to him for $6,500 a month. For DelPonti, it’s a sweetheart deal. The rent, which is structured under a five year month-to-month lease, is significantly below the $14,000 a month he’d have to pony up if he had to take out a mortgage like ordinary people do. Plus, he’s protected no matter what happens to real estate prices in Pasadena. If prices rise, the agreement allows him to buy the house for the bank’s purchase price. And, if they fall, he can buy it for whatever the current appraised price is. Even more surprising is that DelPonti isn’t even one of the top five executives at the company, which kind of makes you wonder what sorts of real estate deals IndyMac dished out to the top cheese.

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