BY CALIFORNIA BUSINESS JOURNAL
Ike Suri, a Southern California-based investor, operator and principal whose successes in business range from technology and finance to real estate and film, has launched FundingShield, a financial technology and regulatory technology company in the residential mortgage space.
Suri runs Pelican Point Investments, a boutique private equity and late-stage venture capital shop focused on growth channels and opportunities for itself and its partners.
FundingShield is a unique financial technology and regulatory technology company focused on the compliance and fraud risk management of residential mortgage settlements for its clients, which includes the nation’s top 10 banks, top 25 non-bank lenders, insurance companies, auditors and law firms.
“FundingShield provides the industry’s highest level of protection in the funding process in verifying compliance with state and federal requirements and ensuring coverage for newly origination mortgage loans,” Suri says. “We protect against loss of funds due to inaccurate and or insufficient documentation, diversionary wire practices that could be signs of broader fraudulent activity, and other items that can jeopardize closing protection letter coverage (CPL).”
FundingShield has found potential fraud, errors and inconsistencies are responsible for more than 17 percent of the $100 billion in loan value that it has verified to date. The cost of the service to certify is less than 0.05% of the value of corrected and halted transactions. This is a fraction of the cost of a loss, increased audit scrutiny or additional internal headcount to manage against the same risks.
To lead FundingShield, Suri pegged Adam Chaudhary to be President of the company. Chaudhary, who is also President of Pelican Point Investments, is a former Wall Street banker and trader who has held varying roles on Wall Street. He worked in the structured credit and correlation trading group at Goldman Sachs, held the position of Fund Derivatives trader at Greenwich Capital, led and managed several efforts at Royal Bank of Scotland, including the Alternative Fund Financing group in the U.S., led the Structured U.S. Dollar funding group, was a Financial Institutions Group I-banker and led the Cross-Asset correlation team prior to joining Pelican. He also maintained a lending book of nearly $10 billion for clients such as Black River, Investcorp, S.A.C. Capital, and Man Investments, among many other funds, banks and insurance clients. Early in his career, he developed interest in the mortgage space as a project manager for Greenpoint Credit, providing analysis on a portfolio of securitized chattel (mobile home) loans.
“There is a huge opportunity in the regulatory and compliance tech space as efficient compliance and regulatory automation is needed in line with the enhanced regulations and best practices that are being sought,” Chaudhary says. “The offerings we have touch upon compliance, vendor risk management and active document verification and validation in a fintech construct. It is a unique service and we become our lending, insurance, and licensing clients’ partners from day one of being engaged.”
Some of the unique features of FundingShield is that it provides monitoring at the loan transaction level, not by assigning risk tolerance or rating levels to parties but by actively monitoring its client’s closings and inspection of the documentation. In doing so, it assures of a valid CPL, confirmation of licensed parties and that accurate bank account information and documents are being maintained.
To date, FundingShield has reviewed more than 150,000 loan closings valued at over $100 billion with large portion of this activity in the past two years, which is a testament to its rapid growth and demand for its services. Over $1 billion in closings were halted due to the diligent review for potential fraud and inaccuracies, saving FundingShield’s clients from losses, increased scrutiny from regulators and increased audit and internal review expenses.
“What we’ve created with FundingShield is a destination to access sources quickly and efficiently to detect fraud risk in CPLs and to validate a closing agent’s compliance with state license requirements verifying these critical details at the transaction level,” Suri says.
Suri built Pelican Point Investments with a network of globally present and active advisory board members that have diverse experience and success across various industries in different market sectors. Suri has served as a CEO, Chairman, board member and adviser to private and public companies such as Options Group (where he advised and was retained by global financial firms such as Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Fortress Investment Group, PIMCO, S.A.C. Capital, and Brevan Howard). He has also served as CEO and Chairman of Paradise Multimedia and Pacific Rim Entertainment, where he negotiated the sale of selected assets of the animation production company to Disney. Suri is co-founding charter member of TIE South-Coast, a nonprofit global network of mentors to emerging entrepreneurs as well as a manager of the turnaround management association.
Suri also launched Pelican Point Media, which houses Pelican Panther Films and Golden Gate Media and focuses on the production of independent films such as Exposed with Keanu Reeves and Ana de Armas; the jewel-theft comedy, The Brits Are Coming, with Sofia Vergara and Tim Roth; and Ripped starring Russell Peters and Faizon Love, a stoner- buddy comedy directed by Brad Epstein, who was President for Robert DeNiro’s TriBeCa films.
Suri has been part of leadership teams where he has experience in acquiring companies from the likes of Rockwell, Raytheon, Westinghouse and Phillips, to name a few. He also spearheaded acquisitions that helped build Sorrento Networks, a $1.6B Nasdaq-listed company at the time.
Pelican Point Investment Group, LLC.
660 Newport Center Drive, Suite 710
Newport Beach, Calif. 92660