Nationstar CFO Robert Stiles leaves abruptly

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After almost three years on the job
  • Praise, thanks and good wishes for Stiles
  • Amar R. Patel taking over in the interim

(exechange) — Dallas, Texas, March 22, 2017 — Robert Stiles, finance chief of Nationstar, leaves. It is an abrupt change. As announced by Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, Robert D. Stiles has already left the post as Chief Financial Officer at the residential mortgage services provider in a surprising move after almost three years on the job, effective March 17, 2017.

No company wants a CFO to flame out in the first years.

Stiles’ move comes nine months after Jay Bray took over as chairman of Nationstar.

Stiles’ duties are taken over in the interim by Amar R. Patel, a former Executive Vice President of Portfolio Investments at Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc.

No reason given

In the announcement, Nationstar did not explicitly explain the obviously compelling reason for Stiles’ sudden move, leaving room for speculation.

Precise information about the future plans of Stiles was not immediately available.

Wake-up call

Generally speaking, it is often an alarm signal for stockholders when a CFO leaves the position abruptly and without comprehensible reasons being given.

“Departure”

Nationstar said: “Mr. Patel’s appointment follows the departure of Robert Stiles from the Company as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer on March 17, 2017.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. since October 2013.

Fortress holds 69.85 percent stake

Fortress Investment Group LLC reported a 69.85 percent stake in Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. as of December 31, 2016. Fortress is an investment management firm.

Chaired by Jay Bray

Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. is chaired by Jay Bray.

Jay Bray was appointed as a member of the Company’s board in 2012 and was elected chairman in July 2016. Bray has served as Nationstar’s President since June 2015 and as Chief Executive Officer since February 2012, prior to which he served as Nationstar’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from May 2011 to February 2012.

On the job as CFO since 2014

Stiles has served as Nationstar’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since May 2014.

He has held the same position at Solutionstar Holdings LLC which he joined in January 2013 and at Nationstar Mortgage LLC where he has served as Executive Vice President since May 2013.

Prior to joining Solutionstar, Stiles served as the Chief Financial Officer of Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. (a publicly-traded real estate solutions provider) from 2009 to 2012.

Prior to Altisource, Stiles served as Director & Controller for Centerline Capital Group (a real estate finance company) from 2007 to 2009; as Vice President, Assistant Controller for Viacom from 2006 to 2007; and has served in various senior financial roles at Time Warner Inc.

Stiles also served for 8 years in various positions at KPMG LLP and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Stiles has a M.B.A. from Columbia University and a B.S. in Accounting with a concentration in Information Systems from James Madison University.

Unexpected

As a general rule, when a top leader announces to step aside with no permanent successor in place, it’s a signal that the move was unexpected and too early.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Robert Stiles’ move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 13.2017 ($).