Chris McEntee, President of ICE Mortgage Services

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), a global exchange operator and data listings provider, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Simplifile, an operator of a network connecting the agents and jurisdictions that underpin residential mortgage records, for $335 million.

“Originators, consumers, and investors can obtain significant benefits and savings as the real estate process shifts from paper-based to digital transactions. Simplifile understood this trend early, uniquely solving for the critical aspect of submitting required documents into the public record in a seamless, auditable and transparent method,” said Chris McEntee, President of ICE Mortgage Services. “By connecting lenders, settlement agents, and counties through a robust network, Simplifile will enhance ICE’s efforts to further streamline a legacy process ripe for innovation,” McEntee added.

According to the supplier, the acquisition is expected to expand ICE’s Mortgage Services portfolio which includes MERS. Simplifile, along with MERS will propel the digitization shift of the lending industry and will allow transparency and speed in the mortgage closing process.

MERS System is a national electronic database that tracks changes in mortgage servicing and beneficial ownership interests in residential mortgage loans on behalf of its members.

“We’ve seen how ICE has helped to transform markets going through an analogue to digital conversion and has made them more transparent and efficient for all participants,” said Paul Clifford, Founder and President of Simplifile. “We are closely aligned with ICE’s vision as it applies to the residential mortgage industry and, as we become part of Intercontinental Exchange, our team at Simplifile will continue our efforts to simplify the industry for all of its stakeholders,” Clifford added.

Founded in 2000, Simplifile is an e-recording network that connects settlement agents and county recorders via its e-recording service. Its core eRecording product allows additional solutions to assist the real estate transaction supply chain.

Established in 2000 and headquartered in Georgia, ICE operates exchanges, clearing houses and information services. ICE Data Services serves the information and connectivity needs across all asset classes.

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by Megha Bhattacharya
Market Analyst at IBS Intelligence
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