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Romspen had its origins in the 1950's as an adjunct business to the real estate law practice of Louis W. Spencer, the managing partner of Spencer Romberg, a Toronto law firm.  Funding was provided by Spencer and his colleagues and lending was mainly for home purchases and small commercial buildings in southwestern Ontario. Spencer's loan calculus was simple: inspect every property; interview each borrower and loan no more than approximately 65% of the property value.  In the mid-60's, Spencer was joined by two younger lawyers, Sheldon Esbin and Arthur Resnick and the mortgage lending business was formally organized as Romspen.   Over time, Spencer retired, the mortgage business grew to outstrip the size of the law practice and Messrs. Esbin and Resnick dedicated their full time to building Romspen. As the business continued to expand, mortgages were syndicated to an ever growing number of sophisticated individual investors.  The portfolio continued to grow and the business evolved to concentrate on commercial/industrial mortgages and the business expanded geographically across Canada and into the United States.  As the logistics of arranging, managing and renewing mortgages grew cumbersome, due to the sheer volume of investors and mortgages, Romspen converted the individual mortgage syndication business to a fund in early 2006.  All mortgages were pooled, which provided diversity and ensured that investors’ capital was continuously working. Today, the Romspen mortgage portfolio is $2.9 billion and has produced a long term consistent return to investors.
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