As I reflect on 2016 at Noble Capital, I am reminded of how far we have come, the growth we have experienced, and the challenges we faced along the way. But most importantly, I recall the conversations I have had with members of our private lender network, our strategic partners, and our clients. The number of loans under management and the associated annualized rate of return for our lenders, while crucial for high-level reporting, only represent the bindings of the novel. The real story, the Noble story, are the experiences we create with the people we serve.
For the most part, I am expected to answer to our lender community. With over $120MM in loans and average participation of $400,000, that can turn into a full-time position quickly. And while I know many of our lenders personally, I enjoy watching Edward Hart explain in detail our dry but critically important disposition strategy. I get excited to see Tammie Tirres, Jason McNiff, and Jenn Lewis do the same whiteboard presentation that we came up with six years ago.
But there are other very compelling connections that happen every day within our business that is largely untold, and those come from the business entrepreneurs that are borrowing from our lenders to flip and build houses throughout Texas. These are our clients, our lifeline. Our Streamline Funding origination team are boots on the ground. They walk properties, negotiate deals, offer advice and ultimately help our clients experience the American Dream. Loan officers like Kelly Smith and Aiden Mosher can tell you more about local neighborhoods than many of the people living in them. And they know all too well the struggles that our clients face when working with city officials and neighborhood planners and the cash flow issues that can create.
But our clients are not the only ones that overcome challenges on a daily basis. Our unsung heroes in Loan Operations have seen more than their fair share of change in 2016. We rolled out batch payments, direct deposits, automated late notices, and a completely new loan servicing platform. Samantha Worman can tell you more about loan servicing and fractional loan position tracking than she ever thought possible, and Barry Walta has personally spoken to every single client with a loan involving construction, personally educating on many occasions the proper processes for inspections and draws.
We began 2016 with a big vision for growth. It’s in our DNA. We are competitors, entrepreneurs, and always searching for ways to win. But we came to understand that growth for us this year was more about building processes and relationships than loan volume. We discovered that to be successful in the years to come, we had to become better in the present. We are adding new software to automate the process that will eliminate errors. We are training employees to make sure that everyone on our team is an expert in their field. And we are adding the staff required to support our rapidly growing business.
We are continuing our journey to remain a leader in our field. And we are just as excited now as we were when we started. Thank you for being a part of our family as we head confidently into 2017.