MortgagePolitics & Money

Guild Mortgage launches Midwest expansion by acquiring Cornerstone Mortgage

Cornerstone operates in Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas

Guild Mortgage is acquiring St. Louis-based Cornerstone Mortgage, as the company launches an expansion of its business in the Midwest.

Cornerstone Mortgage has 19 branches and more than 200 employees in Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas.

In a release, Guild said that it expects the acquisition to give the company a “major” presence in Missouri.

Mary Ann McGarry, president and CEO of Guild, said the acquisition fits with Guild’s strategic plan to “grow in existing markets and also acquire firms with a strong presence in new markets and proven histories of exemplary customer service and entrepreneurial cultures.”

Cornerstone was founded in 1996 by Angi Stevenson, current president and CEO, along with Jim Dean. Stevenson will join Guild as regional vice president of its newly established Midwest region.

“Cornerstone is an exceptional company and a close culture match to Guild with its strong values and experienced loan professionals averaging more than 15 years in the business,” said McGarry.

“It has been the fastest growing mortgage banker in Missouri for six straight years and ranked as a Top 25 place to work in local surveys during the same period,” McGarry said. “We have been admiring their organization for several years and are pleased to enter 2018 with such a strong new presence in the Midwest.”

Cornerstone’s loan volume was $1 billion in 2017, Guild Mortgage’s loan volume was $15.9 billion in 2017.

McGarry said that the company is confident it will “achieve significant growth and gain market share in the Midwest because of the quality of the Cornerstone people and their entrepreneurial spirit, which matches ours.”

Stevenson said that the company will only grow as a part of Guild.

“They have been a leader in adding new technology and systems to improve every step in the lending process and have been recognized for setting national standards in customer satisfaction,” Stevenson said of Guild.

“They retain more than 85% of their loans for servicing. Joining Guild will enhance all that we do,” Stevenson added. “We are looking forward to entering a new era of growth and better serving our customers with such a dynamic organization.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The companies expect the deal to close by March 1, 2018.

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