Adam Constantine on MLK Jr.’s impact on housing equality

During the interview, Constantine explains why the industry needs to focus on evoking intentional change rather than launching lackluster initiatives.

Navigating capacity concerns amidst record-high volumes

High loan volumes continues to loom large in the new year, making the “one-stop-shop” approach to the servicing and lending process even more appealing.

Amid record-high origination volumes, mortgage fraud risk is down

CoreLogic's recently released Mortgage Fraud Report is the industry standard for nationwide fraud monitoring and analysis. Read the findings here.

How student loan debt impact homeownership

Student loan expert Catalina Kaiyoorawongs shares her practical and tangible advice for people who feel overwhelmed by their student loan debt.

DealmakingMortgage

Guaranteed Rate may IPO, whether its CEO wants it or not

We break down the deal for Stearns, and assess the Chicago lender's prospects as a public company

Man money HW+

It took a few years, but Victor Ciardelli has finally captured the one that got away. The founder and CEO of Guaranteed Rate, which originated $73 billion in mortgages last year, has made joint ventures and acquisitions a cornerstone of his growing business.

In 2017, Guaranteed Rate struck a deal with the largest real estate brokerage conglomerate in the country, Realogy, to form a landmark joint venture. It has paid off in spades: the combined company, Guaranteed Rate Affinity, originated $5 billion in loans during the first half of last year. In July, Guaranteed Rate launched another prominent joint venture, partnering with independent brokerage @properties, which has 2,800 agents, operates in 15 states and is the undisputed king of Chicago’s resi scene.

But one JV in particular had eluded him. Several years ago, Ciardelli attempted to partner with Social Finance, commonly called SoFi and a heavy hitter in the student loan space with outsized ambitions in the mortgage industry, multiple sources told HousingWire. 

There was just one problem: SoFi already had a dance partner in California-based Stearns

“They shut the door in his face,” said one person with direct knowledge of the talks. “It went nowhere.” 

In acquiring Stearns last week, Ciardelli bought a $20 billion lender that gives him direct access to the wholesale channel, sports a number of highly profitable joint ventures, and brings a network of talented underwriters and compliance specialists into his growing apparatus, now nearly 10,000 workers strong. 

But the move also introduces a number of challenges for Ciardelli: enmeshing a conservative culture at Stearns that contrasts dramatically with the aggressive, sales-first culture Ciardelli has pushed at Guaranteed Rate; integrating Stearns’ fading retail operations into his own team’s; and, perhaps most importantly, navigating the expectations and wishes of private equity investors whom sources believe are targeting an independent public offering. 

HousingWire spoke to nearly a dozen current and former executives and workers at both firms on the condition of anonymity to assess the Stearns acquisition and preview what could be on the horizon for the lender, which is now firmly among the 10 biggest in the country, and is gunning for the top five. 

The rest of this content is for HW+ members. Join today with an HW+ Membership! Already a member? log in

HW+ includes weekly long-form digital content, HousingWire Magazine, access to HousingStack, and free admission to all HousingWire virtual events.

Most Popular Articles

Prepare for the rise in mortgage rates

Economists offer their takes on how high mortgage rates will climb, how lenders will respond and what impact this will have on the housing market. HW+ Premium Content

Jan 18, 2021 By

Latest Articles

2020 ends with 3.4 million loans in delinquency

The final delinquency tally for December is in, with data revealing that by end of 2020, 1.54 million more mortgages were reported delinquent.

Jan 22, 2021 By
3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

Log In

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Please