Guild Mortgage acquires First Centennial Mortgage

Illinois-based lender will add 15 branches predominantly in the Midwest to Guild's operations

Retail lender Guild Mortgage announced Monday the acquisition of First Centennial Mortgage, a privately-held Illinois-based lender with 15 branches predominantly in the Midwest and a presence in 17 states. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Guild has been acquiring lenders to expand in local markets in a purchase mortgage-focused environment. Since December 2022, Guild has closed deals with Inlanta MortgageLegacy Mortgage and Cherry Creek Mortgage.  

Established in 1995 by brothers Steven and David McCormick, First Centennial Mortgage offers a wide range of mortgage products, including conventional, FHA, VA building and construction, per the mortgage data platform Modex

The company had 227 active loan officers and originated $830 million in the last 12 months. Of the total origination volume in the period, purchase mortgages accounted for 82% and refis consisted of 15%, the data shows.

“We continue to effectively execute our strategy to grow and gain market share through acquisitions where there exists a strong cultural match and the potential for value is present for both parties,” Terry Schmidt, CEO of Guild, said in a statement. 

This is the first Guild acquisition under Schmidt’s leadership. She went from president to CEO when Mary Ann McGarry retired from the CEO position in late June. McGarry remained on the California-based lender’s board of directors after retirement. 

Steven McCormick, president of First Centennial Mortgage, said in a statement that the company has a similar culture and platform to Guild as both focus 100% on retail, local sales and operational fulfillment.  

On the back of a purchase market-focused strategy, Guild posted a net income of $36.9 million in Q2 2023, an improvement from the loss of $37.2 million in the previous quarter. Originations came in at $4.45 billion from April to June, up from $2.7 billion last quarter. According to Modex, Guild has 2,179 active LOs and 564 branches. 

Schmidt said during the Q2 earnings announcement that the lender continues to execute its strategy to gain market share through organic growth and acquisitions while broader industry challenges persist due to higher interest rates and limited home inventory. 

Regarding its products, Guild rolled out in June a 1% down payment advantage program that allows customers to buy a home with a minimum down payment of 1% of the purchase price. Guild will also cover 1% of the borrower’s interest rate for the first year with a lender-paid temporary buydown

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