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Industry mourns death of PennyMac’s Stanford Kurland

Stan Kurland died from complications related to COVID-19

PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust announced that company founder and Non-Executive Chairman Stanford Kurland died at age 68 due to complications from COVID-19. Kurland had also been battling brain cancer.

The company and industry leaders alike mourned his passing, calling him an “esteemed industry leader, visionary and friend.”

“I am deeply saddened to share the news of Stan’s passing,” PMT President and CEO David Spector said. “COVID-19 has robbed us of a great leader, mentor and friend. Stan leaves an indelible mark not only on PennyMac, but on the mortgage industry he helped to build and shape. His storied career in mortgage banking spanned more than four decades.

“With his passion and vision, Stan led and built two of the largest and most influential companies in our industry, making home loans to millions of Americans,” Spector said. “He will be deeply missed by many in our industry and our community — including all of us here at PennyMac.”

Kurland began his professional career in 1975 in public accounting, practicing as a CPA for the firm now known as Grant Thornton. He spent 27 years at Countrywide Financial Corp. in various executive positions including chief financial officer, president and chief operating officer until his departure from Countrywide in 2006. During his tenure at the company, Countrywide grew from just over $1 million dollars in market capitalization to a leading financial services firm with over $25 billion in market value.

In 2008, Kurland founded PennyMac in partnership with BlackRock Mortgage Ventures and HC Partners, formerly Highfields Capital Management. Under his leadership, PFSI became one of the largest residential mortgage lenders and servicers in the U.S. and now employs more than 6,000 people across the country. Kurland served as PMT’s chairman and CEO until 2016, when he was appointed executive chairman. He retired from day-to-day responsibilities in 2020 but remained a guide for the company.

“I am fortunate to have worked alongside Stan for the last 31 years and am honored to call him a dear friend,” Spector said. “He was a genuine and gracious person to anyone he crossed paths with and he cherished his family and friends. On behalf of all of us at PennyMac, we send our deepest condolences to Stan’s wife, Sheila, and the entire Kurland family.”

PennyMac and its employees are among a wide group of housing and mortgage professionals who are mourning Kurland’s death.

“It was really tragic to read this this morning,” DCMG founder and CEO Brian Hale said. “I worked for Stan for eight years at CW. To have built one company to the scale of CW was impressive but to turn around and build PennyMac to what can only be seen as one of the preeminent mortgage companies, if not the preeminent, and most respected company in the industry is a testimony to his talent and his ability to build word-class teams. The industry lost a singular talent.”

Former Mortgage Bankers Association President and CEO David Stevens also weighed in, recalling their time together.

“Stan was an icon to the industry,” said Stevens, now CEO of Mountain Lake Consulting. “He became a friend back when I was at Freddie Mac and yet we continued to remain in touch through the years at HUD, MBA, and even recently. Stan was one of the leaders who stood up to Angelo and others at Countrywide in the latter years when he thought they were taking on too much risk. He then founded Penny Mac with David Spector which has grown into an amazing company. Stan always seemed ego-less to me, humble yet brilliant. Will miss him.”

To celebrate his life and legacy, the Kurland family kindly requests donations be made to the UCLA Brain Tumor Center via bit.ly/StanfordKurland.”

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