2023 HW Vanguard: Steve Jacobson

Steve Jacobson

In April 1996, Steve Jacobson founded Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, a mortgage lender headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, and Carrollton, Texas. The company was named by Jacobson’s childhood best friend, colleague and forever member of the Fairway family, Randy Cross. Jacobson has since grown Fairway into a company with 9,900 employees and 300+ branches — a testament to the company’s unique corporate culture that attracts and retains team members. Today, Jacobson oversees and directs all business operations for the company’s full-service mortgage lending operation as CEO. Within five years of its inception, Fairway achieved $1 billion in closed annual loans. By 2016, the company had reached $17 billion in annual loan volume.

A mortgage veteran with more than 30 years of experience, Jacobson previously held executive positions at Waterfield Financial Corporation. There he was responsible for negotiating placements of in-house loan officers in real estate offices nationwide.  He was included in MPA’s Hot 100 list 2018 and was also named in Mortgage Global 100 list 2019. In 2021, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation was declared Energage’s No. 1 Top Workplace. A Wisconsin native, Jacobson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in management from the University of Wisconsin. He is also the former captain of the University of Wisconsin basketball team where he played for four years and achieved All-Academic Big Ten his graduating year.


Steve Jacobson



Company Name:

Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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