Wholesale lender lays off 348 workers
The development is a far cry from January 5, 2021, when Guaranteed Rate announced the acquisition of Stearns with palpable excitement about the future. “The pending acquisition comes at a time of strong momentum for Guaranteed Rate, which recorded its best year of production in 2020,” the company said in a prepared statement. “This move builds on Guaranteed Rate’s track record of completing and integrating successful acquisitions and connects directly to its goal of becoming the county’s premier lender.”
At the time, Guaranteed Rate touted Stearns’ “strong presence” as complementary to its growth plans: “Guaranteed Rate’s experience and expertise in managing joint ventures and partnership platforms is further enhanced by the strong presence of Stearns Holdings in these channels,” the company writes. “Stearns Holdings has an extensive partnership model that includes realtor, builder and relocation joint ventures, private label relationships and preferred partnerships with independent mortgage banks. These partnerships include well-known brands SoFi and Home Mortgage Alliance. Combining these entities with Guaranteed Rate’s existing joint ventures with Realogy and @properties will create one of the largest platforms in the country. The acquisition also allows Guaranteed Rate to enter the wholesale channel to complement the company’s multi-channel distribution vision. »
At the time, Ciardelli had high hopes for the Stearns partnership: “We are delighted to bring Stearns Holdings into the Guaranteed Rates family,” he wrote announcing the purchase. “Combining the incredible talent of the Stearns organization with that of our existing team exemplifies the best of the best in the mortgage industry, resulting in an even more powerful platform.
The guaranteed rate companies — which include Guaranteed Rate Inc., Guaranteed Rate Affinity, LLC and Proper Rate, LLC — have more than 9,000 employees in more than 750 offices across the United States, according to company documentation. The Chicago-based company describes itself as “…one of the largest retail mortgage lenders in the United States, financing more than $73 billion in 2020.”
Guaranteed Rate was founded in 2000 and is licensed in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The company was named Top Lender for Online Service in 2018 by US News & World Report and Top Mortgage Lender for Online Lending, as well as Best Mortgage Lender for Refinancing by NerdWallet in 2021.