Celebrity Financial Inc., a U.S. Virgin Islands-based diversified financial services holding company, is acquiring Midwest Equity Mortgage, an Illinois-based independent mortgage lender, for an undisclosed sum.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval with an anticipated closing date in the third quarter.
David Robnett, chairman and CEO of Celebrity; Dave Hansen, partner and co-founder at MEM; and Pete Gabrione, partner and co-founder at MEM; will each take significant equity positions in Celebrity, MEM’s parent company.
This is the first of several acquisitions and investments Celebrity intends to make in the next 12 to 24 months, the company says in a release.
Other targeted opportunities include traditional banking, fintech software, insurance and capital markets.
“Right from the start we felt a connection to David Robnett and his vision,” Gabrione says. “Our consumer direct channel will continue to lead the industry, while our retail channel will now have the vital support and expertise necessary to its expansion.”
Robnett will join MEM’s executive team as its CEO and brings 20-plus years of strategic and executive mortgage experience.
As CEO, Robnett anticipates expanding MEM’s retail channel while overseeing strategic initiatives additional investments in fintech, as well as diversifying MEM’s product and services offering.
The rest of MEM’s executive team will remain in place, including MEM’s founders, Gabrione and Hansen.
“We searched far and wide for the right partner for our first acquisition and immediately saw that Midwest Equity was a perfect fit with the right infrastructure already in place to support the strategic mission,” Robnett says. “What they’ve built in a little over a decade is nothing short of remarkable, and we’re looking forward to expanding upon their success.”