Guaranteed Rate to Buy Stearns Holdings

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Retail mortgage lender Guaranteed Rate is acquiring Texas-based Stearns Holdings LLC, a national top-25 lender with more than $20 billion in origination volume in 2020.

Stearns was founded in 1989 and operates in all 50 states through retail, joint venture, partnership and wholesale channels. The acquisition will enable Guaranteed Rate to bolster retail loan origination and further scale its JV platform, while also developing new multichannel capabilities.

Stearns Holdings itself has an extensive partnership model that includes real estate agent, builder and relocation joint ventures, private-label relationships and independent mortgage bank preferred partnerships. These partnerships include brands such as SoFi and Home Mortgage Alliance. Guaranteed Rate says combining these entities with its existing joint ventures with Realogy and @properties will create one of the largest partnership platforms in the country. The acquisition also allows Guaranteed Rate to enter the wholesale channel to complement the company’s multichannel distribution vision.

“We’re excited about bringing Stearns Holdings into the Guaranteed Rate family,” says Guaranteed Rate President and CEO Victor Ciardelli. “Pairing the incredible talent throughout Stearns’ organization with that of our existing team exemplifies the best of the best in the mortgage business, yielding an even more powerful platform.”

Guaranteed Rate is acquiring the company from Blackstone, which will have an interest in Guaranteed Rate.

In the future, Guaranteed Rate plans to integrate and rebrand Stearns Holdings’ retail operation as Guaranteed Rate. The company’s wholesale and partnership businesses will remain as stand-alone operations, with current Stearns CEO David Schneider continuing to lead those operations.

Photo: Victor Ciardelli

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