United Wholesale Mortgage employees will receive millions of bonuses and free shares

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Employees at the fast-growing United Wholesale Mortgage in Pontiac will not have an in-person holiday party this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they will be able to share millions of dollars in bonus, free actions from the business and free travel to Miami. and Cadillac leases.

CEO Mat Ishbia said his company, which is slated to go public in early January on the New York Stock Exchange, achieved record business in 2020 and thus made a record year-end giveaway for its workforce, which has grown to approximately 7,300 people. approximately 4,800 during the year.

The free giveaways exceed in value the 13 Cadillac leases and 30 Bahamian cruises that were awarded and raffled last December at UWM’s annual party at the TCF Center in Detroit, which included a live performance by the electro / pop group The Chainsmokers.

This year’s bonuses, gifts and raffle items include:

  • $ 25 million in employee bonuses for meeting three-year goals set in 2017.
  • A minimum of $ 1,000 in company stock for all employees, with individual amounts based on seniority, for a total of $ 35 million in employee stock.
  • 10 free two-year leases on a Cadillac Escalade, XT4, XT5 or Chevrolet Corvette.
  • 100 all expenses paid trips to Miami, with accommodation at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel.
  • Sweepstakes for free races for one year ($ 500 per month max), free travel anywhere in the United States ($ 5,000 max), free home improvement ($ 8,000 max) and for another lease two-year-old on a Cadillac.

“We are celebrating the best year in the company’s history,” Ishbia said on Friday afternoon, shortly before announcing bonuses and giveaways at UWM’s virtual vacation event. year never.

Mortgage companies nationwide have done well during the pandemic, in large part because falling interest rates to historic lows have led to an increase in the number of homeowners looking to refinance their mortgages.

Ishbia said UWM receives around 300 job applications per day as it hires to meet booming consumer demand.

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The positions he’s hired for include roles in technology, sales, underwriting and operations, although the majority of his recent hires have been for technology and operations roles, he said.

“The way I always hire is for a great work ethic, a great attitude,” Ishbia said. “We can teach the mortgage – I can’t teach work ethics, I can’t teach the heart, I can’t teach attitude.”

Most UWM employees have been working from home since Michigan’s latest pandemic restrictions went into effect Nov. 18 for private companies.

“We are doing everything in the right way and hope that whether it is March, April, May, June or some time when the vaccine comes out and people are safe and comfortable, we can bring everyone together. world, ”he said.

Formerly known as United Shore, UWM is the nation’s top-ranked wholesale mortgage company dedicated to underwriting loans from mortgage brokers. In mortgage business overall, it is ranked No.2 behind Detroit-based Quicken Loans, which went public last summer as part of Dan Gilbert’s Rocket Companies.

UWM is now preparing to go public by merging with a so-called blank check company started by businessman Alec Gores, the older brother of Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores.

Blank check companies are companies that first raise money in public markets and then buy or merge with other companies. They are officially known as Special Purpose Acquisition Companies. Gores’ blank check company, Gores Holdings IV, went public in January on the Nasdaq and raised $ 425 million.

The deal with UWM is to provide the company with $ 925 million, and once that happens, Ishbia and her family will remain majority owners of UWM, with Gores getting 6%.

Ishbia said the deal will likely happen in the first or second week of January. It could have happened this year during the week between Christmas and New Years, but it is “a difficult week to publicize – nobody cares”.

UWM initially announced its listing on Nasdaq. However, Ishbia and Gores instead decided to list the company on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol UWMC.

“A lot of big financial companies are listed on the New York Stock Exchange, we are a big financial company. We are also a technology company, so we feel like we fit into this world,” Ishbia said. “Both are great organizations, and it has worked better for us on the New York Stock Exchange.”

UWM reported a net profit of $ 2 billion on $ 3.1 billion in revenue for the first nine months of this year ending September 30. That overshadows its performance of $ 266 million on $ 883 million in revenue over the same nine-month period in 2019.

Overall, the US mortgage market is having a near record year with $ 3.3 trillion in mortgage originations planned, according to data and forecasts from the Mortgage Bankers Association, an industry group. Mortgage refinancing should represent 58% of total activity and home purchases 42%.

The all-time record of $ 3.8 trillion was set in 2003, a year that saw an even bigger flurry of refinancing activity.

However, the mortgage market as a whole is expected to contract in 2021 to $ 2.5 trillion as the refinancing boom wears off.

Ishbia said UWM is nevertheless set to do even more business next year.

“We’re going to be doing more business in 2021 than in 2020, and 2020 is by far our best year ever,” he said. “So we are going to expand next year.

UWM’s IPO will likely have a positive financial impact on Ishbia and her family. His father, Jeffrey Ishbia, started the company in 1986.

Asked about speculation he might be in the market to buy a professional sports team, Mat Ishbia said his current focus was only UWM.

“I am also familiar with these rumors,” he said. “As you know I’m a great sportsman. And could that be in my future? I won’t rule anything out. But certainly not in the immediate future.

“We have big goals (at UWM) that we haven’t achieved yet, so let’s keep pushing towards them, and as a public company we’re leveling the playing field for ourselves and some of our best competitors. . “

Contact JC Reindl To 313-222-6631 or [email protected]. Follow him on twitter @jcreindl. Learn more about the companies and subscribe to our business newsletter.

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