After Mat Ishbia graduated from Michigan State University in 2002 and helped coach his basketball team for a year, he was the 12th employee of the mortgage company his father, a lawyer, owned.
Today, Ishbia, 41, is CEO of what is now United Wholesale Mortgage Holdings Corp., the country’s largest wholesale lender, which is only behind Rocket Mortgage in terms of total volume of loans issued directly. He wants to be No.1 by 2024. UWM went public earlier this year as one of the largest specialty acquisition company deals, making Ishbia an overnight billionaire. He and the company have made historic financial commitments to his alma mater and Pontiac, the home of UWM.
âI left Michigan State basketball and I said, ‘Can I take some of the basketball things, some business things we learned playing basketball and the apply to the real world of business, and see what we can do? ‘âIshbia said. “That’s really what has helped us reach this level, this mindset of caring about every detail, the customer experience … being in the weeds of the business.”
Mat Ishbia, Michigan
David Guralnick, The Detroit News
UWM grants loans exclusively through mortgage brokers, who work with homeowners and buyers to find the best interest rates and loans for them from various lenders. Using a broker is the “fastest, easiest, and cheapest” way to get a loan, Ishbia says, and UWM has nearly doubled its workforce to over 9,000 since before the start of the pandemic and completed an expansion that more than doubled its corporate headquarters.
He is taking bold action, such as telling brokers that he will not do business with those who work with competitors who Ishbia says are employing âunderhandâ measures threatening the wholesale channel. Or experiment with accepting cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, as mortgage payments.
Meanwhile, UWM has developed proprietary technology to offer 15-minute mortgage approvals and this month began contracting with appraisers in an effort to speed up the closing process in hopes of take it from an average of 18 days with UWM to 12.
â’Let’s get up and take out a mortgage today,’â Ishbia said. “Nobody thinks like that. You’re only doing this because you want to save $ 82 a month or want to buy this house. You have to make it transparent.”
Weeks after UWM’s January post, MSU basketball coach Tom Izzo’s 2000 championship team member pledged a $ 32 million donation to the The university’s athletic program, the largest cash pledge in the history of an individual’s MSU.
Last month, UWM announced that it was sponsoring members of the Michigan State men’s soccer and basketball teams – 133 student-athletes – by providing those players with $ 500 per month for the entire school year. 2021-2022.
Izzo had Ishbia sit next to him on the bench as a player-coach: âHe’s a competitor, a winner. What he did does not surprise me. It’s his work ethic, bulldog tenacity and ability. He is 5 feet, nothing, 100 nothing, and he competed.
In Pontiac and Metro Detroit, the company focuses on children, education and homelessness. It has invested $ 10 million for a community sports center for young people near its campus which is open to the community free of charge.
âIt’s not just about helping solve the problems today,â Ishbia said. “It helps them change their course in the future.”
Occupation: United Wholesale Mortgage Holdings Corp. president, president and chief executive officer
Education: Ishbia graduated from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business with a degree in Business Administration.
Family: Three children aged 10, 8 and 7.
Why honored: Ishbia has grown his family business from a 12-person mortgage brokerage to a listed mortgage giant with over 9,000 people and the country’s largest wholesale lender. Additionally, Ishbia’s philanthropic efforts have sought to support his alma mater and the city of Pontiac where UWM now resides.