The development is a far cry from January 05, 2021, when Guaranteed Rate announced the Stearns acquisition with palpable enthusiasm about the future ahead. “The pending acquisition comes at a time of significant momentum for Guaranteed Rate, which recorded its best production year ever in 2020,” the company said in a prepared statement. “The move builds on Guaranteed Rate’s track record of making and integrating successful acquisitions and connects directly to its goal of becoming the county’s number one lender.”
At the time, Guaranteed Rate touted Stearns’s “strong presence” as complementary to its growth plans: “Guaranteed Rate’s experience and expertise in running joint ventures and partnership platforms is further enhanced by Stearns Holdings’ strong presence in these channels,” the company wrote. “Stearns Holdings 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 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 multichannel distribution vision.”
At the time, Ciardelli had high hopes for the Stearns partnership: “We’re excited about bringing Stearns Holdings into the Guaranteed Rate family,” he wrote in announcing the purchase. “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.”
The Guaranteed Rate Companies – which includes Guaranteed Rate Inc., Guaranteed Rate Affinity, LLC and Proper Rate, LLC – has more than 9,000 employees in more than 750 offices across the US, according to company literature. Headquartered in Chicago, the company is self-described as “…one of the largest retail mortgage lenders in the United States, funding over $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 a 2018 top lender for online service by U.S. News & World Report and best mortgage lender for online loans, along with best mortgage lender for refinancing by NerdWallet in 2021.