United Wholesale Mortgage Begins Trading On The NYSE: Here's What It Means For The Market

Pontiac, Michigan-based United Wholesale Mortgage Holdings Corporation UWMC, home to one of the largest retail mortgage lenders, begins trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.

The development comes after the company closed a merger with special purpose acquisition company Gores Holdings IV Inc GHIV. The deal, which hails as the largest SPAC transaction to date valued at around $16 billion, provides UWM with $925 million for emerging growth opportunities.

Gores Holding IV changes its name to UWM Holdings Corporation and will trade under ticker "UWMC."

About UWM: The company was founded by Jeff Ishbia in 1986. Mat Ishbia, who once played and coached with Michigan State legend Tom Izzo, took control of UWM from his father in 2003. Since then, he's added nearly 8,000 team members and turned UWM into the second-largest lender in the country.

Detroit-based Rocket Companies Inc RKT — home to Rocket Mortgage and Quicken Loans, the nation's largest mortgage lender — went public in August 2020.

"We're a business that's focused on mortgage brokers," Ishbia said in a conversation on helping grow UWM from a 12 to 8,000 person team. "We made the decision that the best way to get a mortgage is through a broker, so we put all of our focus on that one channel, and that really catapulted our growth."

Aspirations: UWM will pursue technology innovation, as well as improve education through initiatives like findamortgagebroker.com, which allows consumers access to information for better deals.

"We've innovated with technology at UWM for years, and we've made the mortgage process faster, easier and cheaper," Ishibia said. "We have some really big technology initiatives in 2021, and that will hopefully be game-changing in a very positive way for the mortgage world."

Ishbia identifies impact and change through measurements.

"The way you know the technology is working -- you check how long it takes to close loans," he added. "We're closing loans in 16 to 17 days while the industry is taking 40 to 45 days."

What’s Next: 2021 is shaping up to be a blockbuster for UWM.

"Having access to the capital will put us in a position so that we can really accelerate growth," Ishbia said. "We will have over 10,000 people by the end of 2021 and, at the same time, we’re going to have to make the process more efficient, so each person can do more business."

In December, UWM reported third-quarter net income of $1.45 billion versus $198 million for the prior-year period, as well as $127.8 billion in closed production year-to-date, a 20% increase from 2019.

UWM will look to a network of nearly 30,000 brokers to underwrite about $200 billion in mortgages this year.

Posted In: Gores HoldingsMat IshbiaMichigan StateSPACSPACsTom IzzoUnited Wholesale MortgageUWMNewsSmall CapIPOsTop StoriesExclusivesInterview