Guaranteed Rate acquires Stearns Holdings, LLC

by Will Mendelson

Guaranteed Rate announced on Jan. 6 that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Texas-based Stearns Holdings, LLC from funds managed by Blackstone. Stearns, a national top 25 lender with more than $20 billion in origination volume in 2020, was founded in 1989 and operates in all 50 states through retail, joint venture, partnership and wholesale channels. The acquisition enables Guaranteed Rate to bolster retail loan origination while also developing new multichannel capabilities.

The acquisition at Guaranteed Rate, which recorded its best production year ever in 2020, correlates with its goal to become the nation’s No.1 mortgage lender.

Stearns Holdings’ extensive partnership model includes real estate agent, builder and relocation joint ventures, private label relationships and independent mortgage bank preferred partnerships. Such partnerships include brands like SoFi and Home Mortgage Alliance. Guaranteed Rate’s existing joint ventures with Realogy and @properties, along with this new acquisition, is set to create one of the largest partnership platforms in the nation. Moreover, the acquisition also allows Rate to enter the wholesale channel.

“We’re excited about bringing Stearns Holdings into the Guaranteed Rate family,” said Guaranteed Rate President and Chief Executive Officer Victor Ciardelli in a press release. “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.

“We are fully behind Victor Ciardelli and the entire Guaranteed Rate team,” said Blackstone Senior Marketing Director Nadim El Gabbani in the press release. “This combination creates a powerful player in the mortgage industry, and one that we believe is exceptionally well positioned for success over the long term.”

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