This week, we speak with Mat Ishbia, the chief executive officer of United Wholesale Mortgage (UWC), which is the top wholesale lender and No. 2 overall mortgage lender in the United States. The 9,000-person firm went public in the biggest SPAC ever. Ishbia is also the author of “Running the Corporate Offense: Lessons in Effective Leadership from the Bench to the Board Room.”
He discusses joining his father’s 12-person mortgage firm in the early 2000s. His dad refused to write NINJA (no income, no job, and no assets) loans and other low documentation and/or subprime loans. While UWC lost business pre-global financial crisis, their growth exploded post-GFC. The takeaway was that “quality matters,” and selling bad loans to people who cannot afford them was a bad business. The strategy has worked out well for them as both a wholesaler and a mortgage writer.
He explains that no one wants a mortgage — what they actually want is a house. The mortgage is an enabler. And so UWC’s way to compete is to make the process “faster easier cheaper.” The average time to mortgage for UWC is industry-leading 16-17 days.
Ishbia notes home prices should normally go up 1-3% a year, and the current 10% is due to low inventory. There are over a million consumers in mortgage forbearance (part of the CARES ACT), and that is part of the reason for limited housing supply for sale. He adds that he does not see housing as a bubble, because underwriting is so much more stringent than it was in the 2000s.
You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Brian Deese, the 13th Director of the National Economic Council, and the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. Previously, he was Global Head of Sustainable Investing at Blackrock, and was President Obama’s senior advisor for climate and energy policy. He was newly named as Chairman of The White House Competition Council.
Mat Ishbia’s book