The third richest person in Michigan

Luay Rahil

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He was one of the most influential mortgage professionals under 40.

He is a visionary who blends a sharp business mind with a remarkable ability to create a healthy organizational culture that has been praised by many of his employees and his competitors.

His name is Mat Ishbia, and he lives in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. His net worth exceeds $8.3 billion, making him the third richest person in Michigan.

Who is Mat Ishbia?

Mat Ishbia is the President and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, one of the best mortgage companies in the country.

Mat Ishbia was born in suburban Detroit, Michigan, on January 6th, 1980. His father is an attorney, and his mother was a teacher in Pontiac. His father started a mortgage company as a side business, and Mat was tasked with scaling it a few years later.

Ishbia got recruited to play basketball at many small schools, but he turned them down. So instead, he attended Michigan State University, where he earned a scholarship but never became a starter. Then, in 2000, the Spartans won a national championship while he was in his second season.

The experience left a powerful impact on his development and career on and off the court.

He joined his father's company in 2003.

He graduated college in 2003 and debated becoming a basketball coach.

Instead, however, he joined United Wholesale Mortgage, a company started by his father, Jeff Ishbia. Mat was the 12th employee of the company, but he was determined to use what he learned in basketball to grow United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM).

He says, "I left Michigan State basketball and said, 'Can I take some of the basketball things, some business things we learned playing basketball and apply it to the real-world business, and see what we can do?' That really is what has helped us take it to this level, that mentality of caring about every detail, the client experience, and being in the weeds of the business."

In 2013, he became the company's CEO. Under Mat's leadership, United Wholesale Mortgage became one of the most innovative lenders in the industry.

By 2018, the company moved into a 610,000 square foot building in Pontiac, Michigan. A second building was purchased across the street within a year, adding another 900,000 square feet.

At the end of 2019, UWM hit an all-time record of wholesale volume in one year with over $107.7 billion in mortgage originations. Mat told Rob Dube that he believed in creating an environment to give his employees and customers what they want.

On recruiting exceptional employees, he said if you provide employees with opportunities to grow, great people will join your mission. This mindset drove him to take his company public in 2020 and reported revenue of $4.8 billion in the same year.

Today, the company has 9,000 employees working together on one campus in Pontiac, Michigan.

He doesn't allow remote working.

Mat doesn't believe that the company can be the best mortgage company in the country, allowing people to work remotely.

So, instead of allowing people to work from home, he provides opportunities to show employees he values their time.

  1. Firm 40: He doesn't want anyone to work more than 40 hours or on weekends. He tells his team to be productive for 40 hours and go home and be with their family.
  2. One-stop-shop: To save his employees' time commuting, he built a convenience store, Starbucks, and dry cleaner on campus.
  3. Doctor office: He also has a family doctor's office to help employees save time and money.
  4. Basketball court and a gym: Ishbia built a state-of-the-art gym and a basketball court.

He believes that chemistry and culture can't be built through a phone or a computer screen. He wants everyone in the office to be the greatest team in the world.

Every division starts their day with a daily huddle, and every team member has a monthly meeting with their direct supervisor to talk about their own goals. These things can't be done remotely.

Money follows success.

Ishbia believes many companies fail because they focus on making money instead of adding more value.

He keeps telling his team to make things fast and easy, make better decisions, measure progress, and be willing to change. But, he also advises anyone who wants to work for his company, "If you don't like change, you won't fit here."

Mat Ishbia philanthropy.

In 2021, he donated $32 million to Michigan State University to support the athletic department, considered the largest single cash commitment in MSU history.

If you had Mat's money, what causes would you support?

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