This article was written by Phineas Upham
In 1985, a man named Dan Gilbert formed a company called Rock Financial Mortgage. Rock Financial was one of the largest mortgage companies in the country, with an employee headcount that hit 50 within 6 years. This also corresponded with the “refi” boom, which gave the company a big boost in business and helped to catapult it to a public offering on the stock exchange.
Intuit, the financial services company, purchased Rock Financial in 1999 for the sum of $532 million. It changed the name of the company to Quicken Loans, but didn’t hold onto the company for long. Gilbert led a group of private investors in a purchasing deal where he walked away with the Quicken Loans name for $64 million, which is an incredible return on one’s investment of time and money.
As of 2007, the company had relocated to Detroit. It continues to run job fairs in the city to this day in search of new talent to staff its offices. The sites planned for construction included the former Statler hotel on Grand Circus Park. It later relocated to the business district of Detroit, and leased space in Campus Martius Park .
The company was ranked in the top 30 of Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For, and it’s listed as one of the 100 Best Places to Work in IT by Computerworld Magazine. Though the financial crisis of 2008 brought a small drop in employment, the company has managed to recover and currently employs over 10,000 people.
About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phineas on his Twitter page.