Jay Farner

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Jay Farner
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Farner in 2017
Born (1973-03-24) March 24, 1973 (age 48)
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
NationalityAmerican
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materMichigan State University (BA)
OccupationCEO Quicken Loans, Rocket Mortgage, Rocket Companies
Spouse(s)Wendi Farner
Children3

Jay Farner (born March 24, 1973) is an American businessman and investor. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Quicken Loans and Rocket Mortgage, the nation’s largest mortgage lender. Farner is also CEO of Rocket Companies, a Detroit-based holding fintech and mortgage company.[1]

Early life and education

Jay graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance from Michigan State University in 1996, where he restarted its business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi.[2] He lives in the Detroit area with his wife, Wendi, and their three children.[3]

Career

After Farner graduated from Michigan State University, he started as a mortgage banker at Quicken Loans Inc., then called Rock Financial, with Dan Gilbert in 1996 just as the Internet was catching on. In early 1997, Farner became director of mortgage banking, then vice president of web mortgage banking in May 1998.[4] Rock Financial’s online presence drew the attention of Intuit Inc., which bought the firm in 1999 from Gilbert for $336 million before later selling it back to him in 2002 for $130 million,[5] at which point he said “it was off to the races,” as the company grew to become America’s leading provider of direct-to-consumer home loans on the internet, offering mortgages in all 50 states.[6] After this, Farner served as president and chief marketing officer for Quicken, spearheading the company’s outreach efforts,[7] and was named one of Crain’s Detroit Business’ 40 under 40 class in 2011.[8]

In 2014, Farner led what USA Today called a “billion-dollar gamble” in a March Madness bracket challenge with Yahoo Sports, with a potential $1 billion prize offered to the winner. While only $3 million was handed out, the challenge generated billions of online engagements and millions of new leads. PR Week called this a "data generation exercise … like gold dust" while others called it 2014’s “best PR move” of the year.[9] In 2015, Quicken Loans created Rocket Mortgage, the first fully digital end-to-end consumer mortgage lending operation. Rocket Mortgage would later become the first lender to perform electronic closings.[10][11]

Upon launch, TechCrunch claimed Rocket Mortgage was the mortgage industry’s “iPhone moment” and compared the application process to TurboTax.[12] In its first full year, Rocket funded $7 billion in closed loans.[13]

Quicken Loans’ Rocket Mortgage released an ad at the 2016 Super Bowl with the tagline “Push Button, Get Mortgage,” whereby clients could get a mortgage on their mobile phone. While some critics said the ease of obtaining loans reminded them of the subprime lending crisis, Quicken Loans is “one of the few lenders that came through the financial crisis unscathed,” said Inside Mortgage Finance publisher Guy Cecala, as they were never involved in subprime lending.[14]

In 2017, Farner was promoted to CEO of Quicken.[15] That year, Quicken Loans surpassed Wells Fargo to become the No. 1 lender in retail home loans in the US. That quarter, they originated $25 billion in direct-to-consumer home loans, compared to $23 billion for Wells, $13 billion for Bank of America and $11 billion for Chase.[16]

In August 2020, Quicken’s parent company, Rocket Companies Inc, was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, selling 100 million shares and raising $1.8 billion on its first trading day.[17][18]

Philanthropy

Farner has expressed commitment to Quicken Loans’ helping rebuild its home town of Detroit, and helping a city that has been depressed since the large-scale departure of manufacturing jobs from the Motor City. “We’re based here in Detroit, and we’re pretty focused on rebuilding Detroit and supporting American companies. It’s what we do,” Farner told Brand Channel. “We believe in America. The strength of America has been created upon those that are innovative and build and support innovation. That’s the engine of America. Here is a process that removes a barrier and helps people to invest in their futures and their families.”[19]

Accordingly, Farner and Quicken Loans have responded to the Black Lives Matter movement, given that Detroit is “America’s blackest city.”[20] In August 2020, Farner penned an op-ed in the Michigan Chronicle where he outlined Quicken Loans’ plan to help the lives of African Americans, which includes efforts in housing stability, entrepreneurship, education and mentorship, and employment. Farner wrote, “Saying “Black lives matter” simply is not enough. We need to hold one another accountable in this pursuit of racial equity, and acknowledge that we will only succeed if we stand together. We hope this plan, in conjunction with our historical diversity and inclusion and more, will drive impactful change here in our hometown of Detroit and across the country.”[21]

Board memberships

Farner sits on number boards, including Cellerant Therapeutics Inc, YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute,[22] Community Solutions, StockX, Shinola, and the Rocket Giving Fund.[23]

Awards

Farner’s companies have achieved the following accolades under his tenure:

  • 16-time winner: J.D. Power and Associates|JD Power Highest Customer Satisfaction Award (10 for Primary Mortgage Origination, six for Mortgage Servicing)[24]
  • 17-time Fortune (magazine)|Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For (2005–2020)[25]
  • Crain’s Detroit Business 40 under 40 (2011)[26]

References

  1. "CEO Jay Farner". Quicken Loans. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  2. Nu Gamma Kappa Colony (March 2, 1995). "Petition to the International Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi" (PDF0). Eli Broad College of Busines. deltasigmapi.org (Petition). East Lansing, Michigan: Michigan State University. p. 39. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  3. "CEO Jay Farner". Quicken Loans. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  4. Duggan, Dan. "40 Under 40, Jay Farner, 38". Crains Detroit Business. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  5. Pender, Kathleen (February 1, 2018). "Quicken Loans tops Wells Fargo to become No. 1 in retail home loans". San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco, California. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  6. Duggan, Dan. "40 Under 40, Jay Farner, 38". Crains Detroit Business. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  7. "Jay Farner, Quicken Loans (US)". Mortgage Professionals of America. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  8. "40 UNDER 40: 2011". Crains Detroit Business. 2011. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  9. Horovitz, Bruce (March 25, 2014). "Quicken Loans' billion-dollar gamble pays off". USA Today. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  10. Byford, Amanda (July 20, 2020). "First Remote Online Mortgage Closing by pioneers – Quicken Loans and Amrock". Compare Closing. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  11. "Quicken Loans Launches Revolutionary End-to-End Online Product 'Rocket Mortgage' Transforming How Consumers Experience the Home Loan Process". PRNewswire. November 24, 2015. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  12. "This Could Be The Mortgage Industry's iPhone Moment". Tech Crunch. November 24, 2015. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  13. Lane, Ben (March 7, 2017). "Here's how much Rocket Mortgage helped Quicken Loans in 2016". Housing Wire. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  14. Pender, Kathleen (February 1, 2018). "Quicken Loans tops Wells Fargo to become No. 1 in retail home loans". San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco, California. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  15. Bartkowiak, Dave (February 10, 2017). "Quicken Loans promotes Jay Farner to CEO". Click on Detroit. Detroit, Michigan. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  16. Pender, Kathleen (February 1, 2018). "Quicken Loans tops Wells Fargo to become No. 1 in retail home loans". San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco, California. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  17. Derrick, Jayson (August 6, 2020). "Dan Gilbert, Jay Farner On Rocket Companies IPO: 'Great Starting Point'". Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  18. Tompor, Susan (August 6, 2020). "Dan Gilbert's Rocket IPO soars more than 20% in trading". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  19. Buss, Dale (January 29, 2016). "Super Bowl Watch: 5 Questions With Quicken Loans President Jay Farner". Brand Channel. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  20. Manes, Nick. "Op-Ed: Our Commitment to Change by Leading with Action". Crains Detroit Business. Detroit, Michigan. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  21. Farner, Jay (August 24, 2020). "Op-Ed: Our Commitment to Change by Leading with Action". Michigan Chronicle. Detroit, Michigan. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  22. "Jay Farner, Chief Executive Officer, Quicken Loans Inc". Bloomberg.
  23. "CEO Jay Farner". Quicken Loans. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  24. "Quicken Loans Ranks Highest in J.D. Power Study of Mortgage Servicing Client Satisfaction in Third Consecutive Year of Eligibility | Quicken Loans Pressroom" (Press release). July 28, 2016. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  25. "100 Best Companies to Work for: Quicken Loans". fortune.com. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  26. "40 UNDER 40: 2011". Crains Detroit Business. 2011. Retrieved February 8, 2021.

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