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Mutual of Omaha Mortgage has acquired Keller Mortgage for an undisclosed amount, it was announced Monday during Keller Williams’ annual Family Reunion.
With the deal, Keller Mortgage will become a Mutual of Omaha Mortgage subsidiary and operate alongside MOM’s existing forward and reverse mortgage divisions.
Keller Williams will retain an undisclosed ownership stake in Keller Mortgage, a KW spokesperson confirmed.
“We’re excited to announce how our two leading brands are coming together,” Keller Williams co-founder and Executive Chairman Gary Keller said in a statement on Monday. “Our KW customers will have access to an even more comprehensive slate of mortgage services from a trusted brand with more than a century of business experience. It’s truly a win-win for all involved.”
Keller Williams launched Keller Mortgage in 2005, hiring a small crew of loan officers and staff members to operate out of its headquarters in Dublin, Ohio.
A historic drop in mortgage rates ushered in a period of record growth for the company in 2021, with the company doubling its payroll from 530 employees in June 2020 to 1,000 employees in May 2021.
However, the company quickly had to reverse course as the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates to slow inflation and stave off the risk of a recession. The company laid off 150 junior employees in October 2021, with two more rounds of layoffs in May and October 2022 as the mortgage industry responded to the dovetail in mortgage origination and refinancing demand.
As a privately-owned company, Keller Williams is not required to share its revenue, profits or losses in earnings nor specific financial details for its subsidiaries, including Keller Mortgage.
“In light of macroeconomic market conditions, on Monday of this week we further restructured the mortgage operations group within our Keller Mortgage business,” Keller Williams spokesperson Darryl Frost told Inman during the last round of layoffs in October. “We remain committed to assisting our impacted employees and to growing our mortgage offerings over the long term.”
The lending arm took one more hit in November, with kwx’s Keller Home Financial Services (KHFS) President Dave Smith exiting the company after less than two years at the helm.
Keller Williams said Smith “decided to leave the organization to pursue other career opportunities,” and quickly tapped executive Rich Miller to become the interim president of Keller Mortgage.
Despite the hiccups in Keller Mortgage’s performance over the past year, Mutual of Omaha Mortgage President Terry Connealy said he still considers Keller Mortgage a leader in the industry and believes the companies have a “strong cultural fit.”
“This transaction brings together two leaders in the mortgage industry, leveraging the strengths of each to provide outstanding products and services to homebuyers from coast to coast,” Connealy said in a statement. “With shared values that emphasize integrity, teamwork, customer focus, innovation and accountability, Keller Mortgage is a strong cultural fit with Mutual of Omaha Mortgage.”
Keller Mortgage has taken center stage at KW’s Family Reunion this weekend, with the company operating a large booth located in the conference’s exhibit hall and hosting several breakout sessions about the future of the housing market and mortgage hacks for a shifting market.
“We remain committed to mortgage and Keller Mortgage will continue to work to serve the mortgage needs of all Keller Williams real estate agents and customers across the country,” Frost said of Keller Mortgage’s place in the KW ecosystem. “Now consumers will have access to more loans, a wide range of mortgage products, and best-in-class service.”