Guild strikes a deal to acquire Academy Mortgage Corporation: sources 

Guild Mortgage has struck a deal to acquire retail rival Academy Mortgage Corporation, which could result in an additional 800-plus loan officers across the country, multiple sources told HousingWire.

During an all-hands call Tuesday morning, Academy’s leadership informed employees about the M&A deal, which is expected to close in mid-April. Academy CEO Adam Kessler told staffers that he had been seeking for either private capital or an acquirer due to the challenging mortgage landscape. He said that Guild was a good fit to acquire the company, according to staffers who attended the Tuesday morning call.

Separate calls occurred after the all-hands; one group was informed that their positions were being terminated, the other given details of a transition to Guild.

Representatives at both companies did not immediately reply to a request for comments.

Academy’s sales workforce and management will receive job offers and work as a division of Guild. As of Tuesday, Academy had 839 loan officers who will add to another 2,247 at Guild, per the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS).

However, most operations and recruiting staff will not be joining the acquirer but will stay employed until April 15, when the deal is expected to close, sources said.

Guild believes it can add to acquired companies by reducing back-office costs, CEO Terry Schmidt recently told HousingWire. “If it’s a smaller organization that maybe can’t afford the back office any longer, maybe that’s [M&As] a value added to them,” Schmidt said.

Academy has originated $5 billion in mortgage loans over the last 12 months ended in January, per mortgage tech platform Modex. Of the total, 61% were conventional and 80% were purchase loans. During this period, 15% of the volume was in Washington, 13% in Utah and 7.6% in Idaho. Academy was not on Inside Mortgage Finance’s list of the 100 owned mortgage servicing firms as of the third quarter in 2023 (No. 100, Primary Residential Mortgage in Utah, had $9.47 billion in MSRs).

Meanwhile, Guild’s volume reached $12.85 billion in the same period, also focused on conventional loans (57.8% of the total) and purchases (81%), according to Modex data. However, the company’s leading states in terms of origination were California (9.8%), Texas (9.4%) and Washington (9.3%).

Guild is also one of the country’s largest servicers, with $84 billion in MSRs as of the first quarter of 2024, per IMF.

Publicly traded Guild has an ambitious plan of becoming a top-10 lender in the markets in which it has a presence. In 2023, it acquired Legacy Mortgage in February, Cherry Creek Mortgage in March and First Centennial Mortgage in August.