United Shore Financial Services, a Pontiac, Michigan-based mortgage lending company, recently surprised some employees with 2-year leases on a brand new 2019 Cadillac xT5 and others with a cruise to the Bahamas.
Selected at random through the use of a contest and raffle bins, 13 lucky employees were gifted new Cadillacs and 30 employees were gifted a cruise to the Bahamas with the opportunity to bring a guest along.
The winners were announced on Dec. 7 at the United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM) holiday party by UWM and United Shore President and CEO Mat Ishbia.
One employee who won a Cadillac had not even been at the company for more than 30 days, Ishbia told Yahoo Finance in a phone interview. “He was pretty happy,” he noted.
‘We’re breaking the all-time record in mortgage history’
Ranked as the No. 2 overall mortgage lender in America, according to a PR Newswire report, UWM has on-boarded more than 3,000 new employees to the company in the last year to bring its headcount to 4,900.
“We’re going to do $106 billion in mortgages this year for people,” Ishbia said.
The surprise gifts awarded to employees were in celebration of the company’s record-breaking year, a large addition of new employees, and over 1,000 internal promotions.
“We had a big growth year,” Ishbia said. “We went from $41 billion to $106 billion. Last year, we were the fourth-overall mortgage company right behind Wells Fargo was one, Quicken [Loans] was two, Chase, and then us. We passed Bank of America last year. This year we jumped over Wells and Chase.”
2019 was the company’s fifth consecutive year of being the No. 1 wholesale lender in the country. The company had more than doubled its business from last year.
“Because of where we’re at right now, we’re breaking the all-time record in mortgage history for wholesale lending this year when we do $106 billion, so we’re proud of that,” Ishbia said.
‘Without them I am nothing and the company is nothing’
“Our company is only successful because of our people,” Ishbia said.
When Ishbia arrived at the company 16 years ago, there were only 12 employees. By the end of 2020, the company is prepared to hire more than 2,000 people. And 65% of UWM’s employees are millennials.
“We get 150 people apply to work here every day,” Ishbia said. “66% of the people we hire are from people that were referred from ‘my brother, my sister, my cousin, my friend.’ People want to get in through a team member here and it’s been very, very positive from that respect.”
Ishbia has already started thinking about next year’s holiday party and the prizes he could reward his employees. Even if the company doesn’t break the all-time records again, they still plan on celebrating big.
“I am very lucky to have so many great people here,” he said. “They make me look great. We’ve got 4,900 awesome people, they make me look better than I am.”
The CEO added that “without them I am nothing and the company is nothing.”
Olivia is a social media editor for Yahoo Finance.