Dan Gilbert has climbed a towering financial ladder over the course of his professional career. From delivering pizzas in his younger days, to winning an NBA championship with the Cavs in 2016, to being the owner of Rocket Mortgage—one of the most successful lending companies in history. As a result of this hard work, the Michigan native is now worth more than $30 billion, according to a recent report from Bloomberg.
Gilbert was born in Detroit, Michigan, and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, as well as a Juris Doctor from Wayne State University Law School. He also worked as a part-time real estate agent with his parents while in college—a field in which he would later thrive.
In 1985, a 22-year-old Gilbert founded a mortgage company with his younger brother, Gary. Rock Financial, as it was known, went on to become one of the largest independent mortgage lenders in the United States. The company would later be renamed to Quicken Loans.
According to a report from Forbes, Dan Gilbert started his mortgage company with just $5,000 that he earned selling pizzas in college. Now, years later, he’s become one of the richest businessmen in the world.
As part of their latest offering of public earnings and information, it was revealed that Gilbert’s lending company, Rocket Mortgage, is now worth roughly $40 billion, which is more than Bank of New York Mellon Corp. or Ford Motor Co. Gilbert owns an estimated 73 percent of the firm. Notably, shares of the company have risen more than 19 percent in the recent past, according to a report from Bloomberg.com.
Rocket Cos. long-awaited initial public offering finally reveals the vast fortune founder Dan Gilbert has built in a city battered by the last financial crisis.
Shares of the Detroit-based mortgage company rose more than 19% on the first day of trading in New York, pushing Gilbert’s net worth to about $34 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The $34 billion was calculated without Gilbert’s ownership of the Cavs, as well as his real estate ventures in Detroit. Throw those factors into the equation, and the successful businessman is actually worth $41.1 billion, according to Forbes.
According to Forbes, Rocket Companies closed 2019 with $5.1 billion in revenues and a net income of $894 million, with net profits rising 46 percent from 2018. Clearly, the company is doing well.
For the record, Gilbert’s net worth is four times more than its previous estimate. According to Bloomberg, he’s now the 28th-richest man on the planet, and Forbes has him listed as the 17th-richest man in the United States. Quicken Loans has become the core of his wealth—a company that recorded $892 million net income for 2019.
To some sports fans, Gilbert is simply viewed as the owner of the Cavs. He’s owned the team since 2005 and helped deliver the city of Cleveland its first NBA championship in 2016. However, Gilbert is also connected to dozens of business and political efforts in Michigan and Ohio. And as a sign of his affinity for the Motor City, he purchased roughly 100 buildings in the Detroit area with a goal of revitalizing various downtown districts. So far, he’s dished out more than $5.6 billion in investments to redevelop the city. And through his firm, Bedrock, he owns more than eight million square feet of space in the downtown area.
“Who in his right mind would invest in 100 buildings in Detroit in 2010?” GW School of Business professor Christopher Leinberger told Bloomberg, adding that the gamble ultimately worked. “There wouldn’t be headlines about how downtown Detroit is back without Gilbert.”
The onset of the coronavirus pandemic has left an uneasy feeling with many investors, and even those looking for a decent mortgage. Despite this fact, Gilbert and his company continue to rise in value due to decreased rates.
This year — despite a pandemic — origination volumes hit a record in March, April, May and June with falling rates encouraging homeowners to refinance.
Gilbert, now 58 years of age, recently dealt with some health complications. He suffered a stroke in late May of 2019, but he has since recovered and is back to work. News of Gilbert’s hospitalization came just days after the Cavs announced that John Beilein would be the team’s next head coach. However, Beilein was later released, and J.B. Bickerstaff was promoted to the position.
Unfortunately, the Cavs did not receive an invite to the NBA’s bubble in Orlando, as the team had one of the worst records in the league this season at 19-46 overall. There was some hope that the teams left out would be able to participate in a separate bubble, but those plans have since faded.
Gilbert’s story of financial success is one of hard work and dedication. Let’s see where his business ventures go from here.