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Quicken IPO would be run by Gilbert confidantes

Keith Laing
The Detroit News

Billionaire businessman Dan Gilbert will have several close confidantes in leadership roles of the new public Rocket Companies, according to documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Joining Gilbert on the board of directors of the new Rocket Companies, which will include Quicken Loans Inc. and several related subsidiaries, are his wife, Jennifer, and several recent Quicken and Rock Holdings Inc. executives. 

Dan Gilbert

The Rocket Companies board of directors will consist of the following people, according to the SEC filing: 

►Daniel Gilbert, 58, chairman of the board

Gilbert is the founder of Quicken Loans, where he has been the chairman of the board since 1985. He also served as the chief executive officer of Quicken Loans from 1985 to 2002. Gilbert is also the majority owner of the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team and the operator of the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse arena in Cleveland.

►Jay Farner, 47, CEO and director

Farner has been CEO of Quicken Loans since 2017. He has been an employee of the company since 1996, previously serving as President and Chief Marketing Officer of Quicken Loans.

►Robert Walters, 55, president and chief operating officer

Walter has served as president and chief operating officer of Quicken Loans since 2017. Previously, Walters served as chief economist and executive vice president of Quicken Loans overseeing the Capital Markets and Servicing operations. Walter joined Rock Financial in 1997 after holding positions at both the National Bank of Detroit and DMR Financial Services.

►Julie Booth, 51, chief financial officer and treasurer

Booth has been with Quicken Loans since 2003, leading its accounting and finance teams as chief financial officer since 2005. She is responsible for the accounting, finance, treasury, tax, procurement, and internal audit functions. Prior to joining Quicken Loans, she was a senior manager with Ernst & Young LLP in Detroit.

►Angelo Vitale, 61, general counsel and secretary

Vitale was with Quicken Loans from 1997 through early 2020, leading its legal, audit and risk teams as executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary since 2014.  Prior to joining Quicken Loans, Angelo was senior counsel for 12 years with another national mortgage servicing company. 

►Jennifer Gilbert, 51, director

Gilbert is the founder of Amber Engine, a Detroit-based home furnishings services and solutions technology company that was started in 2015. Prior to Amber Engine, Jennifer founded Doodle Home, a digital platform for residential interior designers that was sold to Dering Hall in 2015. She is the wife of Dan Gilbert, and she has been a director of Rock Holdings Inc. since 2019. 

►Matthew Rizik, 65, director

Rizik joined Rock Holdings Inc. in 2012 as the chief tax officer. Prior to joining RHI, Matthew was a tax partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Detroit.

►Suzanne Shank, 58, director

Shank is the president, CEO and co-founder of Siebert Williams Shank & Co. LLC, a full-service investment banking firm offering debt and equity origination services to Fortune 500 companies and debt underwriting for municipal clients nationally. Previously, Shank was chairperson and CEO of Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co. LLC, a firm which she co-founded in 1996. 

►Nancy Tellem, 67, director        

Tellem is the executive chairperson of Eko, a media network that uses proprietary technology to create interactive stories that respond and leverage the interactive nature of modern media devices. Tellem has previously held executive positions at several leading entertainment companies, including Xbox Entertainment Studios, CBS, and Warner Brothers. 

Last Tuesday, Rocket Companies filed a federal securities form with its proposal for going public. It did not report the number or price of shares that would be offered on the New York Stock Exchange. Experts, however, have estimated an IPO could raise tens of billions of dollars and be one of the largest of the year.  

Quicken closed $145 billion in loans last year. And Tuesday's filing provides a more detailed look into the mortgage lending giant's finances than ever before made public. In 2019, the company made nearly $894 million on revenue of more than $5.1 billion.

The deal would make public a holding company consisting of personal finance and consumer service brands including Rocket Mortgage, Rocket Homes, Rocket Loans, Rocket Auto, Rock Central, Core Digital Media, Rock Connections, Lendesk and Edison Financial.

The filing spells out business agreements with some of Gilbert's other companies, including Bedrock, that allow for the continuation of certain support services. And, the filing notes, Bedrock is the landlord of several Gilbert-affiliated companies. Quicken paid $69.6 million to Bedrock for lease agreements in 2019, $66.2 million in 2018 and $60.5 million in 2017.

klaing@detroitnews.com