Quicken Loans’ Dan Gilbert sharpens political radar

Nolan Finley
The Detroit News

Cleveland — When you run a billion-dollar company, you can’t afford to be apolitical.


Quicken Loans Inc. Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert understands the importance of paying attention to what the politicians are doing.

“It’s the 31st anniversary of starting the company,” he says. “For the first 25 years I was like head down, off the radar. I was building a business. I never had to know the mayor or governor.

“For the last six years it's been a 180. Quicken Loans has a Washington office with 15 people because of what’s going on there.”

Part of what’s going on in Washington is a federal investigation of Quicken’s mortgage lending practices, which has resulted in a pending lawsuit against the company, one Gilbert has called a fraud and vows not to settle.

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“I call them ‘govsters,’ ” he says of regulatory agencies. “They just try to extort money from business. We will not pay govsters.”

Though the Republican National Convention will be held in his Quicken Loans Arena, Gilbert isn’t sure how visible he’ll be, and won’t say how he feels about presumptive nominee Donald Trump.

In the GOP primaries, he did contribute to the failed run by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

“I thought he was like Trump lite,” Gilbert says.

Nolan Finley