According to sources close to the deal, the acquisition closed late Friday afternoon and provides Urban with arguably the most recognized retail brand in the industry.
“Guardian is skilled at sourcing and converting high quality reverse mortgage leads and Mr. Wagner is one of the most recognizable and trusted spokespeople among seniors,” said Bryan Hendershot, CEO of Urban Financial. “The combination of Urban and Guardian will be able to expand outreach to qualified homeowners considering a reverse mortgage.”
Guardian’s headquarters in New York will continue to operate under the company’s founder Jason Levy and Kenny Peskin, chief operating officer.
“At Guardian, we help support seniors as they make decisions about their financial future,” said Levy. “As part of Urban, we’ll be able to maintain that approach while adding scale to feed wholesale operations. I’m eager to see what we can accomplish.”
Knight Capital Group acquired Urban earlier this year and the addition of Guardian gives them a strong brand along with a call center operation to expand their retail business. Prior to the deal, Urban was the 7th largest retail reverse mortgage lender in the country. Combined, the companies form the 4th largest retail reverse mortgage lender according to data from Reverse Market Insight.
Along with the retail, Urban operates the 3rd largest wholesale lender under the Reverseit! brand and plans to offer leads from the Robert Wagner campaign to brokers as well.
“Leads are important for brokers and with TV everyone can rest assure the leads are safe,” said Hendershot in an interview with RMD. “Going forward, leads are a hot commodity and brokers will have first grabs at lead overflow.”
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.