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Richest Mortgage Moguls

Richest Mortgage MogulsForbes releases 400 Richest Americans

October 10, 2005


The wealthiest person in the country associated with mortgage lending is also the world’s second wealthiest person, according to the latest ranking of the richest people. One woman, as well as her husband, donned the list again.

With a net worth of $40 billion, the head honcho at Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet, was named the nations’ second wealthiest person by Forbes magazine. His ranking was the highest among individuals associated with the mortgage business.

Buffet’s Berkshire owns manufactured housing lenders Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance Inc. and 21st Mortgage Corp.

Collaboratively, individuals on the latest 400 Richest Americans ranking reportedly held a net worth of 1.13 trillion, climbing $125 billion from the previous rankingThe minimum needed to get on the list, at $900 million this year, jumped $150 million from last year.

Buffet, 75, was also recently named the second richest individual in the world. Although his current net worth is $4 billion below what was reported in the World’s Richest ranking a few months ago, it appears to be a far stretch from his beginnings as a newspaper delivery boy who filed his first 1040 at age 13 and claimed a $35 deduction for a bicycle, according to the magazine.

Charles Schwab came in at No. 58 with a net worth of $3.8 billion. The founder of the discount stock brokerage, which offers mortgage financing through Schwab Bank, relinquished his CEO position but took it back last year when the company’s profits were sagging. Schwab plans to remain chairman through January 2007, the magazine reported.

The $5.5 billion net worth of KB Homes’ cofounder Eli Broad earned him spot No. 39. Broad purchased his first real estate property when he was 20 and helped establish Kaufman & Broad with $25,000, Forbes said. Now reportedly one of the nation’s biggest home builders, KB recently agreed to sell its mortgage operation Countrywide Financial Corp., but will continue to originate loans through a joint venture with Countrywide.

In spot No. 73 with a net worth of $3 billion was Roland Arnall, who built his fortune selling mortgages to homeowners with spotty credit through the private company he founded, Ameriquest. Despite lawsuits and allegations of being too aggressive, the Paris-born tycoon’s fortune has grown $1 billion since the previous No. 106 ranking.

After raising more than $12 million for President Bush since 2002, Arnall was nominated in July to be U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, the magazine said.

Carl Pohlad jumped a few spots to land at No. 78 with his fortune of $2.8 billion but, unlike the previous ranking, came after Arnall. The family of the 90-year old privately owns NorthMarq Capital Inc., a national real estate investment banker that provides multifamily mortgage financing, among other services.

Other mortgage-related people in the top 200 included William Pulte of homebuilder Pulte Homes Inc. in 164th place and Franklin Booth Jr. of Berkshire Hathaway at No. 181.

The list’s top 300 wealthiest included: Bernard Francis Saul II, who founded mortgage-lending Chevy Chase Bank out of a trailer and has made at least two real estate investment trusts public, at No. 207; followed by Donald Horton of homebuilder D.R. Horton, which is parent of DHI Mortgage; Charles Munger of Berkshire; Sanford Weill of Citigroup; and newcomer to the ranking Jorge Perez of Related Group of Florida, which says it is the nation’s leading builder of luxury condos and operates its own real estate financing through an affiliate.

Among the last portion of the 400 richest were the chief executives of Golden West Financial, Marion and Herbert Sandler, also on last year’s ranking. With the threshold net worth of $900 million were Quicken Loan’s Daniel Gilbert, who started the company 20 years ago with $5,000 earned from delivering pizzas in college, sold it, bought it back and turned it into the nation’s largest online mortgage company; and Bernard Osher, a cofounder of Golden West.

Victor Galan, chief of R&G Financial, was a newcomer on the previous ranking but did not manage to make it on the recent list.


Coco Salazar is an assistant editor and staff writer for E-mail: [email protected]

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