Billionaire Dan Gilbert’s net worth by year has grown from $4.9 billion in 2016 to $46 billion in 2021, which makes him the 21st richest person in the world.
In 2020, Forbes listed Gilbert, the founder of Quicken Loans, as the 69th richest person and the 230th to billionaire in the U.S.
Gilbert launched Quicken Loans (then called Rock Financial) in 1985 with his younger brother Gary. At just 22 years old, Gilbert started the company with $5,000 he earned selling pizzas. Little did he know then that Quicken Loans would become one of the largest independent mortgage lenders in the U.S.
Dan Gilbert's education and work experience
Gilbert was born in Detroit and raised in Southfield, a suburb of Detroit. He received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a law degree from Wayne State University Law School.
During college, Gilbert earned his real estate license and worked part-time for his parents’ real estate agency.
How Quicken Loans evolved
By the late 1990s, Rock Financial had become the fastest-growing online mortgage lender. The move caught the eye of software maker Intuit Inc., which purchased the company from Gilbert for $532 million and renamed it Quicken Loans.
After three years, Gilbert bought back Quicken Loans and its affiliated national title company, Title Source, Inc., for $64 million—$468 million less than he sold it for.
Quicken Loans went public in 2020 under the name Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT). At the time, its valuation was $36 billion. Gilbert still serves as the chairman and majority owner of the company. He controls 79 percent of the company’s shares.
Going public helped increase Gilbert's net worth even during the economic challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Dan Gilbert loves sports.
In March 2005, Gilbert became a majority owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. Under Gilbert’s leadership, the team was able to end the 52-year Cleveland sports curse with six Central Division championships, five Eastern Conference championships, and one NBA championship.
Gilbert continued to purchase sports teams, including the Cleveland Monsters AHL hockey team, Canton Charge NBA G League team, and the Cleveland Gladiators arena football team.
Dan Gilbert’s numerous investments
Since his early start at Quicken, Gilbert has added more to his portfolio than sports teams. Some of his business dealings include:
- Founding partner in Rockbridge Growth Equity LLC (RBE)
- Investor in Courtside Ventures
- Founding partner in Detroit Venture Partners (DVP)
- Co-founder of StockX
- Founder of the non-profit Bizdom
Dan Gilbert’s connection to Detroit
Gilbert has continued to maintain a close connection to Detroit. He moved the Quicken Loans headquarters there in 2010. The move was seen as a way to help revitalize downtown Detroit. To date, the company employs over 17,000 people in the city.
The Detroit News recently reported that Gilbert plans to invest another $500 million to revitalize Detroit’s neighborhoods. He has already invested $5.6 billion to purchase and rehab part of downtown Detroit.
Gilbert’s efforts in the city’s redevelopment led to Politico Magazine naming him as one of America’s 11 Most Interesting Mayors in 2017, even though he didn’t hold the title.
Gilbert still lives in the Southfield, Mich. area with his wife, Jennifer, and their five children.