Walker & Dunlop to Acquire Industry-Leading Housing Research and Investment Banking Firm Zelman & Associates

  • Bethesda, Maryland | May 5, 2021

Walker & Dunlop, Inc. announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a controlling interest in Zelman & Associates (“Zelman”), the leading housing research and investment banking firm in the United States.

Founded in 2007 by Ivy Zelman and Dennis McGill, Zelman has earned an impressive reputation among institutional investors and business executives alike for its unbiased, in-depth research, insightful analysis and trusted advisory services. Zelman’s research is differentiated by its tenured housing experience, proprietary surveys anchored by an unparalleled network of executive-level leaders, and an acute ability to identify and synthesize developing investment and fundamental themes. The firm’s expertise spans macro, sector and company-specific trends across all areas of housing, including homebuilding, building products, demographics, multifamily, single-family rentals, mortgage finance and real estate technology and services.  Zelman also operates an investment bank, led by Tony McGill, focused exclusively on the housing sector. The Zelman team has an extensive track record in the M&A, debt and equity transaction markets, including private debt and equity placements, IPOs and secondary equity offerings, public debt underwritings, project and platform-specific capital raises, corporate valuations and buy and sell-side M&A advisory services.

Walker & Dunlop Chairman and CEO Willy Walker stated, “We are extremely excited to be joining forces with Zelman, one of the most recognizable brands in the housing industry known for high-quality research and must-read opinions on the sector. The combination of our two companies from a research and data standpoint will provide our bankers and brokers with unrivaled insight into the housing sector and local markets in support of their clients and transactions, and firmly establish Walker & Dunlop as the preeminent resource for housing investors and business leaders. The single family and multifamily housing industries are converging within the single-family rental and build-for-rent asset classes, and Zelman’s unique research and Walker & Dunlop’s banking and brokerage operations will be a powerful combination as these asset classes are further institutionalized.”

Mr. Walker continued, “We are also incredibly excited to add Zelman’s investment banking platform to Walker & Dunlop. Investment banking is a key component of Walker & Dunlop’s Drive to ’25, and we plan to invest in the business to expand Zelman’s coverage, with a priority focus on the multifamily and single-family rental sectors.  Zelman’s reputation as an industry leading independent investment bank, and extensive experience providing M&A advisory services and capital markets solutions for billions of dollars in transactions throughout the housing sector, will be a wonderful foundation upon which to build our broader business. The addition of Zelman’s research and investment banking professionals further cement Walker & Dunlop as a trusted and valuable partner to our clients.”

Zelman Chief Executive Officer Ivy Zelman commented, “Since our firm’s founding nearly 14 years ago, the Zelman team has been unwavering in our commitment to extremely high-quality research, elite client service and the utmost integrity behind our opinions and advice. I believe that Walker & Dunlop directly aligns with these values and that our research and insights will be extremely beneficial to the company’s talented bankers, brokers and client base. In turn, we will expand our research and data analytics capabilities by gaining access to W&D’s firsthand market intelligence, management of a massive loan servicing portfolio, existing technologies, and wonderfully innovative marketing capabilities. We are excited to continue growing our housing-focused research and investment banking businesses in partnership with the #1 capital provider to the multifamily industry.”

Zelman & Associates is based in New York, NY and Cleveland, OH and has 25 employees, all of whom will join Walker & Dunlop upon closing of the acquisition. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary consents and regulatory approvals and is expected to close during the third quarter 2021.

About Walker & Dunlop

Walker & Dunlop (NYSE: WD) is the largest provider of capital to the multifamily industry in the United States and the fourth largest lender on all commercial real estate including industrial, office retail, and hospitality. Surpassing $41 billion of total transaction volume in 2020, Walker & Dunlop enables real estate owners and operators to bring their visions of communities — where Americans live, work, shop and play — to life. With 1,000 employees across every major U.S. market, Walker & Dunlop’s people, technology, and customer insight have allowed it to grow faster than industry peers and deliver total shareholder return of over 800% in its first ten years as a public company.

About Zelman & Associates

Founded in 2007 by Ivy Zelman and Dennis McGill, Zelman & Associates is the leading institutional research advisory and investment banking firm dedicated exclusively to the U.S. housing industry. Zelman provides distinguished institutional research and investment banking capabilities with the highest levels of client service, trust, sophistication and credibility unique to the housing, institutional research and investment banking industries.

All securities offered through Zelman Partners LLC, a registered broker dealer and member of FINRA and SIPC.

Forward-Looking Statements

Some of the statements contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws.

The forward-looking statements reflect our current views about future events and are subject to numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and changes in circumstances that may cause actual results to differ significantly from those expressed or contemplated in any forward-looking statement.

While the forward-looking statements reflect our good faith projections, assumptions and expectations, they are not guarantees of future results. Furthermore, we disclaim any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect changes in underlying assumptions or factors, new information, data or methods, future events or other changes, except as required by applicable law. Factors that could cause our results to differ materially include, but are not limited to: (1) general economic conditions and multifamily and real estate market conditions, and (2) our ability to successfully integrate Zelman’s operations into our current business.

For a further discussion of these and other factors that could cause future results to differ materially from those expressed or contemplated in any forward-looking statements, see the section titled ''Risk Factors" in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as it may be updated or supplemented by our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and our other filings with the SEC. Such filings are available publicly on our Investor Relations web page at www.walkerdunlop.com

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