Guild CEO Mary Ann McGarry announces retirement

By Real Estate News

Retail lender Guild Mortgage announced Monday that Mary Ann McGarry is retiring from the CEO position in late June, remaining on the California-based lender’s board of directors after retirement. Terry Schmidt, Guild’s current president, is the successor. 

McGarry joined Guild in 1984 as a supervisor in internal audit and held several leadership positions until promoted to president in 2005 and CEO in 2007. She led the company from its base in the western U.S. to become a nationwide lender with operations in 49 states. 

In 2016, McGarry was recognized as one of HousingWire’s Women of Influence, and honored as a HousingWire Vanguard in both 2017 and in 2022. Under her leadership, Guild developed a specialty in serving first-time homebuyers, introducing innovative low down-payment programs and helping active duty and retired military personnel secure VA loans.

McGarry has also led the lender through several acquisitions of late, including Cherry Creek MortgageInlanta Mortgage and Legacy Mortgage. In an interview with HousingWire in October, she said the shift from a refinance boom to a purchase market will leave some mortgage lenders and loan officers with only two options: “Consolidate or exit the business.”

McGarry, who started at Guild when female mortgage executives were rare, rapidly became a leader in the company, going from managing six people to 90 by the time she was in her late 20s. She became adept at spotting and growing talent, including Schmidt, her successor.

“My first hire at Guild, more than 38 years ago, is now the president and a partner,” McGarry said at HW Annual in October. “She’s amazing and everyone in my internal audit group is still with the company today in a leadership position. Three of them are partners. It’s proof that empowering your colleagues and having confidence in them as well as yourself is important.”

In 2010, McGarry worked with her team to create the Guild Giving Program, which encourages employees to donate their time to worthy causes in their own communities. Beneficiaries have included domestic violence shelters, Habitat for Humanity, the Navy SEAL Foundation and the Children’s Cancer Association.

In addition, Guild became one of the first IMBs to support the Mortgage Bankers Association‘s Open Doors Foundation, which provides mortgage and rental assistance to parents of critically ill or injured children.

McGarry will continue to receive her current base salary and other benefits until the effective retirement date. It includes the eligibility for a cash bonus with a target amount of 150% of her salary, prorated for a partial year of service as CEO, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

McGarry’s salary for 2021 was $600,000, and her total compensation reached $3.2 million. (There’s no public information about 2022.) As a non-employee member of Guild’s board of directors, she will receive cash and equity compensation, including a $50,000 annual cash retainer, according to a 14A filing.  

Schmidt, president since August 2020, will be the CEO effective July 1. The SEC filings show her base salary will increase from $600,000 to $675,000, and her target bonus will go from 125% to 150% of her base salary. Schmidt will also receive an award of restricted stock units valued at $500,000 on July 1, 2023.  

Guild’s executive vice president David Neylan, who joined the company in 2007, will replace Schmidt as president. He will continue as Guild’s chief operating officer.

“Guild has been a remarkable growth story since McCarthy Capital invested alongside Mary Ann, Terry, and other Guild partners in a management buyout of the company from its founder in 2007,” said Patrick Duffy, chairman of the board, in a statement. 

Guild posted a net income of $328 million in 2022 despite posting a loss of $15 million in the fourth quarter of the year. Net income rose 16% from the previous year’s $283.8 million.