Dan Gilbert (businessman)
January 17, 1962 |
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Alma mater||Michigan State University;
Wayne State University Law School
|Occupation||Businessman, sports franchise owner, attorney|
Daniel "Dan" Gilbert (born January 17, 1962) is the chairman and founder of Quicken Loans Inc., the majority owner of the National Basketball Association's Cleveland Cavaliers, the American Hockey League's Lake Erie Monsters, the Arena Football League's Cleveland Gladiators and the NBA Development League's Canton Charge. He is also the operator of the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio  and chairman of Rock Gaming, which opened its first Horseshoe Casino in downtown Cleveland in May 2012.
Dan Gilbert founded Rock Financial in 1985, along with Ron Berman, Lindsay Gross and his younger brother, Gary Gilbert. The company grew into one of the largest independent mortgage lenders in the country and in the late 1990s, launched its Internet strategy and quickly positioned itself as the fastest growing direct mortgage lender on the Internet.
In 2000, software maker Intuit Inc. purchased Rock Financial. The national web operation was renamed "Quicken Loans" and grew substantially as the leading provider of direct-to-consumer home loans on the Internet, offering mortgages in all 50 states. Gilbert remained at the company as its CEO. In 2002, he led a small group of private investors and purchased Quicken Loans and its affiliated national title company, Title Source, Inc., back from Intuit. To this day, Gilbert continues to serve as the chairman of Quicken Loans Inc.
In 2010, Quicken Loans moved its headquarters and 1,700 of its employees to downtown Detroit, where Gilbert and the company are helping lead a revitalization of Detroit’s urban core. The company has since moved a total of 8,000 team members to a campus-like setting of buildings in the heart of Detroit's business district.
Sports franchise ownership
In 2007, Gilbert bought out the dormant Utah Grizzlies American Hockey League franchise, and moved them to Cleveland renaming them the Lake Erie Monsters. In 2011, Gilbert purchased the NBADL's New Mexico Thunderbirds, and moved them to Canton, Ohio (about an hour's drive from Cleveland) renaming them the Canton Charge, and becoming the Cavaliers' new D-League affiliate. In early 2012, Gilbert became the new owner of the Arena Football League's Cleveland Gladiators.
Gilbert received national attention on July 8, 2010, when NBA basketball player and NE Ohio native LeBron James announced that he was leaving the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat on a highly criticized ESPN television special dubbed The Decision. Following the special, Gilbert published an open letter in Comic Sans font to Cleveland Cavaliers fans in which he strongly criticized how James made his announcement.
On July 12, 2010, NBA Commissioner David Stern fined Gilbert $100,000 for his remarks in the letter. Though some members of the media criticized Gilbert for this letter, many Cleveland Cavaliers fans embraced him for it and even offered to pay for the fine. Gilbert instead insisted to donate the money to charity.
Other businesses and investments
Gilbert is a founding partner in private equity group Rockbridge Growth Equity LLC (RBE). The partnership invests in growing businesses in the financial services, Internet technology, consumer-direct marketing, and the sports and entertainment industries. RBE has significant investments in Northcentral University, Protect America, AccountNow, Purchasing Power, Triad Retail Media, One on One Marketing, and Connect America.
In addition, Gilbert is a principal of Detroit Venture Partners, a venture capital firm that funds start-up and early-stage technology companies in Detroit. DVP's portfolio currently includes companies such as time-based discount site Quikly, DJ app Roqbot, mobile app developer Detroit Labs, and CAPTCHA replacement company Are You a Human.
In November 2009, Gilbert and a group of partners successfully backed a state-wide referendum to bring casino gaming to Ohio’s four largest cities. Through a joint venture with Caesars Entertainment Corporation, the groups are developing and will operate urban-based casinos in both Cleveland and Cincinnati. The first of the casinos, Horseshoe Cleveland, opened in May 2012. Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity for Gilbert's investments and real estate holdings, announced it had formed Athens Acquisition LLC, an affiliate of Rock Gaming, to acquire a majority interest in Greektown Superholdings Inc., owner of the Greektown Casino-Hotel located in downtown Detroit.
In 2011, Gilbert's Rock Ventures group purchased several buildings in downtown Detroit, including the historic Madison Theatre Building, Chase Tower and Two Detroit Center (parking garage), Dime Building (renamed Chrysler House), First National Building and three smaller buildings on Woodward Avenue. In 2012, Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance and integration of Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate, purchased the former Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Detroit Branch Building, One Woodward Avenue, 1201 Woodward (Kresge Building), and five smaller buildings on Woodward Avenue and Broadway Street, totaling 630,000 square feet of commercial space in downtown Detroit.
Rock Ventures' downtown Detroit real estate investments now include 17 buildings totaling 2.9 million square feet of commercial space, and several parking garages for a combined 4,250 parking spaces. Quicken Loans and its family of companies employ approximately 8,000 full-time employees in Downtown Detroit.
Gilbert earned his bachelor's degree from Michigan State University, a Juris Doctor from Wayne State University Law School and is a member of the State Bar of Michigan. He resides in Michigan with his wife and their five children.
- "Quicken Loans Leadership Profiles". QuickenLoans.com. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
- "Cleveland Cavaliers Front Office Profiles". NBA.com/Cavaliers. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
- "LeBron James' Decision a Cruel Blow to His Hometown". AOL. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
- "LeBron James' decision: the transcript". ESPN. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
- "Dan Gilbert letter: Cavaliers owner unloads on LeBron James". The Washington Post.
- "Cavs Owner Dan Gilbert Fined $100K for LeBron Comments". SB Nation. 12 July 2010.
- "Medical Alert | Medical Alert Systems". Connect America. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
- "Rockbridge Growth Equity Website". RBEquity.com. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
- "Detroit Venture Partners' DNA". DetroitVenturePartners.com. Retrieved 2011-04-22.
- "Quicken Loans Group Buys Madison Theatre Building". QuickenLoans.com. Retrieved 2011-05-04.
- "Dan Gilbert completes purchase of Chase Tower downtown, nearby parking garage". CrainsDetroit.com. Retrieved 2012-02-13.
- "Dan Gilbert to Buy Yet Another Building". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
- "Dan Gilbert Closes on First National Building". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
- "Bedrock Real Estate Services, Dan Gilbert's Real Estate Arm". http://bedrockmgt.com. Retrieved 2012-02-13.
- "Dan Gilbert buys Federal Reserve building in Detroit". freep.com. Retrieved 2012-02-13.
- "Quicken Loans Press Room". QuickenLoans.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18.
- "Quicken Loans Group Closes Purchase of both [[Chase Tower (Detroit)]] and Two Detroit Center Garage". QuickenLoans.com. Retrieved 2013-03-19. Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)