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Walker & Dunlop (WD) to Acquire Controlling Stake in Zelman

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Walker & Dunlop, Inc.  (WD - Free Report) recently signed an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Zelman & Associates, with an aim to further establish itself as a leading resource for housing investors and business leaders. Zelman is a housing research and investment banking firm.

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed yet. Upon closing, 25 employees of Zelman & Associates will join Walker & Dunlop.

Based in New York and Cleveland, Zelman & Associates was founded by Ivy Zelman and Dennis McGill. The firm offers in-depth research and analysis through its tenured housing experience, proprietary surveys secured by a network of executive-level leaders, and skill to identify and synthesize developing investment and fundamental themes. Besides, it also delivers trusted advisory services that attract the institutional investors and business executives.

The chairman and CEO of Walker & Dunlop, Willy Walker, stated, “Zelman's unique research and Walker & Dunlop's banking and brokerage operations will be a powerful combination as these asset classes are further institutionalized. 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.”

Per Ivy Zelman, CEO of Zelman, “I believe 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."

Walker & Dunlop has been engaged in a number of strategic acquisitions, which reflect its solid balance sheet and liquidity position. These expansion initiatives will continue boosting its profitability and market share as well as help diversify revenues.

Shares of Walker & Dunlop have appreciated 37.9% over the past six months as against the industry’s fall of 14.9%.

Currently, Walker & Dunlop carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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