PennyMac Founder Stanford Kurland Passes Away

Stanford Kurland, who founded and served as Chairman of PennyMac Financial Services Inc., Westlake Village, Calif., following a multi-decade career at Countrywide Financial Corp., passed away on Jan. 25.

Stanford Kurland

Mr. Kurland was 68. His family and PennyMac, which announced his passing, said he died from complications related to COVID-19; he had also been battling brain cancer.

Mr. Kurland was an active volunteer with the Mortgage Bankers Association for many years and served on the MBA Residential Board of Governors (RESBOG) from 2000-2006. Most recently, he was a member of the MBA REIT Executive Council.

“Stan was a man of great integrity and conviction, who made a huge impact on the mortgage industry throughout his career. On behalf of MBA’s members, I extend my condolences to his family and the entire PennyMac team,” said MBA President & CEO Robert Broeksmit, CMB.

“I am deeply saddened to share the news of Stan’s passing. COVID-19 has robbed us of a great leader, mentor and friend,” said David Spector, President and CEO of PennyMac. “Stan leaves an indelible mark not only on PennyMac, but on the mortgage industry he helped to build and shape. His storied career in mortgage banking spanned more than four decades. With his passion and vision, Stan led and built two of the largest and most influential companies in our industry, making home loans to millions of Americans. He will be deeply missed by many in our industry and our community — including all of us here at PennyMac.”

Spector said he considered himself “fortunate to have worked alongside Stan for the last 31 years and am honored to call him a dear friend. He was a genuine and gracious person to anyone he crossed paths with and he cherished his family and friends. On behalf of all of us at PennyMac, we send our deepest condolences to Stan’s wife, Sheila, and the entire Kurland family.”

Mr. Kurland earned an undergraduate degree from California State University-Northridge. He began his professional career in 1975 in public accounting, practicing as a CPA for the firm now known as Grant Thornton. He spent 27 years at Countrywide Financial Corp. in various executive positions including Chief Financial Officer, then President and Chief Operating Officer until his departure from Countrywide in 2006. During his tenure at the company, Countrywide grew from just over $1 million dollars in market capitalization to a leading financial services firm with more than $25 billion in market value.

In 2008, Mr. Kurland founded PennyMac in partnership with BlackRock Mortgage Ventures LLC and HC Partners, formerly Highfields Capital Management. Under his leadership, PennyMac became one of the largest residential mortgage lenders and servicers in the U.S. and now employs more than 6,000 people across the country. Mr. Kurland served as PennyMac’s Chairman and CEO until 2016 when he was appointed Executive Chairman. He retired from day-to-day responsibilities at the beginning of 2020.

The Kurland family requests in lieu of flowers donations be made to the UCLA Brain Tumor Program via the following link.