William M. Walker, Chairman & CEO


2020 was an unprecedented year that will forever be marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and the sweeping impacts it had on the lives of every American. I wrote last year’s shareholder letter in early March as the pandemic was beginning, creating a huge amount of uncertainty about what 2020 would hold for the economy, commercial real estate, and our business. Yet we knew we had the people, platform, and technology at Walker & Dunlop to weather the storm.

As I reflect on 2020 and all that the W&D team overcame, I cannot adequately express my pride and appreciation. Our people stepped up for our clients and one another every day. Our technology differentiated us in the market. Our brand exploded! And our leadership position on diversity and inclusion allowed us to be proactive, and a leader, when it was needed most. These many strengths, not surprisingly, led to record financial results. We grew our debt financing volume by 32% while the overall commercial real estate financing market declined by 27%1. We increased total transaction volume, which includes all financing and property sales activity, to $41 billion, up 29% from 2019. This dramatic growth in volume drove revenues to $1.1 billion, up 33% year-over-year. And once again, we delivered double-digit diluted earnings per share growth, up 41% to $7.69.

Our 2020 performance is demonstrative of our people, brand, and technology coming together seamlessly to drive incredible financial results. We have hired the very best bankers and brokers in the commercial real estate industry, and when the crisis hit in March 2020, our clients turned to them for counsel and transactional expertise. We launched the Walker Webcast at the onset of the pandemic and have built a digital marketing strategy around the Webcast that has expanded the Walker & Dunlop brand in ways we could have never imagined. And we continued to implement innovative, actionable technology that has made Walker & Dunlop more relevant and insightful to our clients. Our technological success was demonstrated by 66% of the loans we refinanced being new loans to Walker & Dunlop. Databases and machine learning identified new loan opportunities, ran refinancing scenarios on the loans using synthetic financial statements, and positioned Walker & Dunlop bankers and brokers to win the refinancing when rates dropped. Even more, thanks to the combination of exceptional bankers and brokers, our digital media strategy, and technological innovation, 23% of our total transaction volume in 2020 was with new clients to Walker & Dunlop. That is the power of our people, brand, and technology coming together seamlessly.

As long-term investors in Walker & Dunlop know, we have an exceptional track record of establishing ambitious five-year business plans, focusing our team and resources on achieving them, and then working tirelessly in their pursuit. In 2020, we closed out Vision 2020, which had as its core goal to more than double revenues from $468 million in 2015 to over $1 billion in 2020, which we accomplished. We now have a new five-year plan called the Drive to ’25, which aims to achieve the following by the end of 2025:

  • $65 billion of debt financing volume, including $5 billion of small balance lending
  • $25 billion of property sales volume
  • $160 billion commercial mortgage servicing portfolio
  • $10 billion of assets under management as part of a broader strategy to establish investment banking capabilities

If we achieve these objectives, we will once again double revenues over a five-year period to $2 billion and generate diluted earnings per share in the range of $13 to $15.

The Drive to ’25 also includes a major focus on our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) efforts to lead our company and industry forward. On the Environment, we will remain carbon neutral, as we have been for the past four years, while also taking steps to materially reduce our carbon emissions by 2025. Socially, we will maintain our track record of exceptional human capital management and have established ambitious and defined diversity and inclusion (D&I) goals for women and minority representation in management and top wage earner positions by 2025. Importantly, and somewhat uniquely for publicly traded companies, we have tied the achievement of our D&I goals to our senior executives’ compensation. And on Governance, 44% of our current Board members are ethnically or gender diverse, generating innovative thinking, diverse decision-making, and better overall governance which has been shown to produce higher shareholder returns. While we are proud of our ESG track record, we are increasing our efforts to benefit all stakeholders – our clients, our partners, our employees, and our investors.

We enter 2021 with the strongest team, brand, and technology we have ever had. And while the challenges of 2020 are not gone, we have never felt better about Walker & Dunlop’s importance to our clients, the strength of our business model, the breadth and talent of our team, and the technology we are using every day to differentiate us from the competition.

We have the very real opportunity over the next five years to achieve our mission of becoming the premier commercial real estate finance company in the United States. That is an exciting and humbling thought. I would like to thank you for your trust, confidence, and investment in Walker & Dunlop.

William M. Walker
Chairman & CEO

(1) Mortgage Bankers Association


This shareholder letter contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities law. Please see page 3 of our 2020 Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for additional information regarding forward-looking statements.

7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1200E, Bethesda, MD 20814

Phone 301.215.5500 | Email W&D

Copyright ©2018 Walker & Dunlop, Inc. | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use













7501 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1200E

Bethesda, MD 20814

Phone 301.215.5500 | Email W&D

Copyright ©2021 Walker & Dunlop, Inc.

Privacy Policy | Terms of Use