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After 33 years at MGIC, Curt Culver Moves On, Looks Back

Scott Paulus
Milwaukee Business Journal

The Milwaukee-based private mortgage insurer, MGIC, reported a fourth quarter profit yesterday. 

That represents the latest installment in a significant turnaround for the company, which was hit hard as the housing bubble burst in the second half of the last decade.

The company reported income of nearly $252 million for 2014 – compared to a loss of almost $50 million the year before. And it means the company is in improving shape as its longtime leader plans to step down in just over a month. 

Curt Culver has been with the company since 1982 – the last 15 years as its Chairman and CEO. Culver’s name is, of course, well-known in Wisconsin – his brother leads the fast food company that bears the family name. 

Culver joined Lake Effect's Mitch Teich recently for the latest in a series of interviews recorded at the University Club of Milwaukee to discuss the company's struggles during the market crash, its recent recovery and his journey as its leader.

"From my standpoint, it just was the right thing to do...Captain of the ship - you either get it sailing or you go down with it. It wasn't looking too bright...we just kept having decisions and the economy going against us it seemed for so long," Culver said.

"We need to get back to people waiting till they can afford to get into a home to do it," he said. "But when they can, I would say it's the neighborhood schools and all the things that go along with home ownership are really blessings for the community."

Curt Culver will retire March 1 as the Executive Chairman and CEO of MGIC Investment Corporation. He’ll stay on as non-executive chair as the company transitions to new leadership under Patrick Sinks. 

Audrey is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.