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PenFed Realty to acquire Wichita’s Dinning-Beard

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, at 12:36 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, at 7:04 a.m.

Willie Kihle said he and Mona Stein weren’t actively looking to sell their real estate firm, Prudential Dinning-Beard, when officials from the PenFed Group came calling.

But the prospect of being part of a fledgling real estate brokerage that is building a nationwide presence – and a subsidiary of the nation’s second largest credit union – made a union with Prudential PenFed Realty “a no brainer,” Kihle said Thursday.

Officials from Prudential PenFed Realty, a subsidiary of Pentagon Federal Credit Union, which is based in Alexandria, Va., expect to close Friday on the acquisition of Dinning-Beard, which has two Wichita offices and 275 agents.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The deal includes retaining Kihle as regional president and Stein as regional executive vice president. Kihle and Stein have owned Dinning-Beard since 2001, when they purchased the firm from Barry West.

The firm will continue to operate under the Dinning-Beard name, said James Schenck, president of the PenFed Group.

Schenck was in Wichita on Thursday, as were two other PenFed executives, Tom Carruthers III, PenFed Group vice president of mergers and acquisitions, and Shashi Vohara, PenFed Group executive vice president.

Schenck said that PenFed approached Kihle and Stein because their company is “profitable and well-run.”

The Dinning-Beard acquisition is one of several real estate brokerage acquisitions PenFed has made this year, said Carruthers and Schenck; others were in Kentucky and Florida.

With the Dinning-Beard acquisition, PenFed Realty has 1,400 agents in 47 locations, including San Antonio, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee and Washington, D.C.

Schenck said PenFed Realty was launched by Pentagon FCU in 2006 as a means to serve members of the $15 billion-asset credit union.

Almost half of the credit union members are active duty military, Homeland Security employees or federal contractors who tend to move frequently because of their jobs, Schenck said.

As a consequence of its members frequently moving to new cities and federal installations, PenFed Realty has an active relocation services business, from which Dinning-Beard agents will benefit, he said.

Dinning-Beard’s Stein thinks so too. She also said the agents will benefit from additional “tools” a larger firm provides.

“We’re just very excited to partner with someone who can grow us and take us to the next level,” she said.

Competitors were still processing Thursday what, if anything, the deal means to their companies.

John McKenzie, broker and owner of Coldwell Banker Plaza Real Estate, said he didn’t know much about PenFed Realty, but added that for Kihle and Stein the deal “probably makes a lot of sense.”

Gary Walker, vice president and general manager of the residential division for J.P. Weigand & Sons, said it was a smart move by PenFed to retain Kihle and Stein “because they know the market.”

“They are very highly respected in the real estate community, both from a professional standpoint and an integrity standpoint,” Walker said.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com.

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