Who is Unison?

Unison is a San Francisco-based company that is pioneering a new way to fund home purchases. We are a team of financial and real estate professionals who are committed to helping home buyers get the home they want, and home owners finance their life needs without debt.

With our Unison HomeBuyer program, we partner with buyers, investing alongside them in their home, typically contributing half of the down payment. This gives buyers more purchasing power, reduces their monthly mortgage payment and allows them to retain cash. In return, we share in the change in value of the home at the time it is sold. As a true partner, we share both the upside and downside risk with the home owner. Our Unison HomeOwner Agreement program allows existing homeowners to tap into their home equity without interest or monthly payments.

The focus of our company is on expanding opportunities available to consumers and giving them the financial flexibility to purchase the home they really want and finance important needs during their life as a homeowner. Unison is dedicated to providing consumers with financing based on partnership that will enrich their lives.

Unison Leadership

  • Thomas Sponholtz

    Thomas founded Unison in 2004 and leads the company’s overall strategic direction. He has more than 20 years’ experience building large- scale consumer finance and investment management businesses. Formerly at Barclay’s Global Investors, he held various roles including Director of Alternative Investments and co-head of Active Fixed Income including a $28 billion mortgage portfolio. Thomas is a graduate of the neils Brock International Business School.

    Thomas Sponholtz CEO & Chairman
  • Brian Elbogen

    Brian is responsible for developing the company’s consumer product offerings, driving business and market intelligence, and broadening business partnerships. Prior to joining Unison, Brian was a Senior Vice President at Two Sigma Investments, where he managed new business and product development initiatives. He also worked as a management consultant in Financial Services at Oliver Wyman. Brian graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with a B.S.E. degree in Operations Research and Financial Engineering.

    Brian Elbogen Chief Strategy Officer
  • Bill Walker

    Bill Walker is Unison’s Chief Revenue Officer. He is responsible for cultivating and developing existing direct response channels, sales operations, and business development in addition to developing new growth marketing channels. Bill comes to Unison with over 20 years of marketing and operations experience in the financial services sector. He has held executive level positions at Barclaycard, MBNA (acquired by Bank of America) and most recently was the vice president of Customer Experience at Prosper Marketplace.

    Bill Walker Chief Revenue Officer
  • Rayan Rafay

    Rayan oversees Unison’s investment portfolios. He has over ten years of investment management experience, previously serving at Teck Resources of Vancouver as Manager, Pension Investment and Financial Risk. In this role Rayan oversaw various investments for pension plans, and was responsible for managing all market-related risk. Rayan is a co-founder of Investment Frontier, an information hub for Frontier Markets. He is a CFA Charterholder, and received his Honors in International Business from the Schulich School of Business with a major in finance and a minor in Mandarin.

    Rayan Rafay Chief Operating Officer & Head of Portfolio Management
  • John Arens

    As General Counsel of Unison, John is responsible for all legal and regulatory compliance matters at the firm. Prior to joining Unison, John served as General Counsel and Vice President of Loan Operations at Funding Circle USA, a leading marketplace lender focused exclusively on small businesses. Previously, John was Legal Director and CCO for Liquid Realty Partners, a real estate private equity firm. John’s prior roles include senior management duties at Redwood Trust, a publicly traded mortgage REIT specializing the securitization of real estate loans and Dorado, an enterprise software provider for mortgage lenders and banks. John holds a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of San Diego.

    John Arens General Counsel & Managing Director of Business Operations
  • Cari Jacobs

    Cari Jacobs became Unison’s Chief Marketing Officer in 2018 and oversees all aspects of the company’s marketing activities including brand strategy and development, advertising, channel marketing, public relations, content and social media. Cari is a seasoned, strategic marketer with over two decades of combined agency and client-side experience, developing and growing world-class consumer brands across a diverse range of industries, including lifestyle apparel, energy, media and banking. Prior to Unison, Cari served in a variety of senior-level marketing roles, most recently as Vice President of Integrated Marketing at ModCloth, an innovative online retailer of women’s clothing owned by Walmart and Jet.com. Before Modcloth, she spent several years as a senior marketing leader in the solar industry, leading brand and performance marketing activities for Sungevity and Sunrun respectively. Cari’s fingerprints are also on world-class consumer brands, Lexus, GAP, FOXSports and Prudential among others, as a result of her strategic marketing work at premier advertising firms, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, Deutsch, J. Walter Thompson and Foote, Cone & Belding. Cari is a certified teacher of mindfulness and meditation. She teaches at a variety of companies throughout the Bay Area, as well as in homeless shelters where she helps single mothers change their life through personal empowerment using mediation and yoga.

    Cari Jacobs Chief Marketing Officer