Fannie Mae CEO and board members to exit

The mortgage giant names possible successors

Fannie Mae CEO and board members to exit

Fannie Mae has revealed that its CEO and director, Hugh Frater, will retire next month, along with two other board members – former FDIC chairman Sheila Bair and Antony Jenkins.

Announcing his imminent departure, Frater said this is the right time to transition to a new CEO. “When I became CEO in 2019, I committed to the board I would remain for three years, and it has been the privilege of a lifetime to lead this organization,” he said.

In a SEC filing, the mortgage giant noted that Frater will retire and resign from its board of directors effective May 01. Frater was named CEO of Fannie Mae in March 2019. Before that, the mortgage executive served as interim CEO starting in October 2018.

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Succeeding Frater on an interim basis is company president David Benson. During his 20-year tenure at Fannie, Benson has served in several C-suite positions, including executive vice president and chief financial officer. He is also currently a member of the board of managers at Common Securitization Solutions, a Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac joint venture.

The board of directors announced that it plans to conduct a national search for a permanent CEO.

Outgoing board chair Sheila Bair will be replaced by Michael Heid, who worked in Wells Fargo Home Mortgage for 10 years before retiring in 2016. Separately, Fannie Mae announced that board member Antony Jenkins will also resign. Both Bair and Jenkins cited time commitments as the reason for their departure.

“I’ve been privileged to serve this institution and its dedicated employees as we have remained relentlessly focused on the needs of homeowners and renters through a pandemic, tumultuous market conditions, and a transition in administrations,” Bair said. “Unfortunately, I have found it difficult to meet the substantial time demands of this position while fulfilling my other board and advisory responsibilities.”

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“But Fannie Mae will be in good hands going forward. Mike Heid will be outstanding as the next chair of Fannie Mae, as will Dave Benson as our interim CEO. Mike’s expertise in housing finance, combined with his leadership as chair of the community responsibility and sustainability committee, make him the right choice.”

“I am honored to be selected as chair of this outstanding board and grateful to Sheila and Hugh for their phenomenal leadership during these unprecedented times,” said Heid. “This is a pivotal time for Fannie Mae, and I look forward to working with Dave, the exceptional Fannie Mae team, and my colleagues on the board in service of homeowners and renters across the country.”