Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fannie Mae CEO to Resign

Michael Williams has decided to step down from his position as CEO and president of Fannie Mae, the GSE announced Tuesday.

Williams was appointed to the top post at Fannie Mae in 2009, after the company was placed in federal conservatorship. He will continue as CEO and as a director until Fannie Mae’s board names a successor, the GSE said in a statement.

Under Williams’ leadership, Fannie Mae has enabled six million households to refinance into a lower cost mortgage, 1.7 million homeowners to purchase a home, and provided financing for nearly one million units of affordable rental housing.

In addition, the company has built a stronger new book of business. This new book, which consists of loans purchased or guaranteed since January 2009, is nearly 50 percent of the company’s overall book of business.

Through its loss mitigation efforts, nearly one million homeowners have avoided foreclosure, while Fannie Mae
has helped to stabilize neighborhoods and reduce credit losses on its legacy (pre-2009) book of business.

Williams joined Fannie Mae in 1991 after tenures with KPMG Peat Marwick and Dupont. He led the company’s eCommerce and eBusiness divisions, including the development of the Desktop Underwriter product, which became a standard for the housing finance industry.

Williams was appointed COO in 2005 and was responsible for overseeing the company’s financial restatement and accounting and control reforms pre-conservatorship.

Edward DeMarco, acting director of the GSE’s regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), said his organization will work closely with Fannie Mae’s board of directors in searching for a new CEO.

“Mr. Williams’ leadership was instrumental in guiding Fannie Mae through the transition into conservatorship and in directing Fannie Mae’s efforts to enhance loss mitigation strategies, including loan modification and refinance options to help struggling homeowners,” DeMarco said.

“As conservator, I am grateful for Mr. Williams’ steadfast dedication to ensuring Fannie Mae meets its public mission of providing stability, liquidity, and affordability to housing finance while both leading his company and working with government officials to that end,” DeMarco added.

With the start of a new year, both GSEs are looking to fill their top posts. Freddie Mac’s CEO Charles Haldeman Jr. notified his board of directors back in October that he intends to step down in 2012. He has committed to stay on until a succession plan has been put in place.

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