Fannie and Freddie See Big Changes in Senior Management

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently announced the pending departure of key executives who helped steer the government-sponsored enterprises through major financial restatements and accounting remediation.

Fannie Mae's chief financial officer, Robert Blakely, will leave his post when Fannie Mae files its final historical financial report later this year and be replaced by Stephen Swad, the company said last week.

Mr. Swad will assume the CFO position after Fannie Mae files its 2006 10-K annual report with the SEC, the company said. Mr. Swad will be responsible for returning Fannie Mae to timely financial reporting for future periods.

Mr. Swad previously served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for AOL. He was also an executive vice president of finance and administration at Turner Entertainment Group and vice president, financial planning and analysis at Time Warner. Mr. Swad is also a former partner at KPMG and has served as deputy chief accountant at the SEC.

Mr. Swad served on a Financial Accounting Standards Board's derivatives implementation committee and helped develop SEC rules on disclosures companies have to make about financial instruments and derivatives, Fannie Mae said in announcing the appointment.

After handing over the CFO title to Mr. Swad, Mr. Blakely will remain at Fannie Mae as an executive vice president until the end of this year.

And competitor Freddie Mac - unexpectedly - is losing its second highest executive, Eugene McQuade, a man who many thought would be its next chief executive officer.

Mr. McQuade, currently serving as Freddie's president and chief operating officer, officially turned down the board's offer to be CEO.

He told reporters that he has become frustrated with the "onerous" regulatory regime the two government-sponsored enterprises face in Washington. (Both GSEs are operating under portfolio caps until they begin filing timely quarterly financial reports.)

Hired in 2004 while the GSE's accounting scandal was unfolding, the veteran banking executive will step down in September but will remain a director.

"While we are disappointed in his decision to decline that offer and move on, we respect his decision," Freddie's lead director Shaun O'Malley said.

Three years ago, newly appointed CEO and chairman Richard Syron recruited Mr. McQuade for his management team, setting out to rescue the secondary market giant from a $5 billion accounting scandal that tarnished its reputation with regulators, the investment community and seller/servicers, among others.

Freddie will immediately launch a search for a new CEO. Freddie's regulator, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, is pressing the board to separate the CEO and chairman titles, which currently are held by Mr. Syron.

During his long career, Mr. McQuade, 58, has held executive positions at Fleet Bank and Bank of America.

Freddie Mac also said last month that board member Ronald Poe is retiring. The board has nominated Nicolas Retsinas, the director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University and a former federal housing commissioner, to be a director. (c) 2007 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com http://www.sourcemedia.com

Next in News ►