Fannie Mae Board Chair Sheila Bair Announces Leadership Transitions: Michael J. Heid to Succeed her as New Chair, David C. Benson to Succeed Hugh Frater as Chief Executive Officer (Interim)
WASHINGTON, DC – Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTQB) Board Chair Sheila C. Bair has announced her decision to resign effective May 1, and that the Board has unanimously elected Michael J. Heid to succeed her. In addition, the Board has appointed company President David C. Benson to the additional role of Interim Chief Executive Officer and Board member, effective May 1, 2022, subject to final Federal Housing Finance Agency approval. He will succeed CEO Hugh R. Frater, who has also announced his decision to retire and resign from the Board.
“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,” said outgoing Chair Bair. “Unfortunately, I have found it difficult to meet the substantial time demands of this position while fulfilling my other Board and advisory responsibilities. I am very proud of this organization’s many innovations to promote sustainable homeownership, including streamlined refinancings for low-income households, use of rental data in underwriting, and a more progressive fee structure. I am deeply appreciative of Hugh Frater’s leadership over the past 3.5 years. He has provided stellar service and will be sorely missed. 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 person to continue and build on our mission work. And Dave’s steady hand will help guide the enterprise into the next chapter of its history, as we transition to new leadership to meet the challenges that lie ahead.”
“Sheila has distinguished herself by her hard work, intelligence and above all else her passion for Fannie Mae’s important mission. We thank her for her dedicated service and wish her well in her future endeavors,” said Hugh Frater, outgoing Chief Executive Officer. “I also want to welcome Mike Heid as our new Chair and Dave Benson as my successor. Mike brings unrivaled knowledge of the mortgage markets, and commitment to our mission, vision, and leadership as we continue to provide equitable and sustainable access to affordable homeownership and rental housing. 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. Given the strides we have made on so many fronts, this is the right time to transition to a new CEO. Dave knows this company better than anyone else and will provide outstanding leadership, together with our new Board Chair Mike Heid, as the entire enterprise works together to build a more sustainable housing finance market that better serves people across America.”
“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. This is a pivotal time for Fannie Mae, and I look forward to working with Dave, the exceptional Fannie Mae team, and with my colleagues on the Board in service of homeowners and renters across the country,” said Michael Heid, incoming Chair of the Board.
Heid served as Executive Vice President (Home Lending) of Wells Fargo & Company from 1997 to his retirement in January 2016. He served in a number of positions at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, the mortgage banking division of Wells Fargo, including as president from 2011 to September 2015, as co-president from 2004 to 2011, and earlier as chief financial officer and head of Loan Servicing. Heid was employed by Wells Fargo or its predecessors since 1988. He also currently serves on the Board of Roosevelt Management Company and the Advisory Board for Home Partners of America and Promontory MortgagePath.
David Benson is currently Fannie Mae’s President responsible for leading the development and execution of the strategic plan for the organization, as well as leading the Single-Family and Multifamily businesses, and will continue in that role. He has served in a number of executive positions during his 20 years at Fannie Mae, including as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He also serves on the Board of Managers of Common Securitization Solutions, a Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac joint venture.
The Board of Directors also announced that it plans to conduct a national search for a permanent CEO.
Separately, Fannie Mae also announced the resignation of Antony Jenkins from the Board, effective May 1, 2022, who also cited time commitments as the reason for his departure. Outgoing Board Chair Sheila Bair commented, “I would also like to thank Antony Jenkins for his leadership and contributions to the Board. His background as a top financial executive, combined with his unrivaled expertise in financial technology, have been hugely beneficial to the enterprise.”
Bair is the former Chair of the FDIC and Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, who serves as a Board member or advisor to several companies and nonprofits. She joined the Board in August 2019 and became Chair in November 2020. Jenkins is the founder and Executive Chair of 10xFuture Technologies, after having served in top banking positions, including CEO of Barclays PLC. He joined the Board in July 2018.
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