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Fannie Mae President David Benson to Retire

David C. Benson, President, Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae has announced a series of leadership changes following decisions by two veteran executives that they will soon retire from the company.

President David C. Benson announced that he will retire in early to mid-2024 after 21 years of serving in a wide range of positions, including Interim CEO, CFO, EVP–Capital Markets, and Treasurer.

In addition to Benson’s retirement, Chief Administrative Officer Jeffery R. Hayward announced his intention to retire as of December 31, 2023, after 36 years with Fannie Mae during which he also led the company’s Multifamily business and its National Servicing Organization.

Upon Benson’s departure, CEO Priscilla Almodovar, who joined the company last year, will assume the additional title of President. In this expanded capacity, she will directly manage the company’s two business units: Single-Family, led by EVP Malloy Evans, and Multifamily, led by EVP Michele Evans.

"Dave Benson and Jeff Hayward have each brought an enormous amount of leadership and technical expertise to Fannie Mae in their decades of service," said Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Sandra L. Thompson. "Their many contributions have positioned Fannie Mae to excel in serving its mission of providing affordable and sustainable housing to creditworthy homeowners and renters while also ensuring the safety and soundness of the Enterprise. I am confident that Fannie Mae, under Priscilla’s leadership, will build upon their efforts and effectively fulfill this mission, and I congratulate Terry and Danielle on their well-deserved new roles. I wish Dave and Jeff the best in their future endeavors, and I look forward to working with Fannie Mae’s leadership to ensure a smooth transition.​"

Current General Counsel Terry Theologides will succeed Hayward as Chief Administrative Officer. The company also announced that Danielle McCoy will become the new General Counsel & Corporate Secretary. McCoy currently serves as SVP, Deputy General Counsel & Deputy Corporate Secretary.

Theologides has been General Counsel & Corporate Secretary for more than four years, and previously served in senior roles at CoreLogic and Morgan Stanley’s mortgage businesses. As Chief Administrative Officer, he will be responsible for a broad range of Fannie Mae’s operations, including Economic & Strategic Research, the ESG team, Government & Industry Relations, Legal, and Marketing & Communications.

“We’re deeply grateful to both Dave and Jeff for their leadership and decades of service,” said Michael J. Heid, Chair of Fannie Mae’s Board of Directors. “As they depart, we are implementing our succession plans and streamlining our leadership structure to continue advancing our strategy and our mission to serve homeowners, renters, and the housing market as a whole. The Board is very pleased that Priscilla will take on this greater role, drawing on her wide-ranging experience and proven commitment to our mission.”

As President of the GSE, Benson is responsible for several corporate functions, including information technology, human resources, and communications. He also serves on the Board of Managers of Common Securitization Solutions, a Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac joint venture. From May 2022 until December 2022, Benson concurrently served as Fannie Mae’s Interim CEO and President, and a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to being appointed Fannie Mae’s President in 2018, Benson was EVP and CFO. Before joining Fannie Mae in 2002, Benson was a Managing Director in the Fixed-Income Division of Merrill Lynch & Co. During his 14-year tenure, he held leadership positions in risk management, fixed-income and currency trading, debt syndication, and e-commerce based in New York and London.

“I’m honored and I’m excited about the path forward,” said Almodovar. “Fannie Mae is well-prepared for these transitions thanks to thoughtful succession planning and the strong leadership corps that Dave, Jeff, and others have helped develop through the years. Dave’s and Jeff’s achievements have left a lasting imprint on our company and our industry, and we are grateful for their leadership and contributions. Our bench of leaders is deep, and I look forward to continuing to grow our talent and working with Terry and Danielle in their new roles.”

In his role as Chief Administrative Officer, Hayward is responsible for all of Fannie Mae’s mission-critical work on affordable housing and Environmental, Social, and Governance, and leads the Human Resources and Enterprise Workplace functions. He has held this position since August 2020. From 2012-2020, Hayward was Fannie Mae’s EVP and Head of Multifamily, responsible for all of the company’s multifamily business functions. Previously, Hayward was SVP—National Servicing Organization, responsible for the company’s relationships with mortgage servicers, with a focus on curtailing credit losses.

Hayward also led Fannie Mae’s Community Lending organization and was responsible for five business areas that provided debt and equity financing to help increase and preserve the nation’s supply of affordable rental and for-sale housing. In this role, he managed the company’s overall relationship with the Housing Finance Agencies and worked closely with the National Council of State Housing Agencies and its members. Additionally, he led this organization’s efforts to create housing for the homeless, invest in rural and Native American communities, and rebuild along the Gulf Coast.

Since joining Fannie Mae in 1987, Hayward has served in a variety of other roles, including as VP—Single-Family Risk Management; VP—Single-Family Operations; VP—Single-Family Mortgage Business; and SVP—Single-Family National Business Center. Earlier in his career, Hayward was VP—Production at Star States Mortgage Corporation and Assistant VP—Residential Lending at Germantown Savings Bank.

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.

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