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Former FHA Commissioner Carol Galante joining Ocwen's board of directors

Company also elevates Phyllis Caldwell to chair of board

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Ocwen Financial is about to add a big name to its board of directors, as the nonbank announced Friday that Carol Galante, the former commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration, is set to join the company’s board.

According to a release from Ocwen, Galante, who served as FHA commissioner from 2011-2014, will join Ocwen’s board of directors as an independent director “effective as of the day following the filing of Ocwen’s Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Ocwen, as are all other publicly traded companies, to file their yearly financial statements in the form of a 10-K with the SEC within 90 days of the end of the year, meaning Galante will be joining Ocwen’s board sometime in the first quarter of 2016.

Galante left the FHA in August 2014, leaving behind a large impact at FHA.

When Galante left, David Stevens, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association and Galante’s predecessor at the FHA, said that her departure was a “great loss” for the industry.

After leaving the FHA, Galante became the I. Donald Terner Distinguished Professor in Affordable Housing and Urban Policy and the Faculty Director of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley.

Galante also co-chairs the Policy Advisory Board of the Fisher Center of Real Estate and Urban Economics.

Prior to joining the FHA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Galante served as president and chief executive officer of BRIDGE Housing Corporation, a non-profit developer of affordable, mixed-income and mixed-use developments in California.

Galante becomes Ocwen’s tenth board member, with nine independent directors joining Ocwen’s president and chief executive officer, Ronald Faris, on the company’s board.

In an SEC filing accompanying the release announcing Galante’s appointment, Galante will serve on Ocwen’s board until the company’s next annual meeting of shareholders, which is in May, and until her successor is “duly elected and qualified.”

Ocwen said that Galante will receive compensation for her services as a director in accordance with the company’s standard compensation program for non-management directors, meaning that she will be paid an annual retainer of $70,000 and given an annual award of restricted shares of common stock valued at $100,000.

“We are also very excited to announce the appointment of Carol Galante to our Board of Directors,” Faris said. “We are confident that Carol’s housing, mortgage and policy expertise will contribute to meeting our long-term goals and serve the interests of all our stakeholders.”

According to Ocwen’s SEC filing, Ocwen will be expanding its board to 11 members.

In addition to naming Galante to the company’s board, Ocwen also announced that it is elevating Phyllis Caldwell from her current role as an independent director to serve as chair of the company’s board of directors.

Caldwell will replace Barry Wish as chair of the board of directors. Wish informed the company that he does not wish to stand for re-election at the company’s shareholder meeting.

Ocwen said that the board made this change to “provide for a smooth and orderly transition” after Wish chose to step down.

Caldwell joined Ocwen’s board in January 2015 as an independent director.

Prior to joining Ocwen’s board, Caldwell served as Chief of the Homeownership Preservation Office at the U.S. Department of the Treasury from November 2009 to December 2011, where she was responsible for oversight of the U.S. housing market stabilization, economic recovery, and foreclosure prevention initiatives established through the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Earlier in her career, Caldwell held various leadership roles during her 11 years at Bank of America, which she retired from in 2007. Her last role at Bank of America was as president of community development banking.

Caldwell is currently the Chair of the Independent Review Committee of Ocwen’s Board of Directors and a member of the Nomination/Governance Committee, Compliance Committee and Executive Committee.

“Serving on Ocwen’s Board of Directors has been a pleasure and honor,” Wish said.

“I am extremely pleased that Phyllis will be assuming this leadership role at such an important time for the company,” Wish continued. “Phyllis’ character, deep experience in the housing and mortgage markets, and commitment to borrowers and communities makes her the right choice to move Ocwen forward and emerge as a stronger company with the highest standards in our industry.”

Additionally, Ocwen announced that William Lacy, who has served on Ocwen’s board since 2002, also told the company that he doesn’t wish to stand for re-election later this year.

“We thank both Barry Wish and Bill Lacy for their many years of leadership and service,” Faris said.

“While both Barry’s and Bill’s leadership and expertise will be greatly missed, we look forward to the company’s next chapter under our new Chair Phyllis Caldwell,” Faris added. “I have worked closely with Phyllis over the last year, and she has an ideal blend of experience and knowledge of the mortgage and housing sectors as well as a keen focus on best practices for corporate governance.”

(Correction: A previous version of this article referenced Ronald Faris as the founder of Ocwen. William Erbey is the founder of Ocwen.)


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