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It's official: Donald Layton is new Freddie Mac CEO

The former head of online brokerage firm E*Trade Financial, Donald Layton, is the next CEO of the government-sponsored enterprise Freddie Mac.

The announcement, now made official by Freddie Mac, was expected for sometime.

Layton led E*Trade in 2008 and 2009. During his reign, E*Trade was a top 50 mortgage servicer, with $18 billion worth of mortgages serviced in 2009 and $23 billion in 2008.

Layton will replace Charles "Ed" Haldeman. Haldeman has not given an official reason for his resignation, though in repeated conversations with HousingWire his disatissfication with the slow timeframe of change at the GSE appeared to play a large role in his decision.

"Don brings strong executive leadership and a deep understanding of financial markets at a pivotal time for Freddie Mac," said Christopher S. Lynch, Freddie Mac's nonexecutive chairman. "His operating experience, analytical rigor and boundless energy make Don the right leader to continue our important work of supporting the nation's housing market and helping America's families, and to guide Freddie Mac in helping build a stronger framework for the future of housing finance."

Layton also resigned from the board of directors of American International Group (AIG), the company said Thursday, due to his appointment as Freddie CEO. He joined the board in 2010. Layton retains his chair at Partnership for the Homeless, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing NYC homelessness.

Haldeman joined Freddie in July 2009 after leaving the investment adviser firm Putnam Funds, where he was chairman for one year. He became CEO of Putnam in 2003 to reorganize the firm and improve policies after a series of probes into its business practices.

He was brought in to do the same at Freddie Mac, which was taken into conservatorship in September 2008.

Recently Haldeman broke the news that Freddie Mac would be open to principal reductions while at HousingWire's REthink Symposium.

jgaffney@housingwire.com

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