Closing Complex Loans Faster With a Digitized Client Workflow

Join us for a discussion on changes in market demographics, suppliers and how focusing on customer experience and a few simple steps during the mortgage loan process can close deals 3x faster.

engage.marketing event: All eyes on purchase

To help power your business forward, we’re bringing together the smartest minds in purchase mortgage marketing to share the insights, tactics and strategies that set leaders apart.

Home appraisal’s ugly history and uncertain future

This is Part I of a deep dive into the home appraisal industry. Today we explore the origins of the appraisal industry and its current lack of diversity.

The digital journey starts at acquisition

Download this white paper to learn how to build a tech-enabled acquisition strategy that will directly contribute to a lender’s ability to maximize profitability and remain competitive.

Politics & Money

Behind the executive exodus at Fannie Mae

Restricted salaries loom large, but other factors also contribute to talent drain

Mark Calabria & Hugh Frater
FHFA Director Mark Calabria and Fannie Mae CEO Hugh Frater (left to right)

High-level departures from Fannie Mae show no signs of abating.

Celeste Mellet Brown, Fannie Mae’s chief financial officer, is the latest executive to depart the government sponsored entity. Brown’s 2020 compensation, despite a strict salary cap imposed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, was $2.3 million, making her the third-highest paid employee at the company.

Some observers believe the string of executive walkouts is the result of a simple calculus: an experienced, talented executive can make far more money elsewhere.

That’s certainly true in Mellet Brown’s case. At Evercore, where she will assume the role of chief financial officer by the end of the year, she will earn twice what she made at Fannie Mae. In addition to a $500,000 base salary and $3.75 million annual incentive bonus, Brown will receive $2.6 million in stocks over the next four years, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Her employment agreement even offers to make up for deferred compensation from Fannie Mae if it exceeds $600,000.

Few could resist such a pay hike. (“They have families,” one former employee told HousingWire.)

Fannie Mae is keenly aware of the risk of executive attrition due to its sub-par compensation levels. The limits, which cap base salaries at $600,000, place it “at a disadvantage compared to many other companies in attracting and retaining executives,” the company told investors in its most recent annual report.

The filing goes on to note that if there were “several high-level departures at approximately the same time,” its ability to conduct business could be adversely affected. Several of the executives who recently left had spent decades at Fannie Mae.  

A spokesperson for the company said that such changes are a natural part of corporate life and Fannie Mae is no exception. The spokesperson added that in addition to the strong executive leadership team at Fannie Mae, there is a strong bench to support them.

This content is exclusively for HW+ members.

Start an HW+ Membership now for less than $1 a day.

Your HW+ Membership includes:

  • Unlimited access to HW+ articles and analysis
  • Exclusive access to the HW+ Slack community and virtual events
  • HousingWire Magazine delivered to your home or office
  • Become a member today

    Already a member? log in

    Most Popular Articles

    Fannie Mae, and the housing market’s inflation problem

    Another month of steadily increasing home prices and insatiable demand led Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research Group to alter many of its 2021 predictions – in particular, its outlook on the symbiotic relationship between the housing market and inflation measures.

    Jun 16, 2021 By

    Latest Articles

    Doug Duncan and the housing market’s supply conundrum

    The housing market has suffered due to high material prices, spend-anything buyers & a lack of supply. A return to normalcy will require big changes. HW+ Premium Content

    Jun 18, 2021 By
    3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

    Log In

    Forgot Password?

    Don't have an account? Please