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Fannie Mae President David Benson to retire as GSE announces leadership changes

Benson will step down from his leadership position in early to mid-2024 after 21 years at the company

Fannie Mae announced a slew of leadership changes following the expected retirement of two senior executives. President David Benson will step down from his position in early to mid-2024 after 21 years at the company.

Benson served in a wide range of roles, including interim CEO, chief financial officer, executive vice president (EVP) of capital markets and treasurer. 

Chief Administrative Officer Jeffrey Hayward will retire Dec. 31, ending a 36-year stint with Fannie Mae. Hayward’s positions included EVP of multifamily and senior vice president of the national servicing organization.

“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,” Michael Heid, chair of Fannie Mae’s board of directors, said.

CEO Priscilla Almodovar, who joined Fannie Mae in 2022, will assume the additional title of president, Fannie Mae said. Almodovar will directly manage the single-family and multi-family units in her expanded capacity.

“I’m honored and I’m excited about the path forward,” Almodovar said. “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.”

General Counsel Terry Theologides will succeed Hayward as chief administrative officer. 

Theologides has been general counsel and 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, Theologides will be responsible for a broad range of Fannie Mae’s operations, including economic and strategic research, government and industry relations and marketing.

The government-sponsored enterprise also announced that Danielle McCoy will become the new general counsel and corporate secretary, succeeding Theologides. McCoy currently serves as Fannie Mae’s senior vice president, deputy general counsel and deputy corporate secretary.

“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,” Federal Housing Finance Agency director Sandra Thompson, said in a statement.

Fannie Mae is navigating a notoriously difficult market environment. With mortgage rates at their highest levels in decades, the GSE’s economists forecast single-family mortgage originations to decline to $1.6 trillion in 2023, down from $2.4 trillion in 2022.

The agency’s economic and strategic research group continues to forecast a modest recession in the first half of 2024.

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