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Fannie Mae taps Priscilla Almodovar as new CEO

Former JPMorgan co-head of real estate was most recently CEO of Enterprise Community Partners

Nearly six months after CEO Hugh Frater announced his resignation, Fannie Mae has found a permanent replacement. Priscilla Almodovar, the president and CEO of national housing nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners, will take the helm of the mortgage finance behemoth on Dec. 5.

David Benson will continue to serve as interim CEO until Almodovar takes the reins. Benson will remain the president of Fannie Mae.

Almodovar, a former managing director at JPMorgan Chase who co-led its real estate division for five years, has served as CEO of Enterprise Community Partners since 2019.

“Priscilla’s vast experience in large, complex businesses and her commitment to affordable housing makes her an ideal choice to further Fannie Mae’s mission to facilitate equitable and sustainable access to homeownership and quality affordable rental housing across America,” Michael Heid, who chairs Fannie Mae’s board of directors, said in a statement.

A lawyer by trade, Almodovar was president and CEO of the New York State Housing Finance Agency earlier in her career. She will receive a base salary of $600,000 per year, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“It’s an honor to join Fannie Mae and lead the company as it carries out its vital role in the housing finance market and works to help ensure that equitable, affordable housing is available to people in communities across the country,” Almodovar said in a prepared statement on Thursday.

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Fannie Mae has lost a slew of executive talent in recent years, which sources have attributed to a stifling work environment, better pay in the private sector and limit chances of leaving conservatorship.

In April, Frater and Sheila Bair, the chair of its board, both announced their resignations effective May 1. Antony Jenkins, the vice chair of the board’s nominating and corporate governance committee, also resigned in May.

The government sponsored enterprise is navigating one of the most difficult market environments in its history. With mortgage rates at their highest levels in decades, Fannie Mae’s economists forecast the mortgage market to decline from $4 trillion in 2021 to about $2.44 trillion this year. It will likely slip even further to $2.17 trillion in 2023.

The agency’s Economic and Strategic Research Group continues to forecast 0.0% real GDP growth on a full-year basis through 2022, but it revised downward its expectations for 2023 growth by one-tenth of a percentage point to negative 0.5%. 

In a statement issued Thursday, Enterprise Community Partners said it would conduct a national search to replace Almodovar. Until a replacement is identified, Lori Chatman, the president of Enterprise’s capital division, and Drew Warshaw, Enterprise’s chief operating officer, will serve as interim co-CEOs. 

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