Former FHA Chief Galante Joins Ocwen Board of Directors

Friday morning, Ocwen Financial Corporation (NYSE: OCN) announced it has added former Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Carol J. Galante to serve on its Board of Directors.

Effective the day after Ocwen files its 2015 Annual Report on Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Galante will serve on the Board until the company’s next annual meeting of shareholders and until her successor is duly elected and qualified, according to a Form 8-K Ocwen filed with the SEC.

Galante, 61, currently serves as the I. Donald Terner Distinguished Professor in Affordable Housing and Urban Policy and the Faculty Director of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation and the Co-Chair of the Policy Advisory Board of the Fisher Center of Real Estate and Urban Economics at the University of California, Berkeley.

Most recently, Galante served in the Obama Administration as FHA Commissioner and as Assistant Secretary for Housing from July 2011 to October 2014.

Under her leadership, FHA made some of the most significant changes to the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program, including the development and passage of the Reverse Mortgage Stabilization Act of 2013, along with changes to Principal Limit Factors and the early pioneering of the Financial Assessment.

Prior to her role as FHA chief, Galante served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the agency’s Office of Multifamily Housing programs from May 2009 to July 2011. Prior to that, she served as President and CEO of BRIDGE Housing Corporation, a non-profit developer of affordable, mixed-income and mixed-use developments in California from 1996-2009.

In her position on Ocwen’s Board, Galante will receive compensation for her services as a director in accordance with the company’s standard compensation program for non-managemen directors, which provides for an annual retainer of $70,000 paid in cash and an annual award of restricted shares of common stock valued at $100,000.

“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,” said Ocwen President and CEO Ronald Faris in a written statement.

With the appointment of Galante, Ocwen’s Boad will consist of nine independent directors along with Faris.

The company also announced several other major changes to its Board of Directors on Friday.

Effective March 15, 2016, current independent director Phyllis R. Caldwell will replace Barry N. Wish as Chair of Ocwen’s Board of Directors.

The move comes following Wish’s intention to not stand for re-election at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in May. On a similar note, William H. Lacy, Ocwen Board member since 2002, also informed the company that he does not wish to stand for re-election at the annual meeting.

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

Caldwell joined Ocwen’s Board of Directors in January 2015. A finance and economic development advisor, Caldwell previously served as the Chief of Homeownership Preservation Office at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, 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 (TARP).

Currently, Caldwell serves as the Chair of the Independent Review Committee of Ocwen’s Board and is also a member of the company’s Nomination/Governance Committee, Compliance Committee and Executive Committee.

“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,” Faris said in a prepared statement.

Both Wish and Lacy intend to continue serving as directors until Ocwen’s annual shareholder meeting this May.

Written by Jason Oliva

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