California-based mortgage lender loanDepot has named Joseph Grassi, an industry veteran who spent two decades at Fannie Mae, as its chief risk officer, the company announced Monday.
The executive will enhance the mortgage lender’s risk management program, aligning loanDepot’s initiatives with those of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), according to the company.
Starting immediately in the position, Grassi will report directly to loanDepot’s CEO Frank Martell, who joined the company in April when founder Anthony Hsieh became executive chairman.
“Responding to identified risks and continuing to effectively anticipate enterprise risks will be critical to position the company for long-term growth and revenue generation,” Martell said in a news release.
Grassi spent 20 years at Fannie Mae, from 1994 to 2014, with his last position as a chief legal officer.
He left Fannie Mae to hold leadership roles in companies such as Prospect Mortgage, Guaranteed Rate and Celebrity Home Loans. He was also deputy general counsel for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
As the mortgage world becomes more technologically interconnected, the risks to cybersecurity, data and infosecurity increase. These risks should be top-of-mind for mortgage professionals, as evidenced by recent changes at Freddie Mac that emphasize risk mitigation and cybersecurity efforts.
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Grassi said in a statement he looks forward to “working with Frank and his entire leadership team at loanDepot to deliver on the company’s vision of becoming an increasingly purpose-driven organization,” according to the news release.
Like its peers, loanDepot has faced headwinds in the mortgage market. Rising mortgage rates led to declines in originations. The company’s rate lock volume in the second quarter of 2022 dropped to $19.5 billion, down 35% from the previous quarter.
From April to June, loanDepot had a $223.8 million loss, more than double the $91.3 million loss in the first quarter of 2022. To adapt, the company is exiting the wholesale and non-delegated correspondent channels.
The company is also eliminating 4,800 jobs. As of July 12, the company had 8,500 employees.