Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, or MERS, appointed an independent director with a meaty background in fair lending to its board of directors. MERS confirmed Thursday that Edward Kramer, executive vice president of regulatory programs at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services, is the company's latest independent director. There are six members on the MERS board and only one independent role. "It is my hope that bringing 30+ years of experience in the financial markets as both a banker-lender and a regulator will help in important decisioning at MERS," Kramer told HousingWire. Kramer brings an expansive background to the position, including six years spent at the New York State Banking Department, where he served as deputy superintendent of banks in charge of the consumer services division. In his role at the banking department, Kramer oversaw fair lending examinations and consumer compliance. The MERS system was designed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and major lenders in the 1990s to track the servicing and assignment of mortgages through the securitization process. Kramer will sit on the board with other key industry players, including David H. Stevens, president and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association; Marianne Sullivan, senior vice president of Fannie Mae; Bill Beckmann, president and CEO of MERS, Albert Celini, vice president of single family, operations and technology for Freddie Mac and Kurt Pfotenhauer, CEO of American Land Title Association. Write to Kerri Panchuk.