As a 30-year veteran of financial services, Mike Hutchins was the right person to lead Freddie Mac through a challenging time in the housing market. Over the last 12 months, Hutchins has built Freddie Mac’s financial strength while ensuring the company served as a critical source of liquidity and stability to the housing market in a very difficult economic climate. Hutchins was a driving force in the strategy that led to the revival of the credit-risk transfer market after a period of difficulty early in the pandemic. He has led the company as it provided unprecedented support to a surging single-family purchase and refinance market, and he has overseen an extraordinary effort to support renters, borrowers and lenders adversely affected by COVID-19.
Hutchins led internal decisions and oversaw the company’s external efforts to reach out and provide assistance to struggling borrowers, renters and lenders. Under his leadership, Freddie Mac has helped more than 900,000 at-risk homeowners and renters remain in their homes while supporting a vibrant U.S. housing finance system that remained a source of strength for the national economy. During the early days of the pandemic, the credit-risk transfer markets endured a period of uncertainty, with key players abandoning the market. Thanks in part to Hutchins’ oversight of Freddie Mac’s CRT strategy, the company remained in the CRT market, after only a three-month lull. This strategy re-energized the market and drew record participants to its offerings, having its biggest year ever in 2020. Today, Freddie Mac has transferred credit risk on more than $2 trillion in single-family mortgages since the inception of the CRT program.
What has been the secret to your success?
“I strive to be a ‘micro-understander,’ but not a ‘micromanager.’ Understanding the details of a business as complicated as purchasing mortgages, securitizing and hedging them is important to making the best short-term and long-term decisions.”