Institutional Investor Magazine has named Timothy Howard -- who resigned from beleaguered Fannie Mae late last year amid accounting concerns -- as the top mortgage-related chief financial officer.
The investment publication announced Monday the top finance CFOs of 2004 in its second annual ranking of America's Best CFOs.
Howard surprisingly made the list in spite of his resignation in December after Fannie went through a series of accounting practice examinations by it regulator, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, and by the Securities and Exchange Commission. At the time of his resignation, OFHEO had found Fannie was "significantly undercapitalized."
The regulator said Fannie's improper accounting was in part due to "an inordinate concentration of responsibility vested" in Howard.
To compile the ranking, the magazine said it asked portfolio managers and brokerage firm research analysts to name the best American CFOs in 62 industries. Many of the winners make critical business decisions and help set corporate strategy -- a role once filled by chief operating officers, it said.
"Excellence in financial functions is still at the core of the CFO's job, especially with the added burden of ensuring Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance," said the magazine's editor Michael Carroll in the announcement. "But many of today's top CFOs are taking on additional duties as business operators."
Other top CFOs for mortgage-related entities included: Robert Kelly of Wachovia Corp. in the banks/large-cap category; Michael Pinto of M&T Bank Corp. in the banks/midcap category; David Viniar of Goldman Sachs Group in the category of brokers and asset managers; and the specialty finance category was topped by Gary Crittenden of American Express, which originates mortgages through American Express Bank, FSB.