Mortgage Daily

Published On: July 21, 2009
Harvard MBA to Head FreddieCharles E. Haldeman Jr. named CEO, director

July 21, 2009

By staff

Freddie Mac has hired a Harvard M.B.A. as its new chief executive officer.

The McLean, Va.-based firm announced today that Charles E. Haldeman Jr. has been named CEO. In addition, Haldeman will sit on Freddie’s board of directors.

He is expected to begin his new job next month after second-quarter earnings are announced.

Haldeman left his post as chairman of Putnam Investment Management LLC on June 30. Before that he was president and CEO of Putnam Investments, chairman and CEO of Delaware Investments and president and chief operating officer of United Asset Management Corp.

“Haldeman earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar, a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, and an A.B. summa cum laude from Dartmouth College,” the secondary lender said.

Haldeman replaces interim CEO John A. Koskinen, who temporarily took the reins in March. Koskinen will resume the chairman post at Freddie, a position he had prior to taking over the interim CEO job.

“He has a wealth of experience in finance and an impressive record of successfully leading companies through challenging transformations,” Koskinen said of Haldeman in the statement.

Following an accounting scandal earlier in the decade, Freddie was seized in September 2008 by its regulator — the Federal Housing Finance Agency — and remains under government control today.

Haldeman takes over at Freddie even as its future remains uncertain.

The Obama administration has been using the government-run company as a tool in its housing recovery strategy. But with the U.S. Treasury providing life support as Freddie lost $50 billion last year, a long-term model has yet to be developed. Among possible options are permanent government ownership, as is the case with Ginnie Mae; a merger with its bigger rival Fannie Mae; and liquidation.

While the government-sponsored model is an option, it has proven to be a colossal failure. The model enabled executives to abandon sound business strategies and instead lobby U.S. legislators for more lenient regulation. For years, members of Congress were treated to joint press conference with Freddie touting billions of dollars in Freddie mortgage purchases that were targeted for legislators’ districts.

Freddie Mac profile

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