Mortgage Daily

Published On: December 8, 2003
Former AMEX Chairman to Head FreddieCompany announces Richard Syron as new CEO

December 8, 2003

By SAM GARCIA

A scandal-plagued government sponsored housing enterprise has tapped the former chairman of the American Stock Exchange to help it reestablish investor credibility.

The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, commonly known as Freddie Mac, announced Sunday that it named Richard F. Syron as its new chairman and chief executive officer.

Syron, who was the chairman of the American Stock Exchange during the period when it merged with the National Association of Securities Dealers, will be the third chief executive for the McLean, Virginia company this year. Freddie fired its chairman and chief executive officer last June, following disclosures of accounting fraud. While Gregory Parseghian was initially named as the new CEO, pressure from Freddie’s regulator — the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight — over Parseghian’s association with the derivatives in questions led to his departure.

Freddie, which reported October new business purchases of $77.5 billion, announced last month that it restated its earnings for 2000, 2001, and 2002 by $5 billion.

In 1993, Syron, who was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston for five years, was quoted by National Mortgage News as saying that banks “bear some responsibility for the problems arising from second mortgages” because they provide “the financing to the same high-rate lenders or purchased mortgages from them.”

The 60-year old, who served as chairman and chief executive of technology company Thermo Electron Corp., was previously quoted by FastCompany.com as saying, “never understate the value of two key factors: clarity and luck.”

“Dick Syron has all three qualities we were looking for in a CEO: industry expertise, corporate leadership and public policy experience,” said current chairman Shaun F. O’Malley in Freddie’s announcement. O’Malley, who will become lead director on Freddie’s board, added that Syron “was our first choice and the only person to whom we offered the job.”


Sam Garcia has been in mortgage lending since 1980, and is publisher of MortgageDaily.com. He also owns and operates CloseNow.com, a real estate portal site.

email: [email protected]

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