Two Fannie Mae Veteran Executives Take on Elevated Roles at the GSE

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Fannie Mae, one of the massive government-sponsored financial institutions tasked with purchasing and guaranteeing multifamily and single-family mortgages, has elevated two long standing veterans of its multifamily business line, the agency announced today.

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Jeffery Hayward has been promoted to a newly created position as Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, while his partner Michele Evans has taken over his previous role as EVP and Head of Multifamily, the firm said. Regular annual honorees on Commercial Observer’s Power Finance 50 list, Hayward and Evans have logged 33 years and 28 years together at the agency, respectively. 

In his new role, Hayward will oversee Fannie’s affordable housing practice, an area of the business that was vastly expanded in September 2019 under mandate from the agency’s regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), to answer the affordable housing crisis that had developed throughout the country. Hayward will also oversee and head up the company’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) efforts and human resources, diversity and inclusion and enterprise workplace teams. 

“I am thrilled to take the helm of the newly created Chief Administrative Officer,” Hayward, who first took over the multifamily business in 2012, said in a statement. “We will continue to address the urgent need for affordable housing in our country and our focus on becoming a leading ESG company. We will continue to build a workforce that will take us successfully into the future. And we will double down on our crucial work to foster diversity and ensure inclusion in the workplace.”

Evans will transition from her previous role as EVP and COO of multifamily to fully take the reins of its multifamily business, which closed 2019 with a record $70 billion in fresh mortgage activity, according to information released by the agency in January.

“The challenges of financing quality rental housing and the accelerated pace of technological development in the industry are converging,” Evans said. She joined the firm in 1992, and since taking over as COO of multifamily, she’s launched its credit risk transfer business and spearheaded its digital transformation, which has seen the implementation of automated pricing and underwriting systems. “I look forward to working with the professionals at Fannie Mae and our Delegated Underwriting and Servicing (DUS) lenders and borrowers to fulfill our critical mission and make affordable, sustainable multifamily housing a reality for families across the country.”

Fannie Mae president David Benson said the agency is “fortunate to have someone of [Hayward’s] unique experience and talent to help us mobilize our most important asset — our human capital. He understands both the moral urgency and competitive value of diversity and inclusion to our own organization and to the broader housing industry. “[He] has the passion, energy, and commercial mindset needed to forge new, creative partnerships with others who share our willingness to invest intellectual, human, and financial capital in change that is lasting and meaningful. 

He added that throughout Evans’ tenure with the firm, she’s “built strong, trusted relationships with our Multifamily customers, driven change and innovation” while managing its multifamily operations, saying that “at a time when affordable rental housing is more important than ever to our country, she is the right person to lead our multifamily team.”

Fannie Mae and its counterpart Freddie Mac have been gearing up for their eventual move out from under the umbrella of federal conservatorship, a status they’ve held since September 2008, following the fallout from the Financial Crisis. It’s been a goal of the Trump administration and the Treasury Department to privatize the two mortgage behemoths, something FHFA director Mark Calabria has said he hopes to accomplish before he leaves his post in 2024.

Both entities have moved to recapitalize in order to privatize, and under an FHFA mandate, they must reach a combined $234 billion in capital on hand in order to proceed, as CO previously reported. In mid-June, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae tapped J.P. Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley, respectively, to advise them in their campaigns to recap and exit conservatorship.