Freddie Mac appoints Mark Grier as interim CEO

Former Prudential vice chairman Mark Grier has been named Freddie Mac’s interim CEO, temporarily filling the role vacated by David Brickman in January.

In the short term after Brinkman’s departure, Freddie Mac was headed up by Michael Hutchins, who was promoted to president on Dec. 28. Hutchins will remain as president under Grier.

Grier “is ideally suited to lead the company as we continue a thorough search for a permanent CEO,” Sara Mathew, nonexecutive chairman of Freddie Mac, said in a press release. “I thank Mark for his leadership and look forward to working closely with him to continue serving the nation’s homeowners and renters.”

Grier joined Freddie Mac’s board in February 2020 after his 2019 retirement from Prudential.

While at Prudential, he oversaw finance, risk management, corporate actuarial, investor relations, global business and technology solutions, and global marketing and communications. Grier joined Prudential in 1995 as chief financial officer and became vice chairman in 2007.

Grier worked at Chase Manhattan and a predecessor company from 1978 to 1995, where he was an executive vice president of global risk management and executive vice president, co-head of global markets.

As CEO, Grier’s base salary will be $600,000 annually, to be pro-rated for the period of service in 2021, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

That salary was set by congressional action in 2015. The cap was considered a possible obstacle to both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae’s efforts to fill their respective vacant CEO posts in 2018.

A 2019 Federal Housing Finance Agency inspector general report noted that both companies circumvented that cap by shifting responsibilities around and creating the role of president. Brickman was initially president of Freddie Mac until his predecessor Donald Layton’s retirement.

In a separate SEC filing, Freddie Mac said Ricardo Anzaldua, executive vice president and general counsel, retired March 10 but will remain with the company until March 31 to assist with the transition. The interim general counsel is Jerry Weiss, executive vice president and chief administrative officer.

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