Freddie Mac CEO David Brickman tacitly announced his resignation earlier this week and will officially step down on Jan. 8, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filed Friday. Freddie Mac representatives did not comment on the change in personnel.
Michael Hutchins, executive vice president, investment and capital markets for the state-sponsored company, has been named to temporarily replace him.
Brickman, who has been with Freddie Mac for 21 years, was named CEO in 2018 after his predecessor Don Layton retired. Both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae replaced their CEOs with executives from multiple families amid a broader wave of political sales at real estate finance agencies, which included Mark Calabria's appointment as head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
Hutchins has been in his current position since January 2015 and previously served as Senior Vice President in the department. His background on Wall Street could feed into discussions about the GSE's exit from the Conservatory, along a path the Trump administration had taken for them. It is said that the Biden government is less likely to make it through this process.
Prior to joining Freddie Mac, Hutchins was the co-founder and CEO of a mortgage-backed securities investment firm called PrinceRidge from 2007-2013. Prior to co-founding PrinceRidge, he held various senior positions at UBS and worked at Salomon Brothers from 1986 to 1996, when the company played a defining role in the MBS market.
Hutchins will retain his current title and compensation while Freddie's board of directors searches for a new CEO. The salaries for CEOs at the GSEs are capped at $ 600,000 per year. Members of Congress and the Inspector General of the Federal Housing Agency, a surveillance agency, have monitored attempts to circumvent this.
The salary for GSE directors is by no means low, but consultants have said that the salary cap can create recruitment problems as it is below the amount that qualified executives with similar positions receive in the private market. However, GSE leadership positions can appeal to executives who wish to assume influential roles in the public service.