With CEO Hugh Frater Retiring, David Benson Named to Lead Fannie Mae


Fannie Mae Board Chair Sheila C. Bair is resigning effective May 1. The board has unanimously elected Michael J. Heid to succeed her. In addition, the board has appointed David C. Benson, the company’s president, to the additional role of interim CEO and board member, effective May 1, subject to final Federal Housing Finance Agency approval. He will succeed CEO Hugh R. Frater, who has also announced his decision to retire and resign from the board.

“I am deeply appreciative of Hugh Frater’s leadership over the past 3.5 years,” states Bair. “He has provided stellar service and will be sorely missed. But Fannie Mae will be in good hands going forward. Mike Heid will be outstanding as the next chair of Fannie Mae, as will Dave Benson as our interim CEO. Mike’s expertise in housing finance, combined with his leadership as chair of the Community Responsibility and Sustainability Committee, make him the right person to continue and build on our mission work. And Dave’s steady hand will help guide the enterprise into the next chapter of its history, as we transition to new leadership to meet the challenges that lie ahead.”

Heid served as executive vice president of home lending of Wells Fargo & Company from 1997 to his retirement in January 2016. He served in a number of positions at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, including as president from 2011 to September 2015, as co-president from 2004 to 2011, and earlier as CFO and head of Loan Servicing. Heid was employed by Wells Fargo or its predecessors since 1988. He also currently serves on the board of Roosevelt Management Company and the advisory board for Home Partners of America and Promontory MortgagePath.

“When I became CEO in 2019, I committed to the board I would remain for three years, and it has been the privilege of a lifetime to lead this organization,” says Frater. “Given the strides we have made on so many fronts, this is the right time to transition to a new CEO. Dave knows this company better than anyone else and will provide outstanding leadership, together with our new Board Chair Mike Heid, as the entire enterprise works together to build a more sustainable housing finance market that better serves people across America.”

David Benson is currently Fannie Mae’s president responsible for leading the development and execution of the strategic plan for the organization, as well as leading the Single-Family and Multifamily businesses, and will continue in that role. He has served in a number of executive positions during his 20 years at Fannie Mae, including as executive vice president and CFO. He also serves on the board of managers of Common Securitization Solutions, a Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac joint venture.

The board of directors also announced that it plans to conduct a national search for a permanent CEO.

Read the full release here.

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