Fannie, Freddie hire Wall Street firms to plot return to private control

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantee more than half of the $11 trillion U.S. mortgage industry. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

District-based Fannie Mae and McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac have both hired financial advisers to help draft plans for raising capital and exiting federal government control.

Both Fannie and Freddie have been under government conservatorship since they were bailed out by the federal government in 2008. Both have been returning quarterly profits to the U.S. Treasury since then as dividend payments on the government’s bailout investment.

Fannie Mae has hired Morgan Stanley as financial adviser; Freddie Mac has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie, had earlier hired investment bank Houlihan Lokey as adviser on its future exit from government control.

“Today’s announcement marks another important step toward a responsible exit from conservatorship, and we look forward to working with FHFA, Treasury and Morgan Stanley to chart a strong course forward for Fannie Mae,” said Fannie Mae Chief Executive Hugh Frater.

There is no set timeline for an exit from conservatorship, though legislation has been in the works for years on Capitol Hill.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guarantee more than half of the $11 trillion U.S. mortgage industry.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are the two largest publicly traded companies in the D.C. area, with a combined $200 billion in 2019 revenue. The two also employ a combined 8,100 workers, many of them in the region.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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