Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance firm controlled by the U.S., will name Christopher S. Lynch to replace John Koskinen as non-executive board chairman, according to four people with direct knowledge of the matter.
The change may portend a larger shakeup and could be announced as early as today, according to the people, who declined to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly by McLean, Virgina-based Freddie Mac. Directors decided against making an exception to allow Koskinen to remain past the mandatory retirement age of 72, the people said. Lynch is a Freddie Mac board member and former partner at KPMG LLP.
Freddie Mac and its sister firm, Fannie Mae, were bailed out by U.S. taxpayers during the credit crisis and have drawn more than $170 billion in federal assistance. Freddie Mac hasn’t posted an annual profit since 2006 and is pressuring the nation’s biggest banks for billions of dollars in refunds on defective mortgages bought during the housing bubble.
Michael Cosgrove, a spokesman for Freddie Mac, and Stefanie Johnson, a spokeswoman for the Federal Housing Finance Agency that oversees the firm, declined to comment. Koskinen and Lynch didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Koskinen was named non-executive chairman in September 2008 and served until March 2009, according to Freddie Mac. He then became interim chief executive officer and served until August 2009, when Charles E. Haldeman, 62, took over and Koskinen returned to the chairman’s role, according to the company.
Lynch retired from KPMG as a partner in 2007, according to Freddie Mac’s website. His positions included national partner in charge of financial services, the U.S. firm’s largest industry division, according to Freddie Mac’s biography. Lynch serves on the board of New York-based American International Group Inc., the insurer also bailed out and controlled by the U.S., where he leads the audit committee. He was listed as 53 years old in Freddie Mac’s 10-K report filed last February.
Freddie Mac announced on Oct. 24 that another director, Laurence Hirsch, will not seek re-election. The company said Hirsch, who is chairman of Highlander Partners LP, a private equity firm based in Dallas, was stepping down “because of increased professional and personal commitments.”