Wells Fargo Mortgage Chief Heid to Retire, Codel Promoted

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Wells Fargo & Co., the biggest U.S. home lender, said mortgage chief Mike Heid is retiring after 28 years with the bank.

He will be succeeded by Franklin Codel, 50, currently head of mortgage production, on Oct. 1, the San Francisco-based company said Wednesday in a statement. Heid, 58, who has helped lead the mortgage division for more than a decade, will remain with the lender until the end of the year, Wells Fargo said.

“Over a distinguished career spanning three decades, Mike has helped our company and the entire housing industry navigate unprecedented challenges,” Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf said in the statement. “His impact will be felt for many years to come.”

Heid, a member of the operating committee, leaves as rising interest rates crimp refinancing production and the mortgage industry still struggles to recover from the 2008 financial crisis. Wells Fargo’s share of the mortgage market has slumped to 14 percent in the second quarter from almost 30 percent three years ago amid increased competition from non-bank lenders such as Quicken Loans Inc.

Heid was active in talks between Wells Fargo and four other banks, 49 states and the federal government that resulted in a $25 billion settlement in 2012. The agreement ended a probe of abusive foreclosure practices that stemmed from the housing bubble’s collapse.

Heid “became known as the go-to person” in Washington for mortgage-related matters, said David Stevens, the CEO of the Washington-based Mortgage Bankers Association, an industry trade group. “The question is, ‘Will Franklin fill that void?’ I think he’s eager to, but it will take some time.”

Over the past year, Codel has stepped up his presence in the U.S. capital, visiting government officials and taking on a more public role, Stevens said. Codel will take over Heid’s MBA board seat in October, Stevens said.

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