Distressed investment firm WL Ross & Co has hired the former director of the US regulator of finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, James Lockhart, as vice chairman.
Lockhart recently stepped down from his position at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s regulator. He became director of FHFA and chairman of its oversight board with the signing of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act in July 2008. Previously, he was director of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), which is now part of FHFA.
From 2002 to 2006, Lockhart served as deputy commissioner and COO of the Social Security Administration and as secretary to the Social Security Board of Trustees. He was a member of President Bush’s Management Council and its Executive Committee. Lockhart served in the previous Bush administration as executive director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) from 1989 until 1993.
“With his extensive government experience, deep knowledge of the US mortgage markets and strong background in public/private finance, Jim is ideally qualified to help expand the financial services portfolio of the funds we manage,” said Wilbur Ross, chairman of WL Ross & Co and of Invesco Private Capital. “Our investment team will benefit from Jim’s unique insights into the US mortgage markets, which will help us expand the compelling investment opportunities we can offer our institutional and individual clients.”
WL Ross & Co’s 20-person investment team has accomplished more than $200bn of workouts around the world over the last 30 years. WL Ross & Co. The firm manages funds that own American Home Mortgage Services and have substantial investments in Assured Guaranty, BankUnited, Montpelier Reinsurance, as well as VTG and Greenbrier in railcar leasing. WL Ross has sponsored and managed more than $8bn of equity investments in distressed securities and closed a $4bn distressed private equity fund in 2007.
“I am very pleased to be joining Wilbur Ross and his renowned WL Ross and Invesco investment management teams,” Lockhart said. “Their large global platform and growing portfolio of companies positions them extremely well to participate and aid in the recovery of the financial services sector. I am looking forward to continuing to work on that recovery while joining a growing business with exciting long-term prospects.”
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