Residential: In the midst of GSE reform, Fannie Mae remains focused on innovation

While the prospect of housing finance reform is once again grabbing headlines, Fannie Mae remains internally committed to its forward-looking vision. “Despite the increased noise around the future of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae continues to lead the mortgage industry with its embrace of innovation and technology,” said Brian O’Reilly, President of The Collingwood Group.

Fannie Mae recently confirmed the selection of Hugh Frater to serve as permanent CEO, following the departure of Tim Mayopoulos. Frater plans to continue to take Fannie Mae in the direction of progress and innovation. In a statement, he said, “The Fannie Mae of today is customer focused, innovative and committed to leading a housing finance system that is safe, sound and sustainable for taxpayers and creditworthy borrowers.”

Frater added, “I look forward to continuing to work with this outstanding leadership team to deliver on Fannie Mae’s strategic priorities and transform the mortgage experience for our customers and partners.”

The addition of two new members on Fannie Mae’s Board of Directors also signals a commitment to technology at the highest levels of management and leadership. Fannie Mae recently announced that Google Executive Karin Kimbrough and Coinbase Global Executive Brian Brooks will join the Board.

“Karin and Brian are the right additions to our Board as we continue finding innovative ways to make housing more affordable while driving digital transformation of the mortgage experience for our customers and partners,” said Frater. “Their deep experience in technology and banking will complement the expertise of their peers on the Board as they help guide us toward achieving our corporate priorities.”

“From senior executives to middle management, Fannie’s leadership is aligned in their vision of the digital mortgage and customer-centric experience,” said O’Reilly. “Fannie Mae’s initiatives, such as Simplifying Servicing, Ask Poli, Data Validation Service (DVS), and Day 1 Certainty, are having a profound influence on the overall direction of technology development in the mortgage industry.”

In a recent interview with DSNews, Varma Penmatsa, Fannie Mae Vice President of Digital Products and Servicing, said, “Our customers are at the center of everything we do at Fannie Mae, and customer engagement is key to driving innovation.”

Fannie Mae works with customers on co-development panels and pilot programs to assess new capabilities for scaling new solutions and bringing them to market. “A key tenet of our digital operating model is test and learn,” said Penmatsa. When introducing new areas of innovation, Penmatsa said Fannie Mae’s goal is to “[achieve] higher automation maturity without introducing risk.”

“Regardless of the direction of GSE reform, Fannie Mae’s investment in technology and commitment to innovation will deliver lasting value to the mortgage industry and the borrowers it serves,” O’Reilly said.

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