Beefing up its executive ranks, North American Mortgage Co. has hired Fannie Mae executive Paul Allen as its chief financial officer.

Mr. Allen is vice president for financial consulting at Fannie Mae, where he has worked since 1994. He worked at Freddie Mac from 1986 to July 1994.

At Fannie Mae, Mr. Allen helps its regional account teams build their business with lenders. He was previously vice president of business planning at Fannie Mae.

North American, which is owned by Dime Bancorp, already boasts two mortgage heavyweights among its top ranks. Chase Mortgage veteran Fred B. Koons is the company's chairman and chief executive officer and Mr. Koons' deputy at Chase, Richard A. Mirro, is chief operating officer at North American Mortgage.

The two have taken advantage of the refinancing boom and the consumer preference for fixed-rate mortgages to build Dime's mortgage business dramatically over the past year.

In Mr. Allen they will get an executive with rigorous academic training in finance and intimate knowledge of how the secondary-mortgage market works.

Before he joined Freddie Mac, Mr. Allen was an assistant professor of finance at Louisiana State University. He received a doctorate in finance from the University of Washington.

Mr. Allen earned a measure of notoriety when he jumped from Freddie Mac to Fannie Mae in 1994. Freddie sued to prevent him from taking the job, charging he would give away competitive secrets.

When he left Freddie, Mr. Allen was in charge of implementing the agency's pricing and credit policies and the daily price management process, and was considered a protege of president David Glenn.

Freddie Mac later dropped the suit.

Mr. Allen did not respond to requests for an interview.

Dime's executives would not discuss Mr. Allen's hire beyond confirming it. It could not be learned when he would start his new assignment at Dime.

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