The Federal Housing Finance Agency's new director, Mel Watt, has appointed four veteran government officials as special advisors.
Former Wells Fargo (WFC) executive Bob Ryan will advise the FHFA on industry matters, according to an FHFA press release Friday. Ryan most recently served as senior vice president of capital markets at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. He was a senior advisor to Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan from 2009 to 2012. Ryan was also chief risk officer at the Federal Housing Administration.
Former Treasury Department official Megan Moore will advise Watt on intergovernmental issues. Moore, who joined the Treasury in 2009, most recently was the deputy assistant secretary for housing, small business and the Troubled Asset Relief Program in the office of legislative affairs. She also worked as an aide to former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., from 2006 to 2009.
Eric Stein will be acting chief of staff at the FHFA until a permanent selection is made, and then he will become an advisor on consumer topics. Stein spent 17 years at the nonprofit research and policy group Center for Responsible Lending and its affiliate, community development lender Self-Help. He most recently served as the nonprofit's senior vice president. Stein also worked at the Treasury as deputy assistant secretary for consumer protection from 2009-2010.
Mario Ugoletti will be special advisor for agency issues. Ugoletti joined the FHFA in 2009, serving as a special advisor to then-acting Director Edward DeMarco. Before that, he spent 14 years at the Treasury, including serving as director of its office of financial institutions policy from 2004 to 2009.
The new appointees will "provide solid advice and perspective on the important issues I will be facing as director," Watt said in the release. "Along with the strong staff already in place, these advisors have diverse skills and experience in housing finance policy that will help me build a stronger foundation for our nation's housing finance system."
Watt announced last week that he would delay a proposed increase in the fees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge to guarantee home loans. Watt's predecessor, DeMarco, had argued that the fee hike would better reflect mortgage credit risks.
"The implications for mortgage credit availability and how these changes might interact with the new qualified mortgage standards could be significant," Watt said in a press release. "I want to fully understand these implications before deciding whether to move forward with any adjustments to g-fee pricing."
Watt was sworn into office on Jan. 6 after a lengthy confirmation battle.