Private-equity firm Fortress Investment Group is expected to name Daniel Mudd, former chief executive of Fannie Mae, as CEO, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Mudd, who serves on Fortress' board of directors, would replace Wesley Edens, Fortress's co-founder and largest shareholder.
The appointment would relieve Edens and his top executives of some management responsibilities, allowing them to focus on the firm's weakened portfolio and future investments. And it gives Mudd a new act after being forced out as Fannie's CEO when the government took control of the company in September.

A spokeswoman for New York's Fortress declined to comment.

The surprise move comes as Fortress, which manages about $27 billion in assets, tries to shore up its portfolios after taking a drubbing from the economic downturn. The firm first listed its shares in February, 2007. But life as a public company during the financial crisis has been brutal. Since its IPO, Fortress's stock has dropped 90%, and the firm has been forced to deal with prickly analysts and divulge salary and performance data that competitors can keep private.

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