Freddie Mac has picked a former chief executive of an online securities brokerage firm to be its new CEO, according to published reports.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the GSE is close to announcing that Donald Layton, who previously served as CEO of E-Trade Financial Corp., will be its new CEO.

A Freddie Mac spokesman said the GSE is not commenting on the report.

Layton would replace CEO Ed Haldeman, who announced his intention to step down last year.

Congress has limited the new CEO’s pay to $500,000 and placed restrictions on the compensation of other GSE executives. Both Fannie and Freddie are concerned that the low salary cap will hamper their ability to attract top talent.

In its first-quarter securities filing, Freddie warned that uncertainty about the GSE’s future and new compensation structure has contributed to “elevated levels” of employees leaving the company.

“Disruptive levels of employee turnover at both the executive and nonexecutive levels and low employee engagement have contributed to a deterioration in our control environment and may lead to breakdowns in many of our operations,” the company said.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.