Fortress Investment Group, a global investment manager, has announced that Daniel Mudd, former CEO of Fannie Mae, is taking a leave of absence from his role as chief executive officer of the company and member of its Board of Directors. Randal A. Nardone, Fortress principal and co-founder, will serve as interim CEO. Just last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged six former top executives from Fannie Mae, including Mudd, and Freddie Mac with securities fraud, alleging they knew and approved of misleading statements claiming the companies had minimal holdings of higher-risk mortgage loans, including sub-prime loans.
“I have requested a leave of absence from my position as chief executive officer to ensure that any time or attention I need to focus on matters outside of Fortress will not affect the business or operations of the company,” said Mudd.
The SEC is seeking financial penalties, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains with interest, permanent injunctive relief and officer and director bars against Mudd, along with five others named in their complaint.
“We are grateful to Dan for his service and leadership over the past two and a half years and support his decision to take a leave of absence at this point in time,” said Nardone. “Fortress is very well-positioned today, and across our company, we remain single-mindedly focused on managing our investment funds and capitalizing on opportunities to create value for our investors. We look forward to Dan’s return in the hope that matters are resolved favorably and expeditiously.”