Prospect Mortgage LLC and its growth capital partner, Sterling Partners, have announced the appointment of Michael J. Williams as Prospect's new CEO, effective immediately. Williams will lead Prospect into its next phase of transformative growth by leveraging his extensive experience within the mortgage finance industry, capitalizing on the market's new competitive landscape and using his wealth of institutional knowledge of Prospect to move the company forward. Williams has served as chairman of Prospect's board of directors since December 2012, and assumes the leadership role from Ronald L. Bergum, who is transitioning from his role as CEO to managing partner. Williams will continue to serve as Prospect's chairman of the board.
"As chairman, I have always been impressed with Prospect's industry leadership and the power of its retail purchase lending platform. Now, as the housing finance system continues to undergo substantial change, I believe we are well positioned to expand our retail platform and accelerate the next phase of the company's growth," said Williams. "Ron's vision and passion for the business have enabled Prospect to attract a strong and seasoned leadership team and loan officers who are unrivaled in our industry. I look forward to working closely with Ron, the team and Sterling Partners in my new capacity."
Bergum built Prospect from the ground up and established it as a top-15 originator of home purchase loans in the country. In his new role, he will focus on strategic growth initiatives, acquisitions and product development.
"When Mike was appointed chairman, he brought extensive background and understanding of the residential housing sector, the regulatory landscape and the mortgage finance industry to Prospect, and those attributes have been instrumental to our recent growth at a time when other lenders are shrinking and closing," said Bergum. "Having known Mike since 2009, I've witnessed his ability to understand our evolving market, sense opportunities, and execute against those opportunities in a collaborative way. I know our employees and executive team's passion and hunger for success will only grow stronger under Mike's leadership, and I am excited to be able to help continue to build this company."
After more than 20 years of serving in several key roles at Fannie Mae, Williams became the company's CEO in 2009, leading the organization through a period of substantial transformation during its conservatorship under the Federal Housing Finance Agency. During Williams' tenure, Fannie Mae experienced a dramatic turnaround, from a $23 billion loss in the first quarter of 2009 to a profit of $5.1 billion in the second quarter of 2012. Under Williams' leadership, Fannie Mae provided more than $2.7 trillion in loans to the market, enabling more than 2.2 million families to purchase homes, 8.1 million homeowners to refinance their mortgages, and 1.3 million units of affordable rental housing to be constructed.
In November 2012, Williams was appointed to the Board of Directors of Realogy Holdings Corp., the leading franchisor of real estate brokerages in the world, including brands such as Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Coldwell Banker Commercial, ERA and Sotheby's International Realty.
Williams obtained his MBA and BS from Drexel University in Philadelphia, where he serves on the board of trustees. He also serves as Chairman-Elect of the board of directors for the Children's National Health System in Washington, D.C. Williams will continue to serve on the boards of Realogy Holdings Corporation, Drexel University and the Children's National Health System.
"As Chairman and CEO, Mike will leverage his knowledge and experience from Fannie Mae and Realogy, including his unmatched ability to bring discipline to financial processes and controls and instill transparency in regulatory relations, to lead Prospect through its next phase of growth and evolution," said Eric Becker, co-founder and senior managing director at Sterling Partners. "Ron built the framework of success for Prospect and transformed it into an industry leader during a time of major transition within the real estate market. Mike's vision for Prospect aligns perfectly with the solid foundation Ron and the executive team have built. His deep understanding of the mortgage industry's competitive landscape will help the team achieve its collective vision."
Sterling Partners welcomed Prospect into its portfolio in April 2007. Sterling focuses on partnering with like-minded entrepreneurs and investing growth capital in small- and mid-market companies in industries with positive, long-term trends.